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Judge Rules Lincoln Mall May Stay Open For Now

Demolition of the shuttered Montgomery Ward building at Lincoln Mall was left unfinished and crumbling. (Credit: Village of Matteson)

Demolition of the shuttered Montgomery Ward building at Lincoln Mall was left unfinished and crumbling. (Credit: Village of Matteson)

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(CBS) – Lincoln Mall will not be closing, at least not immediately.

The village wanted it shut down for safety violations, like padlocked emergency exit doors that could trap people inside, and gaps in the pipes in the sprinkler system, which would keep the water from flowing in case of a fire.

Irene Abed showed a petition she says was signed by more than 40 business owners, calling for Lincoln Mall to be kept open, and today they got their wish when a judge denied the village’s emergency request to forcibly shut down the 40-year-old mall.

Matteson officials say the mall should be immediately shut because it’s a potentially life threatening fire trap.

“I believe that there is a serious risks that exists,” said Bill Gleason, Matteson Senior Buildings Inspector.

But instead of immediately closing the mall, the judge gave the owner one week to submit a plan and $100,000 which would be spent on rehabbing the mall.

“We look forward to looking with the village for the benefit of those businesses as well as the customers of Lincoln Mall,” said Michael Aschenbrener, the mall owner’s attorney.

Village officials say they went to court as a last resort.

“We can’t allow a landlord to milk rent from these folks without making their premises safe,” said Anthony Licata.