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Eastland Mall May Face Bergner's Closing

Cristian Jaramillo
Eastland Mall in Bloomington.

The Bergner’s store at Eastland Mall appears headed for closure.

The Bergner’s parent company, Bon-Ton Stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. On Tuesday, two liquidators won an auction for Bon-Ton, setting up likely closures of its stores nationwide, including Bergner’s locations. A bankruptcy court hearing is set for Wednesday.

CBL Properties, the owner of Bloomington’s Eastland Mall, has “not yet been informed by Bon-Ton with confirmation of store closures at this time,” the company told GLT.

“We are certainly disappointed with the outcome (of the auction), but this is an opportunity to continue to evolve our properties through transformative anchor redevelopments,” CBL said in a statement. “We have been monitoring this situation closely and we have been working on contingency plans for each center impacted. We have several replacements under advanced negotiation. We will announce more details when plans are formalized and leases have been executed.”

If Bergner’s closes, it will be another challenge for CBL as it looks to revitalize struggling Eastland Mall. CBL has announced plans to redevelop the property, including replacing the shuttered JCPenney location with an H&M store and Planet Fitness. Another anchor store, Macy’s, has also closed.

Eastland Mall management has also secured Outback Steakhouse on an outlot. Outback will relocate from an older site in Bloomington.

“CBL has a long track record of successfully replacing or redeveloping anchor locations,” the company said. “Over the last three years and including projects currently under way, we have executed on over 40 redevelopment projects, transforming underperforming space into retail, dining and entertainment destinations that increase sales and traffic to our properties.”

Bon-Ton said Tuesday’s auction results will lead to an “orderly winddown operations,” but a timeline for store closures was unclear.

“Throughout the court-supervised asset sale process, the company’s stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates will remain open throughout the store closing sales,” the company said in a statement. “Bon-Ton expects to provide more details about the liquidation plans and going out of business sales at its stores following approval of the winning bid by the bankruptcy court.”

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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