Hawthorn Mall Redevelopment
The Village of Vernon Hills wants this page to be an authoritative source informing the public about the process and progress in redeveloping Hawthorn Mall.
This site will be updated as new information becomes available, so be sure and check back if we don't have something posted yet.
Our mission is to strategically and thoughtfully transform Hawthorn Mall into mixed-use, dominant destination with a carefully curated, unique to market experience that serves the needs and wants of the Vernon Hills community.
- Activate the mall with events, art, innovation & community partnerships.
- Enhance the common areas
- Improved shopping experience
- Enhanced shopping, dining & entertainment options
- Quality Residences
- Activated green spaces
- A regional, dominant destination
Hawthorn Mall’s transformation offers a signature, unique to market vibrancy around the clock. With the addition of elevated full-service and specialty restaurants, activated green space programmed with community events, and an enhanced retail experience throughout the entire project combined with high quality residences, Hawthorn Mall will become a top Chicagoland destination for the immediate and surrounding trade areas.
This inviting, enclosed and open-air experience appeals to the things you enjoy doing while also satisfying the things you need to do every day. Rarely does vibrancy and convenience come together so seamlessly in one place. Drop in for a coffee or quick workout, enjoy a manicure or pick up your groceries and a dress for this weekend’s event by day; come back for happy hour before heading to an al fresco dinner and a movie that night. Its functional design and complementary tenant mix provides a wide-range of options for every lifestyle.
Whatever you’re looking for. Whoever you’re with. Wherever your impulses take you, Hawthorn Mall is the one place in Vernon Hills that has exactly what you need and everything you’ve always wanted.
Hawthorn Transformation: Interior Center Court: Beginning June, 2019
• Design a phased approach to transforming the interior of the center
• Create a space the inspires interactivity and increases length of stay
• Create a unique to market experience that will attract new visitors as well as enhance the experience of existing shoppers
• Integrate technology and innovation, create Instagrammable Moments
Due to the size and scope of this project, the redevelopment process is anticipated to be addressed in at least four phases:
- Phase One is the construction of three out-lot buildings along Milwaukee Ave. and the re-engineering of Ring Road on the East end of the mall property.
- Phase Two is the renovation of the Center Court of the Mall.
- Phase Three is the redevelopment of the now vacant Carson Pirie Scott building attached to the mall.
- Phase Four is anticipated to be the demolition and redevelopment of the Sears building.
STEP ONE: CONCEPT REVIEW
The Concept Review is a public presentation, conducted before the Committee of the Whole. The purpose is to provide the Board with a general idea of the scope of the project. It also provides the developer with basic site planning information, the requirements of Village development ordinances and codes, and some indication of the acceptability of the proposed project to the Village(not required for projects that conform to existing zoning and land use plans, it is nonetheless encouraged). If the project is conceptually deemed appropriate, the Village Board will allow the project to proceed to Step Two, Technical Review.
Phase One: In early 2019, representatives from Centennial Real Estate appeared before the Committee of the Whole to provide a concept proposal for the development of three out-lots along Milwaukee Avenue on the East end of the former Sears property. Tentative approval was granted to Centennial to move forward with the Technical Review Process with Phase One of the re-development.
Phase Two, Three and Four: On April 3, 2019, representatives from Centennial appeared before the Committee of the Whole and presented their concept for the redevelopment of the entire mall site. The Board granted approval for all phases to proceed to Technical Review. The meeting can be watched here: https://youtu.be/M6q1LC099aQ?t=5837
STEP TWO: TECHNICAL REVIEW
Technical review is essentially an internal review process conducted by village staff. The developer prepares and submits a preliminary plat or plan, and preliminary engineering, architectural, and landscape plans incorporating concept review comments for a more detailed review by the Village’s Technical Review Committee. Village staff reviews the documents for consistency with current planning and zoning ordinances, architectural ordinances, landscaping ordinances, etc. The plans are returned to the developer, along with the technical review team’s comments. In many cases, changes will need to be made to the plans and documents and are re-submitted for further review. Depending on the complexity of the documents, this process may be repeated several times before it is moved the Step Three, Planning and Zoning.
Phase One: Plans for Phase One have been submitted for technical review and were sent back to the developer on April 19, 2019, for further modifications. We are currently waiting for a revised submission.
Phase Two: Phase Two (Center Court) was essentially a cosmetic facelift, not requiring any structural modifications to the mall, therefore a technical review was not required. A demolition permit has been issued allowing Centennial to begin interior demolition/renovations.
STEP THREE: PLANNING AND ZONING/ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
The Village’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is charged with the review of development proposals, special use permits, and requests for rezoning. The P&Z is an advisory Commission to the Village Board. Generally, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviews all proposed projects unless exempted by ordinance or annexation agreements. All meetings of the P&Z are open to the public and members of the public may offer comments at the hearings. Agendas for all P&Z Meetings are published in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, and are open for public comment. All hearing dates for this project will also be posted on this site under the “Future Meetings” tab at the top of this page.
No hearings have yet been scheduled for the P&Z Commission for this project.
STEP FOUR: VILLAGE BOARD
A recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission will be submitted to Staff who will prepare a memorandum to the Village Board summarizing any unresolved issues from the preceding reviews and presenting a staff recommendation. The proposed project will then be placed on a Committee of the Whole (COW) agenda for preliminary consideration/approval. If approved by the COW, the proposal will be placed on a subsequent Village Board Agenda for final consideration/approval.
Agendas for all Village Board Meetings are published in accordance with the Open Meetings Act, and are open for public comment. All hearing dates for this project will also be posted on this site under the “Future Meetings” tab at the top of this page.
- From Parking Lots to Restaurants? What may be next for "Hawthorn Mall 2.0" 01/18/2020
- Sears Leaving Spring Hill Mall in February, and West Dundee Mayor Ponders Future Without Retail Anchor
- Suburban malls look to reinvent, reinvigorate themselves as retail slips away - 8/18/2019
- Suburban towns struggle to re-purpose vacant, failed shopping malls 7/29/2019
- As wait continues for formal plan to redevelop Hawthorn Mall, officials in Vernon Hills gear up for negotiations over tax incentives - 7/3/2019
- Debunking the Retail Apocalypse - by the Commercial Industry Solutions Team at Esri
- What Will It Take to Revive the Hawthorn Mall. Residents Give Feedback 6/19/2019
- Northbrook Court Redevelopment Approaches Final Village Approval 6/13/2019
- Northbrook Approves TIF for Northbrook Court Redevelopment - 6/10/2019
- Town hall set for Vernon Hills residents to review Hawthorn Mall plans - 6/3/2019
- Vernon Hills residents to discuss concerns about Hawthorn Mall plans - 6/2/2019
- Column: Proposed redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall a good thing for an aging city center - 5/29/2019
- 'Central park' remake of Hawthorn Mall center court set to begin - 5/28/2019
- Dying Malls Resurrected in Multifamily Markets 5/17/2019
- The New Multifamily Building Next Door Isn't Crowding Your School 5/17/2019
- A new hope rises for Lake County's sputtering retail industry - 5/8/2019
- Demand exists for brick-and-mortar stores in Vernon Hills, study says, as officials eye redevelopment - 4/29/2019
- Millennials Tried to Kill the American Mall, But Gen Z Might Save It - 4/25/2019
- Redevelopment of Hawthorn Mall takes shape with new plans to add grocery store, luxury apartments - 4/11/2019
- Hawthorn Mall owner on major makeover: We're in it for the long haul - 4/4/2019
- Hawthorn Mall redevelopment key for Vernon Hills - 11/25/2018