ST. CHARLES – The new owners of the Charlestowne Mall, The Krausz Companies, paid more than $9.5 million for the 1.1 million-square-foot enclosed shopping center situated on about 80 acres at Kirk Road and Main Street in St. Charles.
Jay E. Krigsman, executive vice president of The Krausz Companies, said to the best of his knowledge, the new owners paid the same as the mall’s previous owner did.
Krausz is based in California, but has developed commercial, retail and industrial properties in California, Hawaii and Arizona, Krigsman said.
“It’s a redevelopment opportunity,” Krigsman said of the Charlestowne venture. “The old Charlestowne Mall is worth $9.5 million, plus it’s worth the many millions and millions that will need to be invested into what we are going to call The Quad St. Charles. The plan ... it will turn out to be a good investment for us and a good amenity for the neighborhood when it’s done.”
The company would invest $50 million to $70 million, once all the conceptual drawings are done and budgets are in, Krigsman said.
The plan is for construction to start in April with a grand opening in time for back-to-school in 2015.
“It’s going to be a huge investment,” Krigsman said. “It’s a huge commitment we are making to the community. We also believe in it. We would not do it if we did not believe in it.”
Many of the conceptual drawings are available on the city of St. Charles website, www.stcharlesil.gov/projects/charlestowne-mall-redevelopment.
Krigsman said the conceptual plan is to open up the mall to bring the inside out, and the outside in.
The food court, for example, would have outdoor dining during the right seasons.
“An enclosed environment to the elements should be a plus,” Krigsman said. “In suburban Chicagoland, there are several months – and I don’t care how brave you are – you do not want to be out in the elements.”
Charlestowne Mall is the new owners’ first redevelopment opportunity in Illinois. Krigsman said they were at the point of doing a project near Joliet when the economy tanked and it did not go through.
Some said competition from the Geneva Commons Lifestyle Mall on Randall Road was a factor in what diminished the Charlestowne Mall. If that is true, Krigsman said, he welcomes it as another reason the redeveloped mall will be successful.
“What we are going to create in the quad is an anchored – with department stores – lifestyle center,” Krigsman said. “The mall is going to be a place where people go to be entertained – again. The quad is where you go to meet up with friends, get a cup of coffee and watch the people. ‘Let’s hang out at the quad – I’m sure someone’s over there.’ ”
Neil Johnson of Sperry Van Ness, which helped broker the deal, said the company’s plans are dramatic.
“We were eager to play a role in the sale and kind of help things move on toward the future,” Johnson said.