carsons closing

The Carson’s in the Evergreen Plaza is closing, but Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton is confident a viable tenant will be found. The Carson’s opened in 2016, closed in August 2018, then re-opened in November 2018. It was the first construction to open in the new Plaza. (Review photo)

The Carson’s in the Evergreen Plaza, which has already closed and re-opened once, is set to close again.

Signage on the front of the store, 9700 S. Western Ave., reads, “Store closing” and announces that everything is on sale.

Signage for Z Gallerie Outlet, a home decor store, also appears on the exterior, but Evergreen Park Mayor Jim Sexton said that store, too, is closing, and the site will be vacant.

He said he could not comment regarding possible development.

CSC Generation, a Merrillville, Ind.-based company, has owned Carson’s for two years.

When opening, CSC Generation officials said they planned to keep Carson’s, a department store, mostly the same, also selling products from the home improvement store DirectBuy, but “that was a lie,” Sexton said.

Attempts to reach CSC Generation officials were not successful. According to its website, CSC Generation was founded in 2016 and has “kept several historic brands from liquidating.” CSC Generation acquired DirectBuy in 2017, and DirectBuy acquired Z Gallerie in 2019 in a joint venture with two other companies.

The phone number for the local Carson’s/Z Gallerie was not in service.

The Carson’s, a two-floor store, opened in September 2016, the first store in construction of the new Plaza to open. It closed in August 2018 after its parent company, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., declared bankruptcy.

CSC Generation purchased Bon-Ton stores and re-opened the Carson’s in November 2018.

The search for new occupants is on, but “nothing will sell right now,” Sexton said.

The Carson’s is a standalone property, and the Plaza as a whole is for sale, listed at about 174,000 square feet. Anchor stores include Whole Foods, TJ Maxx, DSW, Five Below and Planet Fitness.

They are part of a development that replaced the former Plaza, which stood for over 60 years.

Two real estate companies—Lormax Stern, of Detroit, and DeBartolo Development, of Tampa, Fla.—purchased the Plaza property in 2015.

HFF, a real estate transaction firm that is part of Jones Lang LaSalle, of Chicago, is being retained to sell the property, according to an HFF listing.

Sexton said the stores included in the Plaza “are in order” as far as long-term rentals.

He expressed confidence the Carson’s site will be occupied by a quality entity to go with those stores.

“We’ll come up with something good,” he said, “just like we did with the rest of them.”