Facelift under way at Oakbrook Center
A rendering of Oakbrook Center when a two-year renovation is completd in 2013. | Courtesy of Oakbrook Center
Updated: September 21, 2012 9:38AM
OAK BROOK — Oakbrook Center has been getting more than a haircut and a shave for its biggest-ever makeover on its 50th anniversary.
The center is going through a common area renovation and landscaping redesign with a total price tag of about $35 million.
The common area includes “everything between the stores,” said Chuck Fleming, the center’s senior general manager. “We’re pretty much giving the place a face lift, enhancing the elegant look that already exists.”
If there were a theme to the face lift, updating pretty much would be a good description.
“This is a very elegant place, but it needs a little bit of an update,” Fleming said.
The redesign and enhancements include new walkways and landscaping throughout the center, highlighted by lush gardens, enhanced lighting and contemporary outdoor seating areas.
Fleming said many much smaller enhancements have been completed in the center since its opening in 1962, but the current project trumps all of them.
Phase 1, which is to be completed in October, basically includes improvements and updating in the common, outdoor mall areas between Neiman Marcus and Lord and Taylor. Phase 2 probably will begin in March 2013 and include remaining common areas.
Fleming said an effort is being made to inconvenience shoppers as little as possible.
“I think what will be most noticeable to people when we’re finished is the walkways, the landscape beds and lighting; it will be more contemporary,” he said.
Oakbrook Center has more than 160 stores, restaurants and services, and remains a relatively rare breed of malls not enclosed under roofs.
“Our customers enjoy being outdoors,” Fleming said.
Shopping hours at the Oakbrook Center, at Route 83 and 22nd Street, are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Oakbrook Center is owned and managed by General Growth Properties, Inc., which owns, or has an interest in, 130 regional shopping malls in 41 states and Brazil. The company is headquartered in Chicago.