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New mall owners ‘plan to do a lot,’ representative says

ST. CHARLES – The investment group working to buy Charlestowne Mall hopes to turn it into a shopping center the community can enjoy and embrace, a representative said Friday.

“It’s our hope that the community will appreciate what we intend to do here,” said Mark Goodman, a representative of SC 3800 Main LLC.

Charlestowne Mall, 3800 E. Main St., St. Charles, is under contract to be sold. Goodman said the investment group aims to move forward as quickly as possible.

While members of the group are from different parts of the country, the ownership “will have a strong Chicago presence that will be involved,” said Goodman, president of Mark Goodman & Associates Inc. in Chicago.

Mayor Ray Rogina said he is optimistic that the potential buyers have local ties.

“That bodes well,” he said. “It means there’s local interest involved.”

Rogina has said the city is ready and willing to talk with the new ownership.

“It’d be great to see a concept plan come before the City Council,” he said.

Discussions with the current owners – California investors who also had purchased a failing mall property in Cupertino, Calif. – never seemed to progress. A study commissioned by the city last year found fault in the owners, as it stated the mall needs an aggressive developer or owner who will invest money into the shopping center and give it a new image.

Since the mall last changed hands in 2010, banners have advertised such changes as an indoor ice skating rink and a seafood and sushi buffet, but neither materialized.

Last year, tenants such as Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Claire’s left the mall. Now, Charlestowne – which once had more than 120 tenants – has few tenants other than anchors Kohl’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Von Maur and Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18.

SC 3800 Main intends to keep Charlestowne a mall, Goodman said. But the group is keeping details under wraps until it is further along on its plans, he said, adding more information should be released in the next 45 days.

“We plan to do a lot to the mall,” Goodman said.

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