A recently unveiled plan proposes that the city of Vernon Hills,IL transforms the 1970s-era Hawthorn Mall into a brand-new city epicenter,a plan that includes a gourmet grocery store,many restaurants and shops,and lots of apartments,including short term rentals and corporate apartments. Dallas-based group Centennial Real Estate,the owners of the mall property,are already in discussions with the village of Vernon Hills about the project,with their initial concept being approved back in November.

The “comprehensive and transformative” development plan has been in discussion for awhile,and is a project that Centennial Real Estate is extremely excited about. Last month in a company announcement about the project,Centennial reiterated their excitement. The “significant redevelopment will transform Hawthorn Mall into a destination development offering a unique-to-market experience”

In addition to the other additions to the mall property near already-existing business apartments,Centennial Real Estate is also proposing an outdoor park-like place that will act as a gathering space tour locals and tourists. Another key part of this project will be the destruction of a few buildings,including the Sears building and the Carson Pirie Scott building. In accepting the plan,village officials also hired Melaniphy and Associates to assess the proposed store strategy report and the retail market study before making any major decisions.

“What they’re (Centennial) proposing falls right in line with what Melaniphy is proposing for that site,” Vernon Hills Manager Mark Fleischhauer told a newspaper in March. “That’s why we matched the two (presentations) up at the same board meeting.”

Centennial Real Estate haven’t named any specific companies,stores or investors that are already on board,but that could be that they just haven’t shared that information with Vernon Hills yet. For those questioning the level of investment a project like this could bring to the city,Centennial says that the project will be the largest investment in the 1.3 million-square-foot mall since 1973.