Wal-Mart coming to West Loop

Smaller grocery-based shop for Presidential Towers

02/23/2011 3:52 PM

By Ben Meyerson

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After concentrating for years on opening stores on the South and West Side neighborhoods, Wal-Mart is moving closer to downtown with a store in the West Loop.

But the new store won’t be a full-on warehouse like most other stores. Instead, the new store will be a grocery-focused “Neighborhood Market” on the first story of Presidential Towers at 555 W. Madison St.

Wal-Mart has signed a lease for a 26,491 square foot store, and the company will spend about $1 million building out the space, Wal-Mart spokesman Steve Restivo said.

“We think the size and format of this new store properly reflects the neighborhood,” Restivo said. “From a merchandise perspective, it’ll have meat and a bakery, a deli and a full-service pharmacy.”

Wal-Mart has built close to 200 urban Neighborhood Market stores operating around the country since the format made its debut 12 years ago, Restivo said. The closest to Chicago is in Indianapolis.

The company has been talking with elected officials and community stakeholders throughout the city, Restivo said, and is hoping to talk to local residents within a few weeks.

Ald. Bob Fioretti, whose 2nd Ward includes the part of Presidential Towers which would hold the Wal-Mart, said he has a meeting scheduled with the company in about two weeks.

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