A Marketplace of the Future

October 6, 2022

Crate and Barrel store exterior
Retail case study

Oakbrook Center is a case study in how we’re redeveloping our shopping centers to address the evolving needs of consumers.

For the past 10 years, Brookfield Properties has been transforming Oakbrook Center into a true marketplace of the future, bringing together a curated collection of high-profile retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, David Yurman, Gucci, and later this year, a new CHANEL boutique. A highly successful restaurant row, and new categories like entertainment, grocery, and fitness, meet consumers’ daily needs and further enhance the surrounding community.

Opened in 1962 with then-anchor stores Sears and Marshall Field’s, Oakbrook Center is the second- largest shopping center in the Chicago metropolitan area, generating over $800 million in retail sales annually. The well-located shopping destination — with easy access to wealthy communities across Chicago’s western suburbs — is also the most visited retail venue in the greater Chicago area, drawing shoppers from nearby hotels, convention centers, and office buildings.

A major renovation project — stewarded by lead architect OMNIPLAN and completed in 2013 — reimagined this ‘60s-era mall into what it is today, introducing more green spaces throughout while further establishing Oakbrook Center as a mixed-use community destination. “Oakbrook Center has been a centerpiece of Oak Brook for the last 50 years,” said Village of Oak Brook Community Development Director Bob Kallien. “Its success leads to the successes of the village.”

Retail case study

Part of our Iconic Collection of retail properties, Oakbrook Center was recently named one of 2022′s Top 10 Retail Center Experiences by Chain Store Age. “It’s the hub of the Western suburbs and beyond,” Oakbrook Center Senior General Manager Tim Geiges told Chain Store Age. “It’s also the place where retailers want to launch their new concepts.”

One of the most notable new concepts is the new 60,000-square-foot, three-level RH Gallery, an integrated shopping/dining/design experience that opened at Oakbrook Center in 2021. The stunning stand-alone store, featuring a glass-encased rooftop restaurant and wine bar, aligns with Brookfield Properties’ mission to move beyond just shopping to meet shifting consumer demand for experiences.

Oakbrook Center has also become an incubator for e-commerce brands testing the brick-and-mortar waters, among them sneaker brands Allbirds and Golden Goose, home furnishings brand Ballard Designs, fine jewelry brand Blue Nile, and sustainable fashion brand Goodlife. E-commerce furniture company Joss & Main is set to open in 2023.

“It’s the hub of the Western suburbs and beyond. It’s also the place where retailers want to launch their new concepts.”

—Tim Geiges, Oakbrook Center Senior General Manager

Oakbrook Center’s rich array of culinary offerings are yet another reminder that modern malls are no longer just places to shop. The District Food Hall offers a variety of trendy fast-casual dining options, including Stan’s Donuts & Coffee, Pie Five, and DMK Burger. Among the 20 fine dining restaurants at Oakbrook Center are Roka Akor, Antico Posto, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grill, Beatrix, Old Town Pour House, Picolo Buco — a new concept from Cooper’s Hawk — and Table at Crate, Crate & Barrel’s first and only in-store restaurant.

But what sets Oakbrook Center apart is its placemaking environment, which offers numerous opportunities to have fun. Thanks to its open-air design and plentiful green spaces — including the Village Green — visitors can attend open-air markets, watch movies on the lawn, and enjoy family festivals. In addition, the shopping destination boasts a plethora of entertainment tenants, including Pinstripes, Electric Gamebox, Escape the Room, AMC Theatre, and high-tech mini golf concept Puttshack, the first of two U.S. locations to open this year.

tree-lined walkway at Oakbrook Center
Retail case study

Oakbrook Center also hosts a variety of unique, immersive experiences that showcase art and culture. Recent offerings include a “Stranger Things” pop-up store, Louvre Fantastique: The Exhibition, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition, and Princess Diana Accredited Access Exhibition, a walk-through photographic documentary.

According to Geiges, Oakbrook Center has truly become a community entertainment venue. “We have a lot of people who come to Oakbrook, but not to shop,” he said. “It’s not unusual for some people to come here on a shopping trip and end up staying several hours.”

Princess Diana exhibit
Retail case study

As Oakbrook Center continues to build upon its reputation as a rarefied retail destination, it’s also setting the standard for how malls can reflect, enhance, and serve their surrounding communities. “Oakbrook Center is a great example of our high-quality retail real estate strategy,” said Brookfield Properties Chief Development Officer Adam Tritt. “Our shopping centers are evolving into venues that excite and delight our guests, and we’re proud that Oakbrook Center has been singled out as one of the top retail center experiences in the country.”

Interested in working together? Connect with us!