H&M, the Swedish clothing retailer, will open a 22,000-square –foot store in the North Riverside Park Mall in November, a spokeswoman for the mall confirmed Wednesday.
The shopping mall, located at 7501 Cermak Road in North Riverside, has had H&M on its radar since at least 2007 and has been in lease negotiations with the affordable fashion clothing retailer for at least the past year.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” said Lidia Darkova, the mall’s marketing director.
Landing H&M was so important that the mall relocated three tenants — including two of the mall’s longest lease holders — to accommodate the store. H&M will be located on the first floor of the mall in the center court, taking up spaces held previously by Spencer’s, The Mister Shop and Finish Line.
That was one of the reasons it took so long to get the H&M deal done, said Darkova.
“We were negotiating with tenants who have leases already in place,” she said.
The Mister Shop, the mall’s oldest tenant, moved to a new space closer to Sears two weeks ago, according to Darkova.
Spencer’s, which has operated its center-court gift shop at North Riverside Park Mall since the 1970s, and Finish Line, an athletic footwear retailer, will be moving into their new spaces in June.
Karyn Byrne, the village of North Riverside’s code enforcement officer, said North Riverside Park Mall has submitted permits to do demolition work in the three spaces to be inhabited by H&M. The mall plans to open up the walls between the spaces in order to accommodate the new store. The H&M store design will include a 400-square-foot “pop-out” space to display merchandise, according to Byrne.
H&M, according to Darkova, hopes to begin building out the gutted spaces in August in the hope of opening the store in the first or second week of November.
News that H&M is coming to the mall is just part a whirlwind of store-openings and store expansions announced by North Riverside Park Mall in recent months.
Late last year, Forever 21 underwent a major expansion of its store, and Hot Topic, a music-related apparel retailer, opened a store in May. Other businesses opening this summer include Rue 21 (young adult fashion), Kids Flyzone by Footlocker (kids store concept), Flight 23/Foot Action (athletic footwear) and a dental office.
In addition, Diamonds 4-Ever will open in a new space in July and El Milagro, the Mexican food vendor located in the mall’s food court, will expand its location by the end of the summer.
Finally, Miller’s Ale House, a Florida-based restaurant chain, is in the midst of renovating a former medical office building in the northeast parking lot of the mall, near Olive Garden.
That renovation reportedly is ahead of schedule and the chain hopes to open the new restaurant in September.