|Location||Schaumburg, Illinois, United States|
|Opening date||September 9, 1971|
|Management||Simon Property Group|
Simon Property Group (50%)
|Architect||Charles Luckman & Associates|
|No. of stores and services||234|
|No. of anchor tenants||8|
|Total retail floor area||2,150,557 square feet (199,793.3 square meters)|
|No. of floors||3 |
Woodfield Mall is the largest shopping mall in the state of Illinois, the second largest being Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook. It is also one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. The mall is located approximately 27 miles from the Chicago Loop and attracts more than 27 million visitors each year. The mall features 234 stores and is anchored by J.C. Penney, Lord & Taylor, Macy's (formerly Marshall Field's), Nordstrom, H&M, Arhaus, Improv Comedy Club and the country's largest Sears store at 416,000 square feet (38,600 m2), though in 2015, a portion of the second level was subleased to Level 257, a Pac Man-themed restaurant. It also has 8 other restaurants which are Red Robin, Uncle Julio’s, P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Rainforest Cafe, Panda Express, The Cheesecake Factory, Kinfork BBQ and Texas de Brazil.
The mall was originally developed by Taubman Centers, who later sold the mall to CalPERS, Miller Capital Advisory, and GM Pension Trusts. Taubman continued to manage the mall until December 31, 2012, when GM Pension Trusts sold their stake in the mall to Simon Property Group, who took over management effective January 1, 2013.
Construction began on Woodfield Mall in July 1969 and the mall opened on September 9, 1971, with 59 stores, growing to 189 stores with 1.9 million retail square feet by 1973, along with a large 135 foot tall water tower to supply water to the mall and the nearby village. It was the largest mall in the United States at the time of its opening. It is the 12th largest mall in America to this date. It is currently the largest mall in the Chicago metropolitan area, with 234 stores and restaurants. Woodfield is part of a group of three malls located in Schaumburg, Illinois, along with Woodfield Village Green, and The Streets of Woodfield. Woodfield is a major tourist destination in the state of Illinois. In the year 2000, Chicago's visitors voted Woodfield Mall as their favorite suburban attraction.
Woodfield Mall is named for former Sears board chairman General Robert E. Wood and Marshall Field and Company founder Marshall Field. It debuted on September 9, 1971, on 191 acres (0.77 km2) of prairie land, previously occupied by farms, cows, and a village tavern. Singer Carol Lawrence, actor Vincent Price, and two marching bands entertained at the debut. At the time of its opening, it claimed to be the world's largest shopping center. By the end of September 1971, another 28 stores and restaurants had opened and that first business year finished with 138 specialty retailers. Many of those retailers—Johnston & Murphy, Stride Rite, and New York & Company (formerly Lerner New York) are still at Woodfield Mall today.
Originally 1,900,000 square feet (180,000 m2) of retail space, Woodfield Mall today is 2,150,557 square feet (199,793.3 square meters) of retail space. In 1973, Lord & Taylor opened and brought along 50 additional new retailers and a whole new wing.
Sbarro opened in 1984 and A&W opened in 1985. The 5-plex opened for business on July 30, 1971. The mall also had a pair of free-standing twin cinemas Woodfield Theatres 1 & 2 and Woodfield Theatres 3 & 4 at the perimeter of the mall near Golf Road. The 1 & 2 was opened with 2 Rated G films including a Disney movie, and the 3 & 4 later opened, which they both have been closed and been demolished in the 1990s, replaced by additional retail. The Woodfield Mall Cinemas 5-plex is closed in 2000, and was last operated by Cineplex Odeon Corporation. After it closed, the space was turned into a theme restaurant called Mars 2112 which was very short-lived. The former theater area was converted into an Improv Comedy Club in 2006, the first location in Illinois. The Loews Theatres at the Streets of Woodfield, an outdoor shopping center next to Woodfield Mall, made its debut as a 20-screener on December 10, 1999. The Streets of Woodfield was built between 1999 and 2000, replacing another indoor mall, One Schaumburg Place which opened in 1991. The Streets of Woodfield featured Carson's, Dick's Sporting Goods (formerly Galyan's) and GameWorks. The freestanding Loews Theatres complex was eventually rebranded by the AMC Theatres chain in 2016.
In 1994, Panera Bread and Hooters opened northwest of the mall. In celebration of its 20th anniversary in 1991, Woodfield added 23 more stores, including The Disney Store and then in 1995, Woodfield grew again with a $110 million wing. This new wing included 50 new specialty stores. Rainforest Cafe was added to the mall in October of that same year. In 1996, the mall received a three-level Nordstrom and a larger replacement Lord & Taylor. Of these new for 1995 stores, nearly 40 debuted flagship concepts and designs, with about 27 of them the largest in their chains. In 1997, Joe's Crab Shack opened on the Northeast edge of the mall, but closed in 2017 as part of 41 Locations. IKEA opened a 3-story location across from Woodfield Mall on November 18, 1998.
While all of this expansion continued at Woodfield Mall, the surrounding village of Schaumburg grew as well. In 1970, the population was 19,000; in 1980, it mushroomed to 55,000; and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Schaumburg had over 75,000 people in 2000. Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson observed that, "Woodfield established a focal point for development throughout all of the northwest suburbs. Without Woodfield, we wouldn't have office towers in Itasca or corporate development in Hoffman Estates."
In 1995, Woodfield Associates commissioned a brand new $128,000 paint job for the mall water tower. Woodfield paid an additional $97,000 for the exterior painting. Both the interiors and exteriors of the water tower were completely repainted. The tower was completely drained of water before the new paint job could be applied. Afterwards, the interior and exterior of the tower were thoroughly cleaned and rust spots were treated properly. The painting of the interior began after the cleaning and treatment, followed by the painting of the exterior. For the exterior, Woodfield chose a base layer of light gray, along with four continuous, teal “W”s ( for Woodfield ) around the bowl of the tower. The entire painting process took around 350 gallons of paint.
In 2005, only ten years after the water tower received a new look, it was again repainted and has not been repainted since. The current scheme includes small, black text reading "Woodfield Mall" with large white clouds in the background, along with a representation of Schaumburg's skyscrapers in blue right below the text. Blue sky can be seen above the clouds, covering the very top of the bowl.
Red Robin opened in the Lord & Taylor wing and Cheesecake Factory opened in the JCPenney wing in 2001. That same year, Olive Garden opened on the Northeast Corner outside the mall. On August 24, 2001, an Apple Store opened in the Lord & Taylor Wing.
In 2004, the fountains, the waterfall and the aquariums were removed from the mall. The Woodfield “Fish Music” however, was only the beginning for Suzanne Ciani. As a subtle pleasure, the underwater sounds of Ms. Ciani’s music played in a continuous loop for visitors who explored the tunnel and the aquariums. Her contribution was nothing less than first class.
On June 29, 2012, Woodfield renovated their McDonald's, which opened in 2000. Also, that same year, Pink By Victoria's Secret opened to the public. On October 1, 2012, LongHorn Steakhouse opened on the northeast corner outside of the mall.
In 2013, a Forever 21  and a two-story H&M opened in the Sears Wing. A Microsoft Store also opened in the Lord & Taylor Wing that same year. Following that, a strip plaza on the left side of the mall containing On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Giordano's Pizzeria, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and The Beer Market opened.
In 2015, a portion of the second level of the Sears was subleased to Level 257, a Pac Man-themed restaurant featuring a bowling alley, an arcade and pinball machines. Along with a major renovation, Zara, Timberland, Kids Foot Locker and rue21 opened. Also, Granite City Brewing and Hampton Inn opened behind Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom. Kinfork BBQ opened in December of the same year. Kinfork BBQ opened in December of the same year. Uncle Julio’s officially opened in the JCPenney Wing in 2016, replacing a former Ruby Tuesday that closed in 2012. In 2017, Victoria's Secret was substantially remodeled.
In 2018, a large food court, known as the 'Dining Pavilion' within the mall, opened on the second floor in the east court opposite of the main mall entrance. It features Chipotle Mexican Grill, Blaze Pizza and more. It replaced two Level 2 stores, F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment), which moved to a smaller location on the lower level by Dunkin' Donuts, and A'GACI ladies' wear. A year before the opening of the Dining Pavilion, a 4th elevator was added.
In November 2018, it was announced that The Mall would be open 29 hours straight.
The GLA of the mall today is 2,150,557 square feet (199,793.3 m2), making it the fifth largest shopping mall in the U.S. and ninth largest in terms of shopping area, and there are a total of 233 stores. The mall is a highly visited tourist destination in the Chicago metropolitan area, with about 27 million annual visitors. Woodfield is often used as a test market for retailers; a recent example was the 2004 opening (and nationwide debut) of Ruehl No.925 by clothier Abercrombie & Fitch.
In the 1990s, Woodfield closed the "underground" food court in the main courtyard of the mall. At first it closed off the opening to the lower eating area and stairway. The removal left a large open area that for a few years you could see the tile outlining the former opening to the food court below. This floor outline was eliminated in renovating the courtyard.
In January 2015, Woodfield had planned and announced a $13.8 million renovation. The makeover consists of an updated grand court, taking away the bricks. The renovation also includes new flooring for both lower and upper levels, and also new elevators, including a 3rd one. The renovation was predicted to be finished by the end of the year.
On September 20, 2019, at around 2:30 PM CDT, a man drove a mid-2000s black Chevrolet TrailBlazer LT through the front doors of Sears and crashed into kiosks, Clarks, International Diamond Company, and multiple stores, seemingly mainly targeting Forever 21 and other stores. He was taken into custody without incident. The identity of the suspect was not immediately released. No injuries were reported. The mall was evacuated about one hour after the incident.
The man later identified as Javier Garcia of Palatine, Illinois was charged with terrorism for the incident, he appeared in court on September 29, 2019, and was denied bond, he appeared in court again on October 1, 2019, he is due back in court on December 16, 2019. Garcia's family spoke out saying that Javier is not a terrorist and that he has schizophrenia.
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