Officials from Woodfield Mall have revealed a proposed $13.9m revamp due to commence almost immediately.
One of the significant adjustments will be removing the brick features going back to the 1971 beginnings of the Schaumburg shopping center. It will be replaced by ceramic flooring, modern glass railings, two escalators, two new elevators, and one new large-capacity elevator.
The modernization project includes replacing all flooring, improved signage both inside and outside the mall, and new seating areas throughout the building. The project scope is extensive, but this popular Illinois tourist attraction is due to remain open during the entire construction in 2015. Officials believe that the gradual project will have a negligible impact on visitors.
Dave Aron, retail analyst and associate professor of marketing at Dominican University in River Forest, said this type of cosmetic change is not likely to attract more people to Woodfield. However, the changes could be viewed as complementary to the current and potential tenant changes, such as the Pac-Man-themed Level 257 restaurant and entertainment center, which is due to open within the next few weeks.
Schaumburg may have worked hard towards a diversified economy, but Woodfield remains its main attraction. The mall contributes 22% of Schaumburg's sales tax revenue, amounting to around $11m annually.
It is not the first renovation the mall has endured. Around two decades ago, a $110m wing housing Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom was added, along with other specialty stores.
Around 11 years ago, the mall discarded its fountain, an original feature, along with the aquarium tanks and waterfall, which were placed close to the grand court.
The space occupied by the Improv Comedy Club since 2006 used to be an ice rink during the 1970s, movie cinemas during the 1990s, and was a Mars 2112 restaurant during the early 21st Century years.