Suburban Chicago mall gets a chic new look
New owners update mall to enhance shopping environment
Yorktown Center, a 1.5 million-square-foot mall located in Lombard, a western suburb of Chicago, was developed by Ed Pehrson in 1968. The shopping center was privately owned until it was acquired in 2012 by a partnership of real estate developers – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and YTC Pacific for $196 million. The new owners invested an additional $18 million in renovations, including a new food court that provides shoppers with meals, entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity.
First-floor renovations included the center court – a large spacious area in the center of the mall for promotions and events. The wide open floor plan leads to the main escalators and natural-light glass roof covering the second floor. The challenge of this project was the existing terrazzo floors in the center court. Traditionally, the floors would be torn out and the substrate prepared with epoxy products before leveling and installation of the new floor, but the existing terrazzo floor made this a problem for a mall that would remain open during the renovation.
MAPEI products at work on the jobsite
No one could determine how the terrazzo had been sealed and maintained. As a first step, Bourbon Tile & Marble installation crews bead-blasted the terrazzo to remove any sealers. Because patches like Mapecem Quickpatch do not bond with terrazzo, the installers covered the area with ECO Prim Grip as a bond primer and then skimmed uneven areas with Mapecem Quickpatch, which produced a smooth cement substrate. MAPEI SM Primer and Mapeguard 2 were applied over the Mapecem Quickpatch to isolate cracks in the terrazzo from the tile installation.
With a properly-prepared substrate to work on, the installers began setting 8” x 48” porcelain tiles with the look of wood planks – a very new and popular tile trend. The Tavole Di Legno wood-look tile was manufactured and supplied by Stone Source. Some 24” x 48” porcelain tile with a traditional tile look (manufactured by Ergon and supplied by Spec Ceramics) was used for decorative accent areas. The tile was grouted with Ultracolor Plus, a MAPEI premium sanded grout that reduces efflorescence. Mapesil caulk was used on control joints in the tile work.
A large fountain in the center court was also remodeled by J&M Tile. Half of the fountain was torn out, and the water features were removed and replaced. This smaller project used MAPEI products as well.
A strategic part of the renovations involved relocating the food court to the second floor of the mall, and several stores were moved to make room. Most of existing flooring was cut out, and then new concrete was poured as part of an entire retrofit that included plumbing for the food court kitchens. In dry areas the Bourbon Tile crews first used Ultraplan 1 Plus wherever necessary as a self-leveling underlayment. Then they covered the area with MAPEI SM Primer and Mapeguard 2 to facilitate crack isolation.
In the main food court, the crews installed Ergon 8” x 24”, 10” x 24”, 12” x 24” and 24”x 24” porcelain tiles supplied by Spec Ceramics. In the children’s area, they used more of the Tavole Di Legno wood-look tile. Using the same installation system as was used for the center court, the tiles (15,450 square feet), were set with Ultracontact and grouted with Ultracolor Plus, while Mapesil was used on control joints.
Wet areas in the public restrooms adjacent to the new food court (2800 square feet), used the same surface-preparation and tile-installation system, with one exception. Mapelastic AquaDefense was used for waterproofing and crack isolation in place of the Mapeguard 2. The Tavole Di Legno wood-look tile was also used on the restroom floors.
In addition to the center court and food court renovations, columns on both upper and lower levels of the mall were wrapped in mosaic tile, using Ultra Flex LFT mortar and Ultracolor Plus grout. Porcelain mosaic tile from Walker Zanger was used on both levels of the center court. In the food court, the columns were covered with a combination of 24” x 24” porcelain tiles from Spec Ceramics and glass mosaics from Bisazza.
Other phases of Yorktown Center will be completed at a later time, as part of a total mall renovation. Bourbon Tile and MAPEI look forward to enhancing the atmosphere for shoppers throughout the mall.
Project Category: Commercial – Shopping Mall
MAPEI Sales Rep: Tyler Barton
Project Owner: KKR/YTC Pacific Partnership
MAPEI Distributor: Mid America Tile
General Contractor: VCC USA
Installer Company: Bourbon Tile & Marble
Architect: Gensler Designs
Photographers: Tyler Barton and VCC USA
Project Size: 42,500 square feet
ECO Prim Grip™
MAPEI SM Primer™
Ultraplan® 1 Plus