Judge drops Namdar’s lawsuit against Bloomingdale
Village clears hurdle for redevelopment of Stratford Square Mall
Bloomingdale officials have one less hurdle to clear in acquiring the Stratford Square Mall, as a judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the owner of the main mall space.
New York-based Namdar Realty Group, which owns the interior portion of the mall and the vacant JCPenney store, sued the city to seek funding from a 1 percent sales tax on all purchases at the site. But a DuPage County judge dismissed the case with prejudice, preventing the suit from being refiled, the Daily Herald reported.
Namdar’s lawsuit contended that Bloomingdale was withholding payments from the Stratford Business District, where additional sales tax is collected.
The village argued that Namdar lacked legal standing due to the firm’s exclusion from a redevelopment agreement established in 2007. The contract stipulated the village’s authority over the transfer of the sales tax sharing agreement, a condition Namdar failed to meet after acquiring the mall’s core in 2019.
The dismissal clears a path for Bloomingdale to proceed with its ambitious redevelopment plan. Mall redevelopments have become increasingly common in Chicagoland, as many retail properties have struggled amid an increase of e-commerce and decreased foot traffic.
Bloomingdale already spent more than $5.6 million to buy former department stores and land near the mostly deserted shopping center.
The village aims to exercise eminent domain to take control of the mall’s core, with a “condemnation” lawsuit filed for that purpose.
“The obstacle left that we need to overcome — and then we can begin to work on finalizing our redevelopment plan and then implementing it — is the eminent domain case against Namdar,” village administrator Pietro Scalera told the outlet. “Once we are able to get over that hurdle, we will be able to begin working toward turning that area around for the village, for the community and the residents.”
Despite legal battles, Bloomingdale remains focused on acquiring properties to control the type of development and uses in the area. Residential developers and restaurateurs have expressed interest in the Stratford Square renovation project. While specific plans haven’t been revealed, officials envision a vibrant community space surrounded by restaurants and entertainment options.