Galesburg mall one step closer to welcoming new businesses

GALESBURG, Illinois-- The Carl Sandburg Mall has sat mostly empty the last few months. But the Galesburg Zoning and Planning Commission moved forward plans Tuesday, April 23 that would help get new businesses into the building.

Those plans would divide the mall into five subdivisions or lots: the former Sear, JCPenney, Kmart, Bergner's and interior portion.

"(The mall is) definitely in need of some TLC. The businesses that are looking at purchasing the property have some really great ideas to renovate the property, bring some new life into the building," City Planning Manager Steve Gugliotta says.

Keith Vaughn is one interested buyer. He's looking at purchasing the Sears, Bergner's and interior sections.

"I look at that place. At once, it was a great thriving business," Vaughn says. "This place can be that again, and it will be... Towns are up and down, and Galesburg is one that took hard hits when industry left."

Vaughn says he hasn't finalized which businesses he's looking to bring into Sandburg Mall. But he says it'll take several months or years to renovate the mall to be ready for new businesses.

"A lot of wheels, a lot of moving parts with this project," he says. "Lots of new and exciting things."

Galesburg Warehouse Bargains, U-Haul and Karmark occupy the anchor stores of the mall. This plan would allow them to buy their own lots and stay in their current locations.

The Galesburg City Council is expected to consider the subdivision proposal at its May 6 meeting.

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