City plans to demolish Hillcrest Mall

Zohair Khan

The Hillcrest Mall, 1011 to 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive, is scheduled for demolition May 10. DeKalb Public Works began collecting scrap metal, refrigerators and air conditioners for recycling.

DeKALB — DeKalb has approved the purchase of the Hunter Hillcrest Mall property from August 2021 for $1,185,000 with plans to demolish the property and it officially became the city’s on October 18, 2021.

The Hillcrest Mall, 1011 to 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive, is scheduled for demolition May 10 and could take up to 30 days.

DeKalb approved the purchase of the property in August 2021 for $1,185,000 with plans to demolish the property and it officially became the city’s on October 18, 2021.

The goal is to build a grocery store because the area is currently a food wasteland and doesn’t offer a fresh fruit and dry food option, even though it’s one of DeKalb’s most populated areas, said Nicklas. A social services center is also under consideration.

“This L-shaped strip of two strips of land and connecting to it, Hillcrest and Blackhawk was a big piece of the Annie Glidden North Plan which was passed by City Council in 2018,” City Manager Bill Nicklas said. . “And this plan was put together by over 30 different members of the NIU community, the city, other government agencies, the neighborhood, etc.”

The city of DeKalb spent $130,000 to relocate tenants, which includes first and last month’s rent and security deposit, Nicklas said. They had 6 months to move, the deadline being April 30.

“This assessment includes the 2.05 acre site, including a paved parking lot with 140 parking spaces, and a 33,316 square foot mixed-use commercial building with 9 commercial units and 14 apartments,” according to Aug. 23. City council agenda.

One tenant, Rocky’s, 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive, is still open and in business. After April 30, the city will close the gates to everyone and anything left inside will become city property.

Some demolition processes have already started, according to a city of DeKalb Instagram post April 7. DeKalb Public Works began collecting scrap metal, refrigerators and air conditioners for recycling. The city also plans to recycle the asphalt and foundations once demolition begins.

Nicklas said that once the demolition is complete, the city plans to backfill the land with soil and sow seeds, which will remain until the city finalizes plans for the land.

Nicklas said that in total the project would cost around $1.6 million, including buying the property and money spent relocating tenants. The expected cost of demolition is approximately $270,000.

“The American Recovery Act allocation to the City of DeKalb may be used for the purchase of the property, the relocation of tenants and the razing of the structure to prepare the Hillcrest/Blackhawk area for targeted redevelopment in accordance with the orientation of the AGN plane. ”, according to August 23 City council agenda.

The law also targets underserved communities that reach a certain income threshold in certain census tracts. Nicklas said areas 1011 to 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive and Annie Glidden North qualify for the census tract, so redevelopment to bring in new services can be covered by the federal government.

Nicklas said he plans to have discussions about the future of Hillcrest Shopping Center at city council meetings in late summer or early fall this year.

“It’s just going through the process to get hopefully very creative interested developers to bid on acquiring and redeveloping a property,” Nicklas said.

A public ceremony will be held on May 9 where city council and community members can share their thoughts on the steps toward redevelopment.

Edwin S. Wolfe