California-based Cubework has purchased the former Sears property at Orland Square Mall and is marketing the former mall anchor as “Coworking Mall.”
The acquisition covers 16 acres and includes approximately 100,000 square feet of the former Sears store and a large parking lot adjacent to the storefront.
Much of the mall is owned by Simon, but the former Sears site is independent, and the property is being sold by CBRE’s national retail partners with no asking price. No sale price was announced.
Calls to Cubework were not returned, but the company specializes in renting out kiosks and other space to pop-up stores and many small businesses, according to its website. Cubework offers short-term and monthly rentals, free utilities, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities without a large capital investment.
“Cubework Shops are open air enclosed creative spaces designed specifically to take your business out of the garage, self storage facility or home office. We specialize in helping our clients rent the space they need without paying for unnecessary unused Pay for space,” the company posted on its website.
Its website says spaces available for rent range from 300 square feet to 50,000 square feet.
Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said he was “a bit surprised” by the deal.
He added that he had no idea what would become of the property.
“I don’t know what plans they have,” he said. “They didn’t come to us with any plans.”
The interior of the store, which has been empty since 2018, has been destroyed, Pekau said.
There was a plan several years ago to convert the space into a movie theater, but Peko said the plan fell through because of issues related to the pandemic.
Cubework also purchased the former Carsons store at Southlake Mall in northwest Indiana and advertised it along with the Sears website as Coworking Mall.
Cubework is located in City of Industry, California. It has more than 40 locations and 5 million square feet of modern industrial coworking space in 25 cities.
A fire devastated Georgis Catering early Friday morning and severely damaged the adjacent Mom and Dad’s Deli at 63rd Square and Center Avenue in Chicago’s Clearing neighborhood.
Georgis owner Buz Georgis was surprisingly upbeat on Monday.
“It’s been a pretty crazy week,” he said. “But we’ll definitely be back.”
Clients include local businesses such as Tootsie Roll and Southwest Airlines, Fortune 500 companies and Chicago sports teams.
The fire also hit Cook County’s Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to seniors and residents from Georgis.
“At our eight Cook County locations in Brookfield, Berwyn, Hometown, South Chicago Heights, Phoenix, Lemont Township, and our one independent cafe in Dalton, our customers will not be charged today. to a hot meal,” Meals on Wheels said in a written statement Friday. “While they will have emergency shelf-stable meals, we are looking for new caterers and trying to connect with local restaurants as quickly as possible. Our programs in Will, Kendall and Grundy counties will continue as usual.”
Georgis said he would continue to pay all employees despite the 77-year-old business being completely loss-making.
“I’m going to keep paying them,” he said. “So, they don’t have to worry. They’re a great bunch of people, and a lot of them have been with me for a long time.”
He said he’s had a lot of calls and messages since news of the company’s collapse broke.
“It’s very heartwarming,” he said.
On Monday, Helen Chon, owner of the neighboring Mama’s Papa deli, was also positive.
“My best wishes are that we will open next week,” she said. “I’ve been here since 1991. That’s more than half my life.”
She said the deli’s heating system was damaged by water and all the food in the kitchen was thrown away.
She also said she has always had great support from her clients.
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“There are so many customers calling or passing by,” she said.
The Chicago South Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched Savor The Southland, a new program designed to reward users for visiting local restaurants.
The free plan involves a pass on a mobile device, which includes more than 67 local restaurants. Participants earn points upon check-in at participating restaurants, which can be redeemed for coupons.
“This is a great way to encourage tourists and locals alike to visit some of the best restaurants on the South Side of Chicago,” said CSCVB President and CEO Jim Garrett.
The Savor The Southland Mobile Passport will end March 31, when users who check in at five or more participating restaurants will be entered into a drawing to win restaurant gift cards.
For information, visit www.visitchicagosouthland.com/savor-the-southland.
Bob Bong is a freelance columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com.