Since its grand opening in 1956, Old Orchard has been a formidable and ever-evolving retail institution on Chicago’s North Shore. It is one of the few shopping experiences in the Midwest where patrons feel like they are experiencing retail versus simply transacting.
Focus and the current mall owners, URW are redeveloping Old Orchard mall through a multiphase approach. The partners will re-imagine the class-A retail property by creating a dynamic mix of uses with the goal to steward the mall into a true destination of the future.
Anticipated to break ground in 2025 and slated to open to residents in early 2027, the first phase will include the construction of approximately 400 luxury apartment homes and street-level retail, along with a park and event space designed as the center’s focal point where local events, concerts, farmer’s markets, and festivals can take place. When complete, the new residences, eateries, wellness facilities, and outdoor amenities will create a North Shore destination unlike anything else in Chicagoland, dramatically enhancing the center’s existing offering.
The wood-frame construction method and scale of the project afford unique efficiencies in a market with limited existing supply of luxury rental options. The adjacency of the project to the highly trafficked I-94 and I-90 expressways, the main arteries which feed Chicago and the North Shore suburbs, help further position the redevelopment as a once in a generation opportunity.
Sustainability will be central to the development, with the project serving as an example of URW’s broader strategy to create unique, sustainable places that reinvent how people come together. Innovative, sustainable building strategies that incorporate renewable energy, natural materials, biophilic design, and biodiversity will be introduced, enhancing Old Orchard’s contribution to the environmental, social, and economic vitality of Skokie and the North Shore.
The first phase of redevelopment will begin in early 2025 with an anticipated delivery in 2027. Focus will act as General Contractor for the mall repositioning.
Old Orchard Mall has been a cornerstone of the Skokie community for decades and reimagining the mall ensures that it will continue to serve the community for decades to come. Together with URW and the Village of Skokie, Focus has reimagined the mall by introducing new ways to experience Old Orchard while insulating it from shifting desires of shoppers. By expanding the ways visitors can engage with the community center from purely transactional to incorporate dining, experience, work and home Old Orchard will truly have something for everyone. By creating a community hub where a variety of business and leisure opportunities, Old Orchard will become an even more authentic experience, securing its role in the community for years to come.