Niles moves forward with Golf Mill redevelopment, no tax increase planned

Golf Mill Shopping Center in north suburban Niles is looking to reclaim its former glory and lead a national trend of bringing shoppers back.

The redevelopment project has been years in the making – and seeing it to fruition will take several more.

On Monday evening, community members were invited to attend an informational meeting to familiarize themselves with the proposed plans. Dozens of residents gathered in the mall’s center court, where they listened to remarks from Niles Mayor George Alpogianis and project developers.

The village says it won't be raising taxes to redevelop the site; instead, the $440 million project will be paid for, in part, with TIF bonds.

Through its renaissance, the mall will be rebranded as the ‘Golf Mill Town Center.’

Since 1960, Golf Mill has served Niles and surrounding communities, but like malls across America, it has experienced a decline in recent years. 

Some studies, however, show demand for retail space at shopping centers is on the rise again.

To guide Golf Mill into its next chapter, the village is looking to level most of the existing structure and create a mixed-used development.

Headed by the Sterling Organization out of Florida, the re-envisioned Golf Mill will include new retail, luxury apartments, entertainment, and a pond with the mall's nostalgic watermill.

"Golf Mill was the jewel of all shopping centers in the United States. Some of the most famous people played here from Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack to the Temptations, to The Jackson 5 – so this was the place," said Alpogianis.

While the AMC will be demolished, Target, Burlington, JCPenny, Ulta, and Ross are expected to remain as shopping center anchors.

Mayor Alpogianis tells FOX 32 Chicago the goal is to transform the mall into a destination to live, work and play.

"I put it out to referendum [in 2022] and 75 percent of our citizens said, ‘Keep going, this is what we want, this is what we need in Niles.’ The reception is very good. You know, people are always worried about property taxes and things of that nature, but the way that we’ve put this together, our citizens are protected 100 percent. I’ve been reassured that not only by the village manager, but by our TIF consultants, and our attorneys, and our financial advisors," said Mayor Alpogianis.

Community members who missed Monday’s meeting will have the opportunity to attend the full presentation again at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

On June 25, the Niles Village Board of Trustees is expected to take the redevelopment agreement up for a vote.