Chicago, IL

Globally Iconic U.S. Shopping Mall Considering Sharp Cuts in Retail Business Amid Major Potential Redevelopment

Joel Eisenberg

The owner is actively discussing the conversion of vacant space for medical offices and more.
The Water Tower Place Shopping Mall, Chicago, IllinoisPhoto byAdobe Stock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: and


Wikipedia features a comprehensive and highly-attributed overview of Chicago’s Water Tower Place shopping mall: Water Tower Place is a large urban, mixed-use development comprising a 758,000 sq foot shopping mall, hotel, theater, and condominiums in a 74-story skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, United States... As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Brookfield Property Partners handed the keys to the project back to their lender, MetLife, owing to numerous retail vacancies following the closing of Macy's and the impact of COVID and increasing crime along the once-Magnificent Mile.

Now comes word that the mall is being considered for a major redevelopment.

Let us explore further.

Shopping Malls, 2022

According to a February 1st report from, entitled “Chicago’s Water Tower Place, Often Called the World’s Original Vertical Mall, Could Slash Retail Space in Major Redevelopment,” MetLife is keen on converting the mall’s vacant space formerly occupied by retail business.

As excerpted from the report: Chicago's Water Tower Place, often called the world’s original urban vertical shopping mall, could be headed for major changes as its owner considers converting a few upper floors of retail into medical space or other uses in what could become a test case for similar properties nationwide. The new owner of the massive Magnificent Mile mall, which opened in 1975, is exploring the redevelopment of the upper floors of the eight-story mall into offices for doctors and dentists, or other uses such as traditional offices or apartments, according to people familiar with the situation.

It should be noted as of press time such redevelopment options are reportedly in the talking stages only. However, as Water Tower Place has been substantially impacted by a sharp decrease in foot traffic since the advent of the pandemic, such discussions are serious in nature.

The report goes on to state: The potential redevelopment stands out because it’s on North Michigan Avenue, which despite recent struggles remains one of the country’s best-known shopping avenues. Water Tower Place also holds a place in the history of shopping malls because of its position at the forefront of designs of this kind.


This is a developing story. In the event of pertinent updates to this matter, I will share them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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