Vendors from the Little Village Discount Mall gathered once again Thursday evening after meeting with the property’s new owner to share their discontent with the future for the emblematic shopping center.
The company announced it had reached a deal to extend the lease with only one of the mall’s two operators closing one side of it indefinitely and leaving nearly half of the vendors out of the mall.
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, who has been advocating for the vendors, said Novak Development, the new owner, increased the rent for operators, making it “impossible” for them to continue selling at the mall, 3115 W. 26th St.
“There’s no agreement unless all the businesses that are willing to stay, are accommodated,” he said. “Otherwise, these improvements, or investment, in the so-called best interest of the community is simply not the case when we are displacing half of the small business vendors in the Discount Mall.”
Sigcho-Lopez said his office has demanded that all permits and licenses for Novak to begin renovations and changes be put on hold by the city until the company creates a proposal to ensure that all vendors — and not just half — can stay at the mall.
In a news conference at La Baguette Bakery, vendors expressed their disbelief and concerns.