Sterling Organization eyes $440M Niles overhaul

Developer wants to build 300-unit multifamily structure and a hotel in revamp of Golf Mill Shopping Center

Sterling Organization Planning $440M Niles Mall Overhaul
Mayor George Alpogianis and Sterling's Brian Kosoy with rendering of Golf Mill Shopping Center (Village of Niles, Sterling Organization, Getty)

The Sterling Organization is chugging along with a $440 million vision to overhaul the Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles, one of several suburban Chicago malls poised for dramatic and costly transformations.

The Niles Village Board has approved a non-binding agreement with Sterling to kickstart the redevelopment project at 239 Golf Mill Center, the Chicago Tribune reported. If both parties finalize a formal agreement within the next few months, construction could commence as early as next year.

Preliminary plans for the Golf Mill redevelopment call for demolition of most of the mall’s interior and a professional building, clearing the way for a 300-unit luxury apartment complex, high-end retailers and restaurants. The project would be centered around a water feature, possibly a pond, featuring a replica of an original water wheel that was placed in Golf Mill.

The residential portion would comprise mostly one- and two-bedroom units and could include rooftop amenities or a pool. A large chunk of the funding will stem from a $96 million “pay-as-you-go” tax increment financing plan outlined in the village’s agreement.

Sterling’s proposal is gaining steam as several other developers in the suburbs of Chicago are poised to spend nine figures to add dense multifamily housing to regional shopping centers and indoor mall assets that had grown stagnant over the years as the retail market evolved. In nearby Skokie, for instance, URW, owner of the Westfield Old Orchard shopping mall, is aiming for a $100 million renovation that will replace an empty Bloomingdale’s with a town square and hundreds of apartments.

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The first phase of the Niles project entails the construction or renovation of 550,000 square feet of retail space, the 300 luxury apartments at the northeast corner of Church Street and Greenwood Avenue, infrastructure improvements and a privately owned plaza for public gatherings and events. Phase two of the project calls for more apartments, a hotel and a medical building.

Florida-based Sterling Organization, led by CEO Brian Kosoy, estimates the first phase will cost roughly $204 million. The village will contribute up to $96 million in tax increment financing, with the understanding that the redeveloped property will generate more property tax revenue, ultimately benefiting the community without additional costs to residents.

Community engagement will consist of an open house meeting at Golf Mill held by the area’s economic development director John Melaniphy plans to hold an open house meeting at Golf Mill to gather feedback before finalizing a plan. Mayor George Alpogianis and village trustees have expressed their support for the redevelopment, calling it significant for Niles and the desire to attract residents to the area for shopping and leisure.

— Quinn Donoghue 

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