Little Village Discount Mall Vendor Demands Time to Move: ‘What’s at stake here is our community’s livelihood’


Dozens of discount mall sellers facing eviction converged outside their Little Village fixtures on Thursday and headed to Novak Construction on the northwest side, where the group called on mall owner John Novak. I submitted a list of requests.

These demands included Novak meeting groups and finding solutions for vendors who didn’t know where else to set up shop and needed more time to move their goods.

Novak has been calling the mall vendor’s fate into question since it acquired the 26th Street and Albany Avenue site in 2019. Then last month, about half of the vendors, dozens of them, were notified that they had to leave by March 26th.

Also, last week I received another letter from management stating that I could be fined if I didn’t show up by 7:30pm on March 26th.

“Some vendors are said to be staying and planning to protest,” the letter said. “If that happens and there are sanctions by the new owners, including fines, we will pass the costs on to you,” it said.

An in-person meeting at the company after Thursday’s failed rally failed to remove the deadline.

Aldo. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) said he was surprised by the tone of the letter from Novak management. He said at a meeting last month that the city and Novak were “reinventing what they promised.” I agree to find out.

Aldermen addressed Thursday’s rally, with many holding signs with the mall’s symbol, the Mexican flag, and the crossed-out logo of Ross Stores, the big box chain the group heard. I was. vendor.

Sigcho-Lopez said the store will replace dozens of businesses employing hundreds of people with one employer offering about a dozen jobs. Vendors are permitted to lease from management companies that have been able to reach an agreement with Novak.

“The issue here is the livelihood of our community,” said Sigcho-Lopez. “When you lose a business like this, it causes violence.”

A representative from the city’s Department of Planning and Development said the city is “urgently seeking short-term and long-term solutions for affected vendors,” adding: “The city’s economic development team will provide vendors with alternative locations and reduce area retail vacancies.”

The mall opened in 1991 and some of the longtime vendors have spoken at the gathering.

Iraís Miranda cried while talking about running a music store in the mall for about 15 years. His son is also working there now.

“This has been the core of commercial activity on 26th Street for almost 30 years,” he said. “We are a major employer around here.”

The group formed a caravan of vehicles heading for Novak Construction’s offices on the 3500 block of North Drake Street. They arrived in dozens with honking horns. They lined up toward the entrance and hooked up speakers to amplify their demands for Novak to come out to meet them.

“A united mall never loses,” they chanted.

Novak’s representatives let a few vendors inside, but only repeated an ultimatum to a small group, including Cocoy Malagon, the longtime owner of the mall’s dress shop.

She said she has asked for an extension through the fall for all businesses with a good history of maintaining rents.

“They made it clear there would be no extension,” Maragon said.

Michael Loria is a staff reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Reporting to Americaa non-profit journalism program aimed at enhancing the coverage of the paper in communities in the South and West.


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Leave a Reply

Former Chicago Public Schools Teacher Sentenced to 18 Months Probation for Lying to FBI

US pregnancy deaths dropped in 2022, after COVID spike: CDC