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Mount Prospect Approves Randhurst Revamp Plan
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Article from the Mount Prospect Times by Ronnie Wachter
Mt. Prospect, Illinois — The Mount Prospect Village Board's final approval of Randhurst Shopping Center's reinvention was so monumental that trustee John Korn prepared a speech. "This is, as far as I'm concerned, a historic event," Korn said after the board unanimously approved three separate agreements that clear the way for the birth of Randhurst Village. "Most of us love the old Randhurst," he said, "but it just ran out of stores." The board approved the plan from Casto Lifestyle Properties and JP Morgan Chase & Co., the 46-year-old landmark's owners, to tear down the mall's main building -- leaving all its anchor stores intact and in business -- and rebuild around what remains with an open-air, pedestrian-friendly creation designed for national chain stores, offices and a hotel. A new movie theater will rise on the east edge, and the owners may tear down the Chase bank building and replace it with high-end apartments. The project that will change the face of the 100 acres at 999 N. Elmhurst Road, should begin in weeks and is set to be open for Memorial Day 2010. Casto officials expect the rebirth to cost $150 million -- with the village reimbursing them for up to $25 million. One of the measures the board approved was its tax-incentive package. If the new Randhurst generates revenue above what Mount Prospect is currently collecting there, village officials will return a portion of its proceeds to the owners. Knowing that this would be as crucial a decision as the small-triangle redevelopment decision earlier this year, the trustees had looked into Casto's history at other lifestyle centers it has created, all in the eastern U.S. Casto continues to own them, they said. "I have every confidence that Casto will not build and run," trustee Michael Zadel said. Trustee Paul Hoefert agreed. His only concern was how times inevitably change. Outdoor shopping was the popular trend 60 years ago but gave way to the indoor mall, which is now giving way to the outdoors again. Hoefert wondered if this trend would be shorter-lived than what the village was banking on. "Here's my biggest fear," he said. "How do you see the trend continuing?" Casto's officials answered him: Far into the future. Report item as: (required) X Comment: (optional) Report item as: (required) X Comment: (optional) -- By Ronnie Wachter

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