CHICAGO — Some vendors at a mall on the Southwest Side will be evicted after the mall’s owner and one operator failed to reach an agreement.
About half of the vendors were given until March 26 to move out of the Little Village Discount Mall, but they say they’re united in their fight to stay.
“I have a lot of hope from the community. The community supports us,” said vendor Kocoy Malagon. For 14 years, Malagon’s Source Fashion at the Little Village Discount Mall has sold special occasion dresses for weddings, prom, and quinceañeras. The last three years, Malagon has spent mobilizing other vendors after Novak Development bought the plaza, leaving the mall’s future uncertain.
Novak confirmed this week it has not reached a deal with one of two leasing companies operating at the mall.
Malagon is among 80 vendors who received a letter from P.K Mall management saying they have to be out by March 26 and that they should liquidate their merchandise. The letter says the proposed rent increase in the lease renewal offer was unreasonable and unsustainable.
“It is shameful that developers are playing with people’s lives and their livelihoods,” said Ald Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward).
On Thursday, Sigcho-Lopez, vendors and city officials met with Novak, which is planning renovations that include new building facades and roofs, a new surface parking lot, lighting and signage.
But Sigcho-Lopez wants permits and licenses related to the property placed on hold. If there’s no deal, the alderman said they’ll also consider legal action. In a statement, Novak development said the community deserves a beautiful place to shop and they want this to be a destination and local asset for years to come.