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Attention Kmart Shoppers: Village Reaches Settlement With Sears Holdings at Cost of 80 Jobs

Village ends 5-year litigation with Sears Holdings on Kmart property; 111th Street and Cicero Avenue Kmart to close.

in Oak Lawn has been added to the list of stores

No closing date was announced for the store, but Mayor Dave Heilmann said the store would likely close by May 31.

It is the first store in the Southland to be designated for closing since Sears Holdings Corp. announce last year that it would close between 100 and 120 underperforming stores.

which will remain open. A Kmart store typically employs 40 to 80 workers.

Sears Holdings, which posted a $2.4 billion fourth quarter loss on Thursday, also said it would sell off its outlet store division—including a store that recently opened in Tinley Park and a store in Bridgeview—and certain hardware stores. There are standalone Sears Hardware stores in Orland Park and Alsip.

This is the second big box store to close in Oak Lawn since Christmas.

In 2006, Sears Holdings sued the village when the property was included in a TIF district. Sears leased the Kmart parcel from J.C. Penney, which owned the land. That purchase was finalized in November.

I The village has eyed the underperforming corner for a new retail development rivaling Orland Square.

On Friday, the village and Sears Holdings announced a comprehensive agreement to purchase Sears’ leasehold rights, ending the 5-year court battle “in an amicable manner.”

Although up to 80 workers’ jobs will be affected,

Oak Lawn will gain full control of the land parcel also by May 31. The negotiations do not affect Oak Lawn’s but the deal still isn’t completely inked.

“It’s finalized, but the actual dismissal has not happened yet,” Heilmann said, “that’s a 10-minute hearing.”

The mayor said an agreement with the developer is forthcoming in the next 60 days. The village also hopes to obtain a letter of intent from a prospective anchor store over the next two months. Residents won’t see any movement on the site until 2014.

A retailer has already expressed interest in anchoring the prospective developement, but Heilmann said he wasn’t allowed to disclose the prospective retailer.

“I don’t know how many are familiar with the store that’s expressed interest,” the mayor said.

Although up to 80 people’s jobs will be affected at the Cicero Avenue and 110th Street Kmart store, Heilmann said it was all for the best.

“We’ll be making much better use of the property through the development and providing quite a few more jobs.”

OakLawnGuy April 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM
It's more the down payment required than the banks holding the money, although credit requirements are a lot tighter now. Given the choice of paying 10% in Orland and 10% down in Oak Lawn, economics dictates that there will NOT be a flood of people moving down there. They have about as many foreclosed houses as OL does, as well.
Dave W. April 13, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Here is the reality of people not buying houses. Many people, more than you would think, have the downpayment. Why? Because you only need 3.5% down to go FHA, which is no longer a dirty word for homeshoppers, especially in Chicago, which consistently ranks at the top of FHA-backed purchases (the vast majority of which are not condo, because most associations have idiotic rules against them). Also, a buyer only needs a 640 (in most cases) to qualify, versus 680 or higher with at least 20% down conventional. So, on a $200000 purchase, you need $7000 down, versus $40000. Slight difference, no? Yes. Are you paying a higher interest rate for that lower credit score? Most certainly. Is it insurmountable? Given that rates are still near historic lows, not nearly as much as it once did. So what is the big holdup? Credit scores. Even a 640 isn't as easy to come by these days as some might think. Typically, you either can't believe that because you have terrific credit, or you sadly know EXACTLY what I'm saying, because that is you. Often, it is an issue of one spouse has the good income, but terrible credit, whilst the other has GREAT credit, but little or no income. Unknowing, first-time buyers will naively hope that somehow we can split the baby and take only the good parts, and not put one person on the mortgage, still use their income. Orland, being more expensive in general, requires a higher downpayment, so all things being equal, don't expect that big flood.
OakLawnGuy April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM
I know about FHA loans, we had one. FHA has tightened up considerably as well, though, just as much as the banks have. There are fewer FHA dollars available and they're going to the best scores. While credit scores certainly have a lot to do with lack of movement, if you walk into a bank charging 3.5 - 4% interest on a 30-year deal and don't have 10-12% to put down, you're at the far back of the line for a mortgage.
Dave W. April 13, 2012 at 04:10 PM
OLG, I can't speak for EVERY lender out there, I can only speak to the ones I deal with: Chase, First Mortgage Corp, Private Bank, Harris (more, but the list will get ridiculous); the guidelines are pretty strict, but that works both ways. It is pretty cut and dried; you either qualify or you don't. If you DO, for FHA, you only need 3.5% down, no higher standards. 640, 3.5% down, all day long, no exceptions, no preference. Does your agent or you (the buyer) or maybe even the attorney need to keep in contact with the lender to make sure things are moving along? Yes. Should they be doing that anyway? Yes. Now...will you having a lower downpayment affect your monthly mortgage payment? Yes. Will you having a lower credit score do the same (because your interest rate will go up)? Yes. COULD that make your available loan limit lower? Definetely. Like I said, the strictness goes both ways. However, if you meet those standards, you will get a loan as quick as a 'conventional' person 98% of the time. There are always going to be some lender agents that dawdle, like in any industry, for some reasons better than others. Keep in mind, that FHA loan limits are pretty high, so the vast majority of homes in the area qualify for FHA price-wise. If you are 'in the back of the line', go somewhere else. Mortgage people want to eat too; somebody will get you the loan. Laws are in place to make better certain nothing is hidden. If they had been before, we wouldn't be having this conversation!
Stacy B. February 19, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Agreed. Even another commenter stated that they drive to Orland or Countryside to shop. Chicago Ridge Mall has almost all the same big box stores as Orland. Unless you have a pension for Macy's or JC Penny, you can get the same stuff at Chicago Ridge... yet you drive to Orland and add to its congestion. Why would someone go to 111th & Cicero for that? If they do decide to put anything big box there, it would likely be in their best interest for it to be another type of grocery store. A Whole Foods, or even a Trader Joe's, something that isn't convenient to get to in another area. (seriously, have any of you been to Trader Joe's in Orland? Holy crap the parking lot sucks) Even a Meijer would be a good idea. Especially for people who live in Chicago Ridge and really only have Scary Fairplay or Jewel as options. Just no Wal-Mart.... please no Wal-Mart.

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