Ford City Mall

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Ford City Mall
FordCityMallChicago.jpg
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41.7556265 -87.7369237
Opening date1965
ManagementCBL & Associates Properties
No. of stores and services125
No. of anchor tenants6
 
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Ford City Mall
FordCityMallChicago.jpg
LocationChicago, Illinois, United States
Coordinates41.7556265 -87.7369237
Opening date1965
ManagementCBL & Associates Properties
No. of stores and services125
No. of anchor tenants6


Ford City Mall is a shopping mall located on the southwest side of Chicago in the West Lawn neighborhood on 76th Street and Cicero Avenue. [1] Opened in 1965, the mall includes Carson Pirie Scott, JCPenney, Marshalls, and Old Navy.

Contents

History

Construction started in 1942. The purpose for construction was to build a defense plant. Approximately 17,000 workers were employed. This caused the southwest side of the city to become more populated as more people were moving there for work. By October, Building No. 1 was finished. Testing of aircraft engines to be used for the B29 bomber began. Throughout the winter, they continued building. By the spring of 1943, 10 buildings, made of steel, concrete and wood, had been constructed. The building covered approximately 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2). The largest building was Building No. 4. It covered 62 acres (250,000 m2), and it was built out of reinforced concrete. The plant consisted of 7,000 miles (11,000 km) of underground piping and 15 miles (24 km) of cables and wires for water and power.

By December 1945, the building was left vacant due to the end of the war. The government attempted to sell it without success. It was later retrofitted for automobile production for Tucker Corporation and then Ford Motor Company.

The building remained a white elephant until the Korean War, when it was reopened to build airplane engines for the war effort, under contract from Ford Motor Company. The Ford company modernized everything inside the building, employing nearly 12,000 people. The building closed again in 1959.

In 1961, the government sold it to Harry F Chaddick, along with other Chicagoans. They had a vision for the greatest commerce center in Chicago. Some buildings were torn down to make room for parking lots. The buildings that remained were remodeled to attract retail tenants.[2]

Developers divided the building into a separate portion for the mall. The mall opened in 1965 as Ford City.[3] The mall consists of two halves - a strip mall and enclosed mall. The strip mall portion is connected to the enclosed mall by a tunnel called "The Connection". It utilizes the basement between the severed halves of the buildings directly below the parking lot. The Connection was originally called Peacock Alley from the late 60s through some time in the 1980s. Wieboldt's occupied the western-facing space until 1987 when Carson Pirie Scott moved in. The southern-facing space was last occupied by Montgomery Ward until that chain's bankruptcy. JCPenney occupies the eastern facing space.

Until February 2008, the mall was managed by General Growth Properties Inc. for a private investment company.[4] The Mall is now managed by Jones Lang LaSalle.

In 2009-2010, Ford City Mall began a multi-million dollar long term capital redevelopment program undertaking North Mall infrastructure work, Cicero Avenue frontage and North Mall parking lot resurfacing. During this time new tenants such as Conway’s, US Cellular, Rodeo, Amici, Star Diamond Jewelers, a new GNC, She Bar, Eldorado Fine Jewelers, Avon, China Max, US Sprint and others opened for business at Ford City Mall.

Early 2011 – Phase 2 of the long term capital redevelopment plan began with refurbishment of the Cicero Avenue Pylon signs enabling large square footage use tenants the ability to gain maximum store signage exposure along the heavily trafficked Cicero Avenue roadway.

As part of the 2011 capital redevelopment program, Ford City Mall is in the process of demolishing several small outparcel buildings and a former vacant anchor store, leading the way to future development options under discussion at this time.

Transportation

CTA Buses

Pace Buses

Orange Line Extension

Original plans for the Orange Line was called for the terminus to be at Ford City. Due to lack of funding the city decided to end the line at Midway with a layout allowing for future expansion.[5] The CTA recently undertook an Alternatives Analysis for the Orange Line extension to Ford City and determined that the project currently stands at an estimated $200 million.[6] On August 12, 2009, the CTA approved the extension plans.[7] The extension will open in 2016.

Links

References

  1. ^ Mayer, Harold (1969). Chicago: Growth of a Metropolis. University of Chicago. p. 428. ISBN 0-226-51273-8. 
  2. ^ http://www.chiefengineer.org/content/content_display.cfm/seqnumber_content/2186.htm
  3. ^ Knox, Douglas. "West Lawn". http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/1339.html. Retrieved 2007-01-04. 
  4. ^ General Growth Properties - Illinois Malls
  5. ^ Chicago-l.org. (2008). "Operations - Line > Midway", Chicago-l.org
  6. ^ Chicago Transit Authority. (2008). "Orange Line Extension Alternatives Analysis Study Screen 1 Analysis", CTA Analysis Study
  7. ^ Wisniewski, Mary. Chicago Sun-Times. "CTA moves to extend L lines". August 12, 2009. [1]

Coordinates: 41°45′20″N 87°44′13″W / 41.7556265°N 87.7369237°W / 41.7556265; -87.7369237