The City of Naperville has announced it will welcome a second Costco location in the Ogden Mall shopping center. But the consequence is the displacement of long-time Naperville theatre, Classic Cinemas Ogden 6.
The wholesale corporation has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the property owner of the East Ogden Mall to construct a 159,000 square-foot warehouse club facility and gas station.
This means the area will be redeveloped, affecting existing businesses including Classic Cinemas Ogden 6 Theatre.
Ogden 6 Displaced
Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson says this means Ogden 6 would be forced to move, or shut down.
“If Costco does come, then we would be gone. And so we’re looking for new places to go,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot of effort and money to move, especially last year we were up 56% at the box office and this year we’re up 40%. So we’re kind of killing it after we put in the new seats and went first-run, so it’s a real bummer to have to move.”
The theater spent about $1.5 million on the new renovations back in August 2018.
Ogden 6 has been in Naperville for over 40 years. Johnson is looking at new locations and hopes to relocate in Naperville, but it’s possible a new city will be their best option.
Some took to social media to express their disappointment and have started the petition “Save Ogden 6 Theatre.” At the time of this recording, over 1,500 people have signed it.
City Working To Help Affected Businesses
The city understands that many are disappointed with the news, but believe this is the right move for an area that’s had many vacant spots for seven years.
“When we have an opportunity to bring some life and vibrancy back into that area we need to take that opportunity to move forward with it,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. “And at the same time, try to work hard to preserve all of the good things that we can, the businesses that are there that we can continue to work with.”
The city is working with the affected businesses, including Ogden 6, to offer resources and help them relocate smoothly.
The hope is the addition of Costco will generate a higher sales tax, which in turn will help lower property taxes.
“The sales tax generating revenue from one Costco is more than the entire downtown business district in Naperville all put together,” said Chirico.
This will be the second Costco in Naperville, joining the one along Route 59.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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