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Chicagoland’s Westfield Old Orchard mall to get $100 million remake

Al Urbanski
westfield old orchard redo
By 2026, one of the North Shore's leading malls aims to become its community center.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will be remaking its Old Orchard mall in Skokie, Ill. into a live-work-play community in much the same fashion as what it calls its “landmark transformation” of Garden State Plaza in New Jersey.

A residential development will be added to the popular retail destination north of Chicago along with a cast of new retail brands, entertainment options, green spaces with walkways, and chef-led restaurants.

The retail upgrade is already underway in the existing structure. Enhancements are being made in the common areas inside the mall to welcome new dining and health and wellness tenants. An enhanced slate of luxury retailers will be led by Louis Vuitton and the nation’s second location of Bloomies—Bloomingdale’s new curated shopping concept.

“The Village Board’s action earlier this year to designate Old Orchard as one of over 200 Illinois Business Districts has resulted in Westfield’s financial commitment of over $100 million to transform Old Orchard,” said Skokie Mayor George VanDusen. “I applaud Westfield’s focus on sustainability with this new vision, as is consistent with the village’s recently approved environmental sustainability plan.”

URW has committed to using sustainable building strategies in the renovation incorporating renewable energy, natural materials, biophilic design, and biodiversity.

The existing Lord & Taylor space at Old Orchard will be completely reimagined and redesigned, offering luxury home furnishings, top fashion, and entertainment options. Development of the new residences, restaurants, wellness facilities, and outdoor amenities is expected to begin in 2024. They will be opened in phases commencing in 2026.

“We are forging innovative partnerships to elevate our flagship shopping centers to iconic landmark destinations,” wrote Geoff Mason, URW’s executive VP of development, design, and operating management in the November-December issue of Chain Store Age. “This means investing heavily in the best assets, in the best markets, to create new town centers where people come to live, shop, work and play.”

After gathering more input from the Skokie community, URW intends to reveal more detailed plans for the redevelopment next year.

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