Change Coming to Bradley

Bradley residents should expect change and a lot of it. Northfield Square Mall is expected to be torn down and reimagined as a vibrant, active, and mixed-use district.

A new public square will be at the heart of the new district, with programmed activities and outdoor amenities for residents and visitors. New shops, restaurants, and entertainment uses will surround the square. It will be a walking and shopping area that will bring tourists and crowds from surrounding communities.

The mall used to be filled with stores and restaurants, but nothing really stuck. The only real profit Bradley is getting from the mall is the Cinemark Movie theatre. Bradley Finance Director Rob Romo says, “Malls from the 80s are no longer the preferred method of shopping… the mall campus needs to be reimagined.”

With the mall being near CSL Behring, which is a huge manufacturing plant, and located on Illinois Route 50, which has huge retail growth, the mall is occupying acres of land just waiting to be used. The only thing that is not going to change is the Cinemark Movie Theatre, according to Romo. He says that the movie theatre will be near newer restaurants and a Dave and Buster’s like facility. In the center of all of this will be a large green space and a park. There will also be an area for a stage where concerts can be held. He added that the village is wanting to add an indoor sports center with a field and a dome. This will attract tourists from other towns and give sports already in the community a better facility to call home. Romo also added that the new district will benefit the six hotels that are near the mall now.

In addition to the shops and the sports center, there will also be new residential areas. They will be brand new and very nice for residents. They won’t be in the middle of the shopping area; they will be off to the side where they still have access to the shopping areas but it won’t be busy or crowded. There will also be a new road going down to the middle of the mall for easier access. 

When the news gets out about this vision for the mall, the community will react differently. Some may be upset that this will cost Bradley a lot of money, but others will think that this will help the community of Bradley and its residents tremendously. Bradley resident Addison Lombardi says,” I have lived here for 18 years and I can’t even remember the mall being a place I mainly like to shop at.” Lombardi goes on to say how she can’t even remember the last time she went to Northfield Square Mall and how she goes to Orland Park whenever she needs to shop. Lombardi also made the comment, “They need to do something with it because right now it’s just a huge waste of space.” 

If the mall were to just try adding more shopping centers, that would only attract younger shoppers instead of the community as a whole. The community needs more exciting amenities for it to truly profit. Bradley is near a lot of bigger towns like Orland, Oak Brook, Champaign, and even Chicago. The new vision for the mall is expected to put Bradley on the list with those bigger towns.

This new change is going to take a lot of time and construction, but construction is anticipated to begin by Spring of 2022.