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-- Posted by Mac on 6:18 pm on Feb. 25, 2001

This issue promises to be one of the major arguments between incumbent DeKalb Mayor Bessie Chronopoulos and former Mayor Greg Sparrow.  Joseph Freed and Associates plans to construct an enclosed mall on the property that used to have WalMart on it, Northland Plaza, before the Super WalMart opened.  Freed is asking for incentives from the City of DeKalb to help defray costs in infrastructure.

Mayor Bessie Chronopoulos, perhaps stinging a little from criticism from the owner of the Junction Bookstore, has moved to a "neutral" stance on the mall, which will reportedly have Carson Pirie Scotts, Sears and Borders Books as anchors. She's not so sure the City should offer incentives if the mall would bring in competition for existing local businesses.

Former mayor, Greg Sparrow, is making no bones about his stance on the mall.  He is all for it.  His fear is that DeKalb would become a bedroom community to the far west suburbs of Chicago and to the sure commercial development in Rochelle due to the construction of the Union Pacific Railport. He says if DeKalb doesn't do its part in landing the Mall, Freed will put it somewhere else. And he thinks Rochelle just might end up with it.

What do you think? Mall or no mall?  Incentives or no incentives?

-- Posted by MikeC on 9:40 am on Mar. 15, 2001

We need the mall and use of TIF funds for redevelopment of an empty shopping center makes alot more sense than using it for the old bank building. I thought TIF money was supposed to be used to increase property value and the real estate taxes collected on the property it was used for. How much more property tax will the old bank building be now that the Park district owns it? Sounds like it went from little to nothing. The Junction book store should shut up or Bessie should quit listening. We need the mall.

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