Randhurst Village

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Randhurst Village
Carson Pirie Scott, Randhurst Mall.jpg
Carson Pirie Scott, Randhurst Village
Location Mount Prospect, Illinois
Coordinates 42°05′03.54″N 87°55′59.87″W / 42.0843167°N 87.9332972°W / 42.0843167; -87.9332972Coordinates: 42°05′03.54″N 87°55′59.87″W / 42.0843167°N 87.9332972°W / 42.0843167; -87.9332972
Opening date October 27, 2011
(original: August 16, 1962)
Developer Casto Lifestyle Properties
Management Casto Lifestyle Properties
Owner Casto Lifestyle Properties
Architect Beame Architectural partnership
No. of anchor tenants 3
Total retail floor area 900,000 sq ft (84,000 m2)
(GLA)

Randhurst Village, previously known as Randhurst Mall and Randhurst Center or simply Randhurst, is a shopping mall located at the corner of Rand Road (U.S. Route 12) and Elmhurst Road (Illinois Route 83) in Mount Prospect, Illinois. The mall took its name from combining the names of these two roads.

The original owner of the mall was the Randhurst Corporation (a joint venture of Carson Pirie Scott, Wieboldt's, and Montgomery Ward); the land is currently owned by Casto Lifestyle Properties. At the time of its 1962 opening, it was the first enclosed regional mall in the Chicago area and the largest enclosed air-conditioned space in the United States. In 2008, the mall was demolished and rebuilt as Randhurst Village.

Origins[edit]

Randhurst was born out of a desire by Carson Pirie Scott to expand their business into Chicago's northwest suburbs, an untapped market at the time. Spurred by Marshall Field's expansion into Skokie at the new Old Orchard Shopping Center, in 1958 Carson Pirie Scott secured an 80-acre (320,000 m2) lot in Mount Prospect for purposes of building a shopping mall. Studies showed the mall would have a service area of 300,000, with another 100,000 expected by 1965. By 1959, the department stores Wieboldt's and Montgomery Ward had created a joint venture with Carson Pirie Scott, named the Randhurst Corporation. Instead of using the Montgomery Ward nameplate, however, Montgomery Ward would use the nameplate of their subsidiary brand, The Fair Department Store (aka "the Fair"), on their anchor store.

Randhurst was designed by Victor Gruen, a pioneer of modern shopping mall design. Unlike most shopping malls of the time, which were built in a straight line between two anchoring department stores, Gruen's design was shaped like an equilateral triangle, with an anchoring department store at each angle. Additional stores lined the sides of the triangle on two levels: a conventional level (termed the "mezzanine" level), continuous with the first floors of the anchor stores, and a level located half a floor below the first level (termed the "bazaar" level), located down a flight of stairs facing the first level. A floor of offices occupied the level above this "subfloor" of stores. A ring of clerestory windows was mounted in a domed area over the center of the mall; mounted just inside these windows were numerous stained glass windows in various oval and round shapes, oriented in such a way as to cast beams of colored light into the mall itself. As the mall was built at the height of the Cold War, it included a fallout shelter big enough to hold every citizen of Mount Prospect.

Thus, at the time of its 1962 opening, the 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) Randhurst had three major department store anchors: Wieboldt's, Carson Pirie Scott, and the Fair. All three anchors had two above-ground floors and a full basement. Of the three anchors, the Carson Pirie Scott anchor was the most distinctive, featuring turquoise-colored accents at the entrances and multi-colored lights around its perimeter. Other stores included Baskins, Charles A. Stevens, Jewel Food Stores, S.S. Kresge, and Woolworth's. In 1963, the Randhurst Fair store would be the first Fair store to be renamed as a Montgomery Ward store; Montgomery Ward also built an auto service center at the perimeter of the mall. Randhurst would retain this configuration well into the 1980s.

1980s[edit]

In 1981, The Rouse Company acquired Randhurst from the Randhurst Corporation. In 1985, Rouse converted the upper sub-level of offices into a food court - one of the first in the Chicago area - and more retail space; a complete conventional second floor of retail space would be constructed by 1990. The "subfloor" of stores was also made larger and easier to access. In 1987, the entire Wieboldt's chain went bankrupt and closed their stores; Peoria, Illinois-based Bergner's acquired the empty Randhurst location. Shortly thereafter, Elgin-based specialty department store Joseph Spiess built a minor anchor, 61,000 sq ft (5,700 m2) next to the Wieboldt's/Bergner's anchor, and MainStreet added another minor anchor near the Montgomery Ward anchor (just before the chain was acquired by Kohl's). Spiess expanded too rapidly and too late for the market; as a consequence of this, the chain went bankrupt, and the store at Randhurst closed on January 31, 1992.

1990s[edit]

In 1990, Bergner's - which had acquired Carson Pirie Scott in 1989 - closed their Randhurst store, allowing the Carson Pirie Scott anchor to move into the grander ex-Wieboldt's building while JCPenney took over the former Carson Pirie Scott anchor. Wickes Furniture briefly occupied the Spiess anchor, until Circuit City and Old Navy took over the space in 1995;[1] meanwhile, a new Filene's Basement minor anchor occupied the majority of the "bazaar" level. This brought Randhurst to its greatest level of occupancy ever - three major anchors and four minor anchors - and an all-time peak of 1,400,000 sq ft (130,000 m2) of retail space.

The next ten years, however, would be much more difficult for Randhurst. The construction and expansion of multiple shopping malls in the area, especially the improvements to Woodfield Mall in nearby Schaumburg, devastated Randhurst's shopping base, as did the local population's general change in shopping tastes. The mall's management tried to compensate by updating the mall's decor and adding new Jewel-Osco and Home Depot stores at the perimeter of the mall (the Home Depot replacing the old Randhurst Ice Arena, Wards Auto Center and a Child World Store); despite this, foot traffic fell, and stores began disappearing from the mall at a rapid rate. This included the Filene's Basement minor anchor, which closed in 1999 (along with three other Chicago-area Filene's Basement stores).

2000s[edit]

The problems for Randhurst continued as one of Chicago's first lifestyle centers, Deer Park Town Center, opened in north suburban Deer Park in 2000. This open-air shopping center became increasingly popular and may have attracted patrons who would have otherwise traveled to Randhurst or nearby Woodfield. Meanwhile, Randhurst suffered the loss of its JCPenney and Montgomery Ward anchors within months of each other in 2001. JCPenney had labeled the Randhurst store as an "underperformer," and therefore closed their location as they did many other "underperforming" locations. The Montgomery Ward store at Randhurst had undergone a remodeling and rebranding (as "Wards") program in 2000 as part of a chain-wide "last-ditch" effort to revive the brand; when this failed, Montgomery Ward closed their entire chain of stores and went out of business. In 2003, Kohl's moved its store to a space formerly occupied by Venture near the corner of Elmhurst Road and Dempster Street on the south end of Mount Prospect. Following the sudden departure of these three anchor tenants, many stores inside the mall closed as well. The devastating loss of numerous tenants and anchors led many to believe that Randhurst was about to become a dead mall.

In 2004, some revitalization did occur for the mall, as a grand remodeling and repositioning scheme for the mall was put in motion. The former JCPenney and Kohl's anchors were demolished to build a new 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2) Costco anchor with no entry to the mall proper. Similarly, the former Montgomery Ward anchor was mostly torn down to create a grand new "promenade" entrance for the mall. Unfortunately, no upscale stores ever moved into the new addition, except for an Applebee's which moved from another section of the mall. However, unlike its previous home, which had both exterior and interior entrances, the new location was serviced by an outdoor entrance exclusively. A Buffalo Wild Wings was built on an outlot close to Carson's and the Jewel. Circuit City closed in 2005, and Old Navy moved to nearby Arlington Heights, all in the midst of the new construction. Bed Bath & Beyond and Steve & Barry's quickly took their places - Bed Bath & Beyond moved into the former Circuit City retail space, while Steve & Barry's opened in the former Applebee's restaurant and Old Navy spaces. The Gruen design had been partially destroyed, and the renovation only helped temporarily stem the tenant outflow.

Redevelopment[edit]

In April 2007, the village of Mount Prospect approved a plan which included the demolition of the core of Randhurst Mall (as well as the remainder of the former Wards) and its conversion into a lifestyle center. In place of the mall would be apartments and a hotel located above new retail buildings; the anchors, however, would remain standing and be integrated into the new development. The mall's basement would be converted into parking for the apartments. A new AMC movie theater, with 12 screens, replaced the Randhurst 16 (was General Cinema until 2002) outparcel theater (Originally the General Cinema Fourplex (1962–1998)) in April of 2011. The redevelopment was to begin within two years.[2]

From that point on, Randhurst's remaining tenants - many of which were chain stores - began their exodus from the mall; some relocated nearby or in neighboring towns. Randhurst's final shopping day was Tuesday, September 30, 2008. By then, only two stores remained open inside the mall: Fashion Plus, and Your Choice Gifts. Both stores were ordered by management to be vacated by 9:00pm CST.[3]

Demolition began in the winter of 2008/2009 with the mall offices near Carson Pirie Scott so a new loading ramp could be constructed for the department store. The mall was then gutted as it still contained hazardous asbestos insulation. By the following summer, visible demolition work had resumed. Less than eleven months after Randhurst closed, the mall's signature dome was pulled down on August 28, 2009, ending the existence of Cook County's first enclosed mall.

Bon-Ton Stores, Inc announced a remodeling of the former mall's Carson Pirie Scott anchor in October 2009, which was completed in 2010. Construction of Randhurst Village began in the fall of 2009.

As of October 2011, Randhurst Mall has been redeveloped and opened as Randhurst Village.

References[edit]

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