Michigan Ave Mall No So Magnificent

An empty Chicago Place may open offices and living units

The Chicago Place Mall at 700 N. Michigan Avenue is anything but "magnificent."

Once the home of Room & Board, Ann Taylor, and Williams-Sonoma, the shopping center is now nearly empty and may start opening offices or living units in order to make ends meet.

Saks Fifth Avenue is currently the only ground-floor retailer accessible from the entryway. In fact, the mall's main escalator doesn't run anymore. Instead, a single elevator takes what few shoppers there are to Saks' upper floors and to the five retail shops on two other floors.

According to John Maxson, president of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Best Buy had considered opening a store at Chicago Place but instead decided on a location at the Hancock Center. It's slated to open in mid-May.

Mall owners have filed a lawsuit against current resident Talbots, hoping to terminate the store's lease. Chicago Place is planning to replace Talbots with Zara, a Spanish clothing retailer in an attempt to "de-mall" the location.

According to analysts' reports though, this may be just the beginning of the retail center's financial problems.

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