Mariano's moving into South Loop

Grocery store hopes to open at 16th and Clark in early 2013

09/30/2011 6:51 PM

By Ben Meyerson

20 Comments - Add Your Comment

Another major grocery store is making plans to move into the South Loop, setting up shop on what’s now a city-owned lot on Clark Street between 16th and 17th streets.

It’s the latest announcement for Mariano’s Fresh Market, the Illinois brand for Wisconsin-based Roundy’s Supermarkets. They’re quickly expanding into Chicago, with a new outpost slated to open soon in Lakeshore East and another slated to go into the West Loop.

At a town hall meeting held Thursday night by Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Roundy’s CEO and Mariano’s namesake Bob Mariano said they’re hoping to start construction in 2012 and open their doors in early 2013.

The new store would provide 400 to 450 permanent jobs once it opened, including 16 to 20 managers, Mariano said. Half of the construction hours on the project would be done by community residents as well, he said.

The final store will be a roughly 60,000-square-foot, one-story building, replete with a large produce section and a pharmacy. Parking for the store would be in a surface lot at street level, as well as on top of the building.

Dowell said the city will sell the land to a developer, who will construct the building and then lease it to Mariano’s. Mariano’s hasn’t asked for a TIF subsidy, she said, and the developer will have to pay fair market value for the land.

At the town hall meeting, she got some pushback from her constituents for announcing yet another store in the South Loop. Most of Dowell’s ward is in Bronzeville and other neighborhoods further south, and they’ve been waiting on a Mariano’s store for nearly two years now.

But that store, at 39th and State streets, has been held up as its developer can’t find other tenants to move in alongside Mariano’s.

Dowell said she’s been discussing the Mariano’s South Loop store for a while, but hadn’t wanted to publicly pitch it before getting underway on the Bronzeville store.

“We’ve been talking to them for the last four years now, but I wanted to have 39th and State Street be the first one in,” Dowell said. “But it makes no sense to keep holding them hostage with this.”

Asked how she felt about bringing another supermarket to the grocery-rich South Loop, she said she didn’t have a problem with it.

“I mean, that’s the crux of America. Choice is good, and I mean, everyone wants to have options,” Dowell said. “Fortunately for people in the South Loop, they have lots of options. We need to have those same kind of options in other parts of the ward.”

Mariano himself said that he still believes there’s room for more grocery stores in the area.

“Believe it or not, you’ve got more leakage — business going away from that location — than is coming in,” he said. “It’s still underserved. Because you have to remember, coming into this city now, all this residential came up in the last 12 to 15 years. The retail is just starting to catch up.”

Mariano’s would be the second major change announced this year on a now-desolate stretch of South Clark Street. Immediately across the street, former Mayor Richard M. Daley had pitched the city’s first indoor skate park as he was on his way out the door. That project was declared dead by the Chicago Park District’s director of planning, Gia Biagi, in August.

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By Kirsten from South Loop
Posted: 11/14/2011 2:50 PM

I\'m excited this grocery store is moving in. As someone who lives in that area, it will be nice to have a grocery store within close walking distance. I don\'t think the South Loop is \"over saturated\" with grocery stores at all.

By tina from douglas
Posted: 10/12/2011 3:54 PM

Pat dowell has no shame. She had all the leverage and she blew it. She needs to take the concerns of douglas residents as serious as those in the loop. People in this community are just as welathy and educated.

By tina from douglas
Posted: 10/12/2011 3:49 PM

Bronzeville has a base that can support more than 1 grocery store, retail, and restaurants. People have to buy groceries another grocery store will be sucessful. Jewl Osco is always packed with all lanes open. It is impossible for this area to get the kind of density many of the companies are looking for without demolishing the beautiful greystones and our nice historic districs.

By Where's the "2000" signatures you claimed to have from Still waiting in the Near West Side!
Posted: 10/06/2011 9:31 PM

Claudeah: Jewel/F4L may or may not have been up by now based on bigger corporate bases but that's besides the point. Jewel, I understand, took themselves out of contention because they already have a store relatively close by (ie if you have a car) @ Roosevelt/Ashland. F4L had very little community support, & surely nowhere near the "2000" or more signatures Fioretti claimed he received from some "community group" he still refuses to name. Bottom Line: Pete's was the people's choice hands down!

By claudeah from united center
Posted: 10/05/2011 6:09 PM

to: 2,000 Signatures.---I am sure if F4L, whose parent is Kroger, would have won they would have been up by now. If I had known Jewel was in the running I would have supported them. Part of Pete's problem is they were also focusing on the opening of another store that had less site problems. Let's face it, F4L and Jewel would no doubt have already been up or at least under construction because they have a bigger corporate base. Plain and simple.

By Grandma from Douglas
Posted: 10/05/2011 2:41 PM

Many of the Census tracts in this region have an average income of $80,000 and I suppose this is why Pat Dowell wants to add us to the third Ward under her proposed remap. She seems to also want the Dearbrn Park Area. Take a look:

By Grandma from Douglas
Posted: 10/05/2011 2:28 PM

To Anonymous There is another major grocery store south of Roosevelt. There is another Jewel's store on 34th King Drive that serve a very diverse group of residents. I have lived in this region for over 13 years and the residents are from South Commons, Prairie Shores, Lake Meadows, Calumet/Giles/Prairie Historic Distrixt, IIT, Illinois College of Optometry...more parking than Roosevelt Road. As for the tax base, we are one of the largest taxing districts for TIF's in Chicago, ask Fioretti

By Anonymous
Posted: 10/05/2011 11:49 AM

The Jewel is always absolutely packed, so that Mariano's is a great addition. There's no major grocery store south of Roosevelt. They ain't building in Bronzeville because of lack of density. Mostly low rise with a lot of empty land. You can't make money there yet with a major store. Any major store would have to be supported by major tax dollars, not viable.

By S Loop from Far South Loop
Posted: 10/05/2011 10:18 AM

Bronzeville will build up once the area between the south loop and McCormick place builds up. Also this store will open because they will make money and provide tax dollars to all of Chicago. I fail to see any issues with opening a store here. It currently is a site for dumpsters.... Grocery store Vs. Dumpsters I believe those dumpsters provide 0.00 in tax revenue as they are owned by the city.

By westsider from near west
Posted: 10/04/2011 7:27 PM

The reason the stores do not move to the west side/south side is because of the theft problems, violence problems, drugs, general crime, etc. Those communities are the problems, not the stores!

By Where are the "2000" signatures you claimed to hav from Still waiting in the Near West Side!
Posted: 10/04/2011 3:11 PM

Maybe you should ask you alderman. Example: Why is it taking so long to get Pete's at Western/Madison? Alderman Fioretti argues that the zoning/cleanup/conveyance is what's taking so long, but as you'll remember Fioretti spent way way too much time insisting that Food4Less was the better choice, against the wishes of the community! He even said he had over "2000" petition signatures from some community group he wouldn't identify asking for F4L. Clearly Fioretti was working against the community!

By Georgia from near west
Posted: 10/04/2011 12:37 PM

This is the same store that is planning to built another store in the west loop where there is a Domincks a few block away. Plus Walmart Market just opened in the area two weeks ago. How come the south and west loop don't have problems getting stores; yet, farther south and west of the city does?

By Benjamin from Hyde Park
Posted: 10/03/2011 4:32 PM

@Tom: Yes, a Treasure Island opened there some years ago. There's also a Whole Foods slated to open in a year or two.

By Pete from Bronzeville
Posted: 10/03/2011 2:33 PM

So now we have five options for the South Loop: Whole Foods, Trader Vics, Jewel, Dominicks and Marianos. Nothing for Bronzeville. Real nice work Alderdunce Dowell!

By Tom.D from West Town
Posted: 10/03/2011 11:32 AM

Also, I just saw that all four Moo and Oink locations just closed, so there will be that much more demand from south siders on stores outside of the south side. (Has anything gone in to replace the Hyde Park co-op?)

By Tom.D from West Town
Posted: 10/03/2011 11:27 AM

As a west sider, sure, I\'d like more ammenities, but you have to remember that part of why there\'s all this South Loop development is that middle class folks from almost the ENTIRE south side schlep up there for these stores. Also, when a company says "400 to 450 jobs" it would be nice if you clarified union/non-union and full vs. part time. The claim "half the construction hours" will be community residents: which community? how would it be verified? It's a sketchy claim...

By dennis from s loop
Posted: 10/03/2011 9:30 AM

chgohunt can build a store any where he wants

By chgohunt from South Loop
Posted: 10/01/2011 1:09 PM

This is absolutely ridiculous. We are now saturated with grocery stores and pharmacies. Enough -- there are neighborhoods crying for a store like Mariano\'s! Open one there first before adding further to an already full market setting. Dowell\'s constituents need to yell loudly about this idiocy.

By chgohunt from South Loop
Posted: 10/01/2011 1:08 PM

This is absolutely ridiculous. We are now saturated with grocery stores and pharmacies. Enough -- there are neighborhoods crying for a store like Mariano's! Open one there first before adding further to an already full market setting. Dowell's constituents need to yell loudly about this idiocy.

By Claudeah from United Center
Posted: 09/30/2011 7:52 PM

You know, its nice to know that another neighborhood has waited almost as long as the near west side.