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Old Chicago - Bolingbrook, Illinois

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Desolate Angel
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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2010, 12:37:24 am »

September

Mid-America developers regretfully announce delays in opening their discount mall. Originally set to open in August of 1980, then September, then October, they now say not until April of 1981.

Rumors are denied that they can’t get manufacturers to sign on the dotted lines.

 

The Year Of 1981

January

The mall stalls. The April opening is postponed. The option by mall developers to buy Old Chicago actually expired at the end of 1980. There is no option renewal, though talk of some negotiations. Mall developers say some manufacturers are interested in becoming tenants, but what with high interest rates…tight money?

March

Mayoral candidate Terry Little whips off letters to everyone in the world who has anything to do with movies or who has ever seen a movie suggesting that Old Chicago be sold as a motion picture/TV production soundstage. He is successful in getting the state of Illinois film division to come by for a tour of the building.

June

Three dogged survivors, the last of the mall merchants, sue IC to keep the building open following an announcement by IC to shut the place down.

It’s costing $50,000 a month just to keep the utilities on, among other basic expenses, says IC, when it’s only collecting $450 a month in rent. Olde Chicago Styling is the only one paying rent. Other survivors include House of Jade and Biergarten.

Says Biergarten owner Hans Gliege, "Old Chicago may be broke, but IC is a big company and they are trying to chisel us, those of us who have all of our life savings invested here."

July

Old Chicago is ruled out as the Midwest headquarters for the Hollywood set. It won’t become a soundstage. The states film division says Old Chicago is 1) too expensive 2) too big 3) too far away from Chicago.

August

After several postponements Old Chicago is boarded up physically and legally and officially.

But IC Industries and village officials assure villagers that several developers, including Mid-America outlet mall developers are still interested in purchase.

The village’s economic development director, Barb Katterman says that boarding up is really not the end, but the next step toward getting a new use for the building.

The boards follow the official bankruptcy of Olde Chicago Towne Partners. The building is estimated to be worth $6 to $10 million, but has $65 million in liens against it, says one attorney.

Can Bolingbrook survive the Double White Elephant Whammy? Old Chicago teams up with Chrysler as seven metro car dealers hold a marathon sale, pushing 700 cars over one weekend on the grounds of Old Chicago.

Fall

Bolingbrook gets a Christmas present! OLD Chicago is sold!

Within eighteen months to two years away, say new option holders, Old Chicago will reopen – as something. They’re not sure quite what, but promise beacoup sales tax dollars for the village.

Buyers include A.T. LaPrade, Harold Friend and Roy R. Moore Jr. each of whom carry impressive credentials in either shopping center development, international sales, cattle breeding or selling tires.

Until the sale closes they’ll pay IC Industries an undisclosed amount in monthly rent on the closed building with purchase and rehab estimated to total $20 million.

 

The Year of 1982

January

Speculators looking for a place to establish a gambling casino in the state propose Old Chicago as a logical site. Meanwhile, the village remains confident that LaPrade and Associates will finalize their buy, but nothing comes of it.

February

Bolingbrook absolutely refuses to entertain the notion that Old Chicago becomes a gambling casino. "No, no, no!!"

April

"Retail Center" is all that anyone will say about the building’s future. Rumors are denied that the current buyers aren’t paying their monthly rent to IC.

June

Buyer Charles Woods of California has until the end of the month to pick up his option on Old Chicago.

In the meantime, the dome hits the auction block. Some 140 bid packets are mailed out, but the auction is cancelled when no qualified bids come in. Suggested opening: $5.4 million.

Summer

The village adopts a restrictive demolition ordinance to discourage talk by IC of tearing down the building. " We still want a buyer" is the village sentiment.
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