By TODD WESSELL
Journal & Topics Editor
Should a pedestrian skybridge be built by the village of Rosemont linking its huge Williams Street parking garage with the new Fashion Outlets Chicago shopping mall, it likely won’t be done until a decision is made by owners of the mall to expand their retail operation.
Mayor Brad Stephens this week said the skybridge idea “is still out there” adding “it’s pretty much designed.”
Last year, Stephens said that village officials are in-terested in building a climate-controlled overhead skybridge that would allow shoppers at the mall to walk over Balmoral Avenue to parking spaces in the village garage and to venues within Rosemont’s entertainment district.
But, said Stephens this week, there’s been some discussion among the owners of the mall to expand the facility, possibly to the east to River Road, in order to serve more customers. Stephens explained that outlet malls in the United States are topping out at around 700,000 to 800,000 sq. ft. The Rosemont mall consists of about 520,000 sq. ft. He added that Macerich and Talisman, which own the Rosemont center, recently launched a major expansion of its Niagara, N.Y. mall that will bring its square footage to 700,000 and room for a total of 200 stores.
“I believe it’s about 95% leased,” said Stephens of the local mall. He added that overall sales tax receipts to the village have increased dramatically in the last year partly because of the new shopping center.
“It’s been very well received,” added Stephens. “It can be busier.”