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Two Stantec-designed shopping center repositioning projects near completion

Two Chicago-area malls turn central courtyards into multi-use gathering spaces


Stantec – a global architecture, engineering, and design firm – is completing two substantial mall repositioning projects for Centennial in the greater-Chicago area. The completion of these projects will help the centers thrive in a new era that is changing the way customers experience the American shopping mall.

Collaborating across five offices, Stantec is providing visioning, conceptual design, schematic design, placemaking, site furnishings, finishes, graphic design, structural engineering, lighting design, design development, construction documentation, and construction administration for each project. At the core of each project is a desire to reposition each center’s dated center court space as vibrant, multi-use, park-like gathering spaces that appeal to visitors of all ages. Stantec’s Boulder, Colorado; Phoenix; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Raleigh, North Carolina, offices contributed to the project.

Together with Stantec, Centennial has turned a previously underutilized center court space into a brand-new kind of anchor for both Hawthorn Mall and Fox Valley Mall that will not only increase traffic, but will change the way people interact with these shopping centers and the way they experience a trip to the mall,” says Whitney Livingston, COO for Centennial. “The center court space in these shopping centers was once just a space people walked though. Today, it’s a destination – a place people plan to go to spend time with one another, particularly when the weather outside is less than inviting. We’ve done something groundbreaking and new here, and it’s gratifying to see the way these communities are embracing and enjoying what we have created.”

Fox Valley Mall
Over Black Friday weekend, the Aurora, Illinois, mall unveiled its new 13,000-square-foot indoor Center Park. The expansive space features tree-like column wraps with integrated wood-slat circular benches, large-scale fox sculptures reflective of the mall’s name, a revitalized water feature, and a park-inspired turf field with lots of room for activities. Phase II of the Center Park project is slated to open in the spring with a whimsical “treehouse” at the core of the design.

Improvements in the mall’s former center court area are the first of a multi-phase rollout for the larger transformation of Fox Valley Mall, which includes updates to other common area spaces, entries, and bulkheads.

Hawthorn Mall
Improvements to Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills, Illinois, feature a series of revitalized courtyards with high ceilings filled with ample natural light. To celebrate these areas, Stantec designed a similar park-like experience for visitors to enjoy. The first to open is the mall’s new Center Park, which includes a topographic turf lawn, seating nooks, and social gaming spaces. Large LED-lit trees interact with lighting elements in the lawn, while food and drinks can be ordered from the new central kiosk, 60 & 21 Cafe and Wine Bar. The new park-like space located in the mall’s former center court area allows Hawthorn Mall to become a sanctuary during the gray Chicago winter and an extension of the outdoors during the summer. The Hawthorn Mall Center Park opened to the public in November 2019.

By improving the way visitors experience each of these malls, Stantec and Centennial have created destinations where the Aurora and Vernon Hills communities will congregate, relax and spend time with one another year-round, regardless of the weather.

About Centennial
Centennial is a national owner of major shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations. Rooted in retail since 1997, the company is focused on shaping the evolution of American retail by creating a superior multi-faceted shopping experience. Centennial properties serve not only as a place of commerce, but a place of community. For more information, visit

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success. We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

Stantec trades on the TSX and the NYSE under the symbol STN

.Media Contacts

Laura Leopold
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: (612) 712-2072

Ryan Lamont
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: (213) 706-8428

Fox Valley

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