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Little Village Discount Mall Vendor Set Up in New Location with City Support

Dozens of stalled Little Village discount mall vendors are setting up new spaces since they left the West 26th Street shopping center in March. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (No. 25) made the announcement on Friday.

“After weeks of uncertainty, they confirmed that the discount mall vendor had been ruled out,” Sigcho Lopez said at a press conference outside Second Federal Bank in Little Village.

“The City of Chicago has a commitment to work with vendors,” he added, helping pay for rent first at Gage Park’s new location on 51st Street and Kezie Avenue.

Sigcho-Lopez represents the 25th arrondissement, which includes shopping centers at 26th and Albany Streets, and has hosted many vendors since the mall’s opening in 1991.

He was attended a press conference by Aldo. Mike Rodriguez (No. 22) and upcoming 14 Ward Aldo. Jail Gutierrez.

$500,000 comes from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Sigcho-Lopez said the vendor is expected to be operating in the new location by his May 15, when Lori Lightfoot is stepped down.

Previously, there were plans for a vendor to open at the old CVS in Little Village, but the vendor complained that the space was too small.

Formerly Kmart, Gage Park has 120,000 square feet of space, about three times the space the vendor previously had. About 3 miles south of the discount mall.

The city did not acknowledge the explicit terms Sigcho Lopez outlined on Friday, but said, “The city will allow vendors to pop up, provided they identify a local chamber of commerce to facilitate the funding deal.” We are working to secure the necessary funding.”

Sigcho Lopez said the city has not signed a formal agreement, but hopes to finalize the details next week.

Not all the vendors kicked out of the discount mall will move into the new space, but it’s so big that we hope other vendors will join us. We are also considering a new name, “Megamall”.

The seller who left the mall was under a management company and was unable to secure a lease with John Novak, the new property owner of Novak Construction.

Novak announced in February that dozens of other vendors would remain at the mall, under a different management company.

Friday’s meeting was also attended by dozens of vendors moving to new locations.

“I’m happy to have the dialogue because we’ve been left in the dark for so long,” said Juan Zarate, who comes from a family of discount mall vendors.

Illinois Representative Edgar Gonzalez of the 23rd District, which includes Little Village, was also present at the meeting.He said the mall was where his father started working as an immigrant to the US

Gonzalez said he lives a block away from a discount mall and was sad to see so many vendors leaving, but he’s excited to see what development brings to Gage Park. .

“I wish they could stay here in Little Village. But we will continue to serve families throughout Chicago’s Southwest Side.”

Many vendors were apprehensive about receiving “handouts,” but said they would help prevent them from accepting bad deals elsewhere just to reopen.

“We are asking for help so that no one can take advantage of us.

Armando Porras, longtime owner of a soccer apparel shop in a shopping mall, has been selling his wares on the streets and on Facebook since he was evicted.

He hopes that loyal customers will let them know to trek to Gage Park.

“It won’t be easy,” he said.

Michael Loria is a staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Reporting to Americaa non-profit journalism program aimed at enhancing the coverage of the paper in communities in the South and West.

Khodr Kaddoura, who ran a clothing store at the Little Village Discount Mall for nearly 30 years, had to move out in March.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/2023/4/14/23683286/little-village-discount-mall-vendors-new-location-gage-park-city-assistance Little Village Discount Mall Vendor Set Up in New Location with City Support

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