Matteson officials sues Lincoln Mall over safety violations

August 8, 2013

Aimee Chen

(Photo courtesy of The Village of Matteson)
A corner of Lincoln Mall construction remains unfinished. The mall has been cited 24 times and could be shut down.

The Village of Matteson today asked a Cook County judge to immediately close Lincoln Mall because of conditions officials said put patrons and employees in danger.

The 40-year-old mall was sold to New York-based businessman Michael Kohan. He paid $150,000 in a judicial sale last June. At the time, Kohan promised to fix the violations.

Village officials said they’ve since approached Kohan with complaints about violations like blocked fire exits and exposed electrical wires.

They said they have filed 24 safety citations, but Kohan has done nothing to improve conditions.

Village Administrator Brian Mitchell said enough is enough.

“Safety is first and foremost,” Mitchell said. “You know, to make this decision is hard, but we can’t look at economic development and being pro-business when we have a building that is not safe.”

The mall declined to comment.

A hearing is scheduled Thursday to decide on the mall’s closure.

Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her @AimeeYuyiChen.