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Brookfield Resumes Repositioning Effort At Northbrook Court


Brookfield Properties’ is resuming discussions of its long-awaited redevelopment of the Northbrook Court mall after the pandemic halted the project.

Brookfield’s Ben Freeman recently presented a preliminary master plan to the Northbrook village board, detailing a proposal that would create an open-air retail center at the north of the property and a residential mixed-use neighborhood on the west side of the mall, the Daily Herald reported.

The village approved Brookfield’s initial plan back in 2019, which called for building 315 dwelling units, covered parking, a 60,000-square-foot grocery store and 40,000 square feet of new retail.

As part of the new plan, the open-air retail center would include 30 new shops and restaurants totalling more than 255,000 square feet just south of Lake Cook Road. After the pandemic paused that effort, Brookfield has had time to expand upon its vision for the site.

The residential mixed-use portion of the development, set to rise on the demolished former Macy’s site and implemented over a 10-year period, could feature up to 2,000 homes, comprising a blend of apartments, condos, townhomes and possibly other types of dwellings, Freeman said.

The developer’s “Zoning Block Plan” entailed 36 acres devoted to mixed-use residential, 15.6 acres of mixed-use commercial, and a little over 30 acres for parks and open space. While Freeman said the new development at the site wouldn’t disrupt existing 350,000 square feet of retail space in the mall, he did throw in a curveball.

“While the open-air retail serves to be the heart of the initial phases of development, additional phases contemplate potential scenarios ranging from an adaptive reuse of the existing mall shops to a state where the mall is potentially razed,” Freeman told the outlet.

If the property qualifies as a tax increment financing district on “blighted area factors,” it was estimated that at the end of the TIF’s life 23 years from its establishment that the property’s assessed value for taxation would increase to as much as $75 million from $9.5 million in 2017.

Freeman and village officials will continue to meet in the ensuing months, along with stakeholders, neighbors and other members of the community. Village Manager Cara Pavlicek aims to establish a timeline for the early phases of the project by September.

— Quinn Donoghue 

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