Updated: October 11, 2016
UPDATE: MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- Bon-Ton Stores Incorporate, the parent company of Bergner's stores says closing the Machesney Park Mall location is a difficult decision.
The company issued a statement on the recent announcement of the store's closing.
Bon-Ton President and CEO Kathryn Bufano says "We would like to thank the loyal customers as well as our devoted store associates for their dedication."
The store will close January 31st after the company decided not to renew its lease with the mall. The closing will impact about 43 workers.
Posted: October 7, 2016
MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- A Machesney Park shopping staple will soon be closing its doors after they decide to not renew their lease.
Lou Ann Johnson visits the Bergner's in the Machesney Town Center off North Second Street often.
"I really like coming here because it's a small enough store that I can find things easily and it frequently has things I'm looking for," says Johnson.
Soon she'll have to shop for bargains elsewhere as the store will be closing their doors for good. Bergner's will leave its spot in the mall at the end of January 2017 when its lease is up, leaving only Big Lots and Burlington Coat Factory.
"Certainly this didn't fall within our plans," says James Richter, II, the Community Development Director for Machesney Park. He says while the Village just learned Bergner's would be leaving, redeveloping the Town Center is always on his radar.
"The Town Center is a high priority to the Village, we have great plans to redevelop that area," says Richter.
Both Richter and Johnson are hoping something changes in the next few months.
"We'd certainly love for Bergner's to stay and we hope to work with the stakeholders to see if there's a resolution," says Richter.
"Maybe they'll change their mind and find someway to stay," says Johnson.
The exact reason why the store isn't renewing their lease is still unclear. 23 News learned about a lawsuit between Bergner's parent company and the property owner over a lease disagreement. We reached out to both for comment and have not heard back.