A judge gave the owner of the trouble mall a week to come up with a plan to solve numerous safety issues. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
A Cook County judge on Thursday delayed his decision on whether to close the Lincoln Mall in far south suburban Matteson.
Judge Thomas J. Condon told mall owner Michael Kohan, however, that he'd order the building closed if no progress is made on more than two dozen safety violations.
"We look forward to working with the village to the benefit of those businesses as well as the customers of Lincoln Mall and residents and citizens of the Village of Matteson," said mall attorney Michael Aschenbrenner.
Village officials filed their suit on Wednesday, calling the Lincoln Mall on U.S. Highway 30 a "public danger." Among the open violations, according to the lawsuit: exposed electrical wiring, a dismantled fire sprinkler system, blocked fire exits, and a crumbling roof.
"This mall is unsafe, and it should not be open until it's made safe. The judge is giving this owner another week to demonstrate his good faith," said Matteson attorney John Kennedy.
The lawsuit seeks the mall's immediate closure. It houses 45 retailers and employs about 100 people.
Kohan purchased the 60-acre mall in June 2012 for $150,000 and with a promise to correct the declining conditions at the mall, officials said.