Rev the Engine – Riverside Brookfield Landmark

You can set your watch to the social media comments that inevitably and quickly appear whenever the Landmark posts an article about the North Riverside Park Mall.

Close it. Never go there. Waste of space.

Often there is more than a tinge of outright racism, given that the mall and many of its stores attract visitors of color to the mall. The responses are utterly depressing, if predictable, and also incredibly myopic, especially when they come from residents of North Riverside itself.

Over the past few weeks there has been some news from the mall, both regarding some fairly large incoming tenants taking up valuable space. First, Forman Mills is expected to occupy approximately 90,000 square feet of retail space on the upper floor of the North Anchor, where Sears once was.

In today’s paper, we have a story that basically says Aldi is an absolute lock to build a new 20,000 square foot store in the north parking lot of the former Sears property. It will replace the small, unattractive Aldi in the mall at 2000 Harlem Ave.

We assume that both companies would be considered “discount” retailers. But both will also keep North Riverside’s economic engine running and result in increased sales tax revenue, which is absolutely essential to paying North Riverside’s bills and keeping local property taxes as low as they are. are.

North Riverside Park Mall is the financial powerhouse of the village and local residents should disparage it at their peril. The village government, including the police department, has long worked hand-in-hand with mall management to respond to security concerns and the sporadic violence that has erupted at times.

The causes of these problems, however, have deep roots that are not the fault of the mall itself, just as they are not the fault of other businesses in the Harlem-Cermak area. As the biggest shopping attraction, what happens at the mall gets the most attention. We believe that the management of the mall and the village reacted directly, frankly and aggressively to the incidents of the past two years. Since the summer of 2020, these incidents have been few.

For the sake of North Riverside, we hope the mall will continue to thrive as a sales tax generator and economic engine attracting other businesses to the Harlem-Cermak area.

So welcome to Forman Mills, Aldi and their customers. Your money is good here.

Loot Sharing

When the Illinois General Assembly passed a law allowing large-scale video gaming in bars and restaurants in the state, it really stopped non-self-governing municipalities – small towns like Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside – set fees for machine licenses.

At $25 a pop for an annual license, it was a boon for establishment owners and gambling operators, and they reaped the benefits, while the 5% reduction that municipalities get from a tax taxed on net income had less impact.

In addition to the new $250 fee limit on machine licenses, we wouldn’t object to lawmakers increasing the cut municipalities get. This will of course have to come out of another pocket, but there seems to be a lot of money floating around.

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