Little Village Discount Mall vendors say goodbye to community hub
CHICAGO - With their future uncertain, many of the Little Village Discount Mall vendors started packing their inventory days ago.
Now, they are moving out of the warehouse at 3101 W. 26th St., a place that became their beloved community.
Kocoy Malagon’s inventory is cleared out, put in storage right at the beginning of her busiest season, selling prom and wedding dresses.
She said vendors have not been told anything about an extension or new locations but wherever her business relocated, she wants the others to be there too.
Vendors were packing and sweeping, preparing for a future elsewhere but they said it won’t be like the Discount Mall.
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Francisco Villegas has worked there for two years and says he has met wonderful customers. He said splitting up the vendors will make it challenging.
Vendors were displaced when Novak Development ended their business licenses to make way for new construction.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot intervened. Her staff worked out a six-week delay and a new location at an old CVS store at 27th Street and Pulaski Road, to allow vendors to stay in Little Village. But it is only temporary.
The vendors said their success was built on the central location, a one-stop shopping experience. Some said they will leave Little Village entirely and start anew.