Oak Park, River Forest shut out of Mariano's buy of 11 Dominick's stores

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Roundy's Inc., owner of grocery store chain Mariano's, announced today that it will buy 11 Dominick's stores in the Chicago area before they close down at the end of the year. But the announcement does little good for Dominick's patrons in Oak Park and River Forest – with neither local site on the list.

Safeway Inc., owner of Dominick's, announced earlier this year that it is leaving the Chicago market and shuttering its 68 stores on Dec. 28.

A Roundy's spokesman tells Wednesday Journal that the company, which currently operates 13 stores in the Chicago area, hopes ultimately to open 45 to 50 in Chicago.

And later Monday, Crain's reported that Whole Foods Market is eyeing seven Dominick's locations. But with a popular store already in River Forest, Whole Foods does not appear interested in the two local Dominick's sites.

Email: tim@oakpark.com

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Scheneka Edwards from Oak Park  

Posted: July 22nd, 2014 11:10 AM

Here's a thought, Fresh Market of Oak Park is now closed on North Ave. There should be another grocery store ready to take it's place that offers low prices and fresh meat/veggies.

Brian Chang from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 21st, 2014 10:44 AM

Roundy's (owner of Mariano's) is in talks with Sears about taking over part/all of the North/Harlem location for a new grocery store. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140220/NEWS07/140219722/with-bannockburn-store-in-the-works-marianos-sets-sights-on-chicagos

Cheryl Munoz from Oak Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 9:43 PM

Ali- we have not considered the Dominick's space as it is too large for our project. We are looking for a space between 5 and 10 thousand sq. ft. Our team is looking into sites all over Oak Park and there are others that we are interested in currently.

Ali O. from Oak Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 2:57 PM

I grew up in Minneapolis where there are two amazing community-owned food co-ops and I agree that Oak Park is the perfect place for such a venture. Cheryl, is the Sugar Beet looking at the vacated Dominick's space?

Cheryl Munoz from Oak Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 2:40 PM

Iverson, your idea is exciting and one that is already taking shape in Oak Park called The Sugar Beet Co-op. With over 200 members at $250- we are building a full-service grocery store that focuses on local foods. We are about to launch our capital campaign to raise the $1.6 million needed for this project. The store will indeed be owned and financed by the community with profits going back into our neighbor's pockets. We need your support- become a member. www.sugarbeetcoop.com

OP/Lake Dominick's shopper from Oak Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 10:21 AM

CAPUTO's is the answer!!!!

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 9:22 AM

OK, Mr. Iverson & friends...go for it. Pool your money (no VOP/county/state/fed grants), write a business plan, & present to Dominicks to acquire the store. How much in property & sales tax $$ will this co-op generate? How many jobs & at what wage? Which farms, gardens, etc will supply this co-op, & will their goods meet all health codes? How will the co-op reinvest or distribute it's profits (it's not a dirty word, BTW...simply revenue - costs)? & the biggie;how long will VOP permitting take??


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 10:12 PM

Is it too late to nominate Uncommon Sense for Post of the Year?


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 8:46 PM

Does Dominick's own the properties or do they lease them?

Name from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 6:10 PM

Q has a very good idea and so does Mike Iversen. Lets invest in Oak Park. This is something that will create a lot of national and international media.

Where's the thumbs up/thumbs down button?  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 5:51 PM

Mike Iversen's ideas are so progressive, timely, and good! We would be smart to be that progressive in this community. The world is so profit driven though. It shuts out creativity. I don't suppose that there is much hope for positive change as he proposes but if we don't change soon, seems as though there might not be much hope for any of us.

Mike Iversen from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 5:39 PM

Instead of waiting for something to happen, how about seizing control of our food production and distribution with a sustainable, healthy, local food cooperative, based on fresh produce and dry goods from local farms and community gardens; creates local jobs & enhances local economy, maintains a walkable community (vs driving to Costco), includes a food education & wellness center, winter farmers market, etc. ... all towards a self-sufficient marketplace, locally owned and managed by us.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 4:26 PM

Sarah - Thanks for tipping us off about last night board meeting and the village video. I watched and listened to the entire discussion. It was an amazing two hours that set a new standard for cooperation between the board and its partners. It also opened the door to the revitalization of commercial development in OP. The board member deserve high compliments for their professional approach to establishing policy.

OP Resident #623 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 4:15 PM

Q - I'd love to pop some popcorn and watch the action from the curb as 400 Oak Parker's try to agree on anything. Hell, I'd invest $5k just for the entertainment value. Come to think of it, I could then sell tickets a la Jerry Springer and franchise it as a reality show. You may be on to something.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 4:13 PM

Some of these comments show a lack of knowledge regarding what established, experienced, business owners look for when selecting a town, a street, a parcel. Most of us have a consumer mentality, and such a perspective is not helpful in understanding why a business owner makes the decisions they make.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 4:08 PM

This is an opportunity for the OP lefties to invest in a business and run it like they demand of other entrepreneurs. They can unionize, pay a living wage of $20/hr to cashiers, pay higher corporate taxes, pay the CEO 10x's the lowest worker's salary, provide free birth control, Cadillac healthcare plan, etc all while keeping prices low so westsiders can shop there too. C'mon, let's do this! You only have to put up your own money this time.

Scott from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 4:05 PM

Not surprised that Mariano's passed on the Dominick's locations. They are too small. Kroger's 1st official "Kroger" store in the Chicago area isn't coming to Lake Street either. Maybe a Kroger owned Food 4 Less would come to Lake Street. Those stores are already in/around Chicago. But with 2 Jewels, a Trader Joe's, and a Whole Foods near by....do we really need another grocery store. Especially with 2 CostCo's and a Meijer nearby....and Caputo's at Grand and Harlem.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 3:57 PM

400 Oak Park residents can become entrepreneurs with 5 thousand each, and own their own grocery store.

OP Resident #623 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 3:08 PM

Aldi is just as unattractive as ever, but if we must get Aldi much better on Lake or North than Madison. All this does is ensure that I'll continue to spend my grocery dollars in Elmwood Park and River Forest.


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 2:47 PM

Maybe the School of Rock across the street can move over into the Dominicks space and become Rock Polytechnic State University of Oak Park?


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 2:45 PM

Dominick's site history here: http://www.chicagorailfan.com/garpcwtr.html. Did Harvey always bend around the current parking lot?


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 2:21 PM

Let's get real here, fellow OP'ers. Of the 11 locations chosen by Mariano's, 9 are located in large shopping centers that help attract more overall foot traffic. The other 2 are located on major 4 lane streets near highway access ramps. Comparatively speaking, perhaps the OP site is not commercially viable for today's grocery store...too small for Mariano's and too big for produce/meat market. Aldi's isn't looking so bad anymore, huh?

Maybe Ask and You Shall Receive  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 1:54 PM

What about asking our River Forest neighbor, successful grocer, Mr. Jimenez, to come and save us and the Dominick's spot. Are his stores only located in Hispanic areas? We would ask him to customize the store to our somewhat diverse community. The thing I never liked about that Dominicks on Lake is that it seemed like it never respected Oak Park's diversity agenda and became a segregated store. That's not the goal here in Oak Park, is it? Why not Mr. Jimenez to start something new for him and u

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 12:40 PM

Also, it was very revealing that Tom Gallagher/OPDC used "the southeast corner of South Blvd. & Lombard Ave." as an example development site for demonstrating OPDC's services and expertise. Excuse me, Mr. Gallagher, but the Village's Public Works Center occupies that corner. I would suggest using the Dominick's site a couple blocks away at Lake St. & Harvey Ave. next time you want to reference a potential development site. I also suggest being familiar with Oak Park next time you ask for $725K.

dystOPia from OP  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 12:28 PM

@SarahCorbin ... I did watch the Oak Park Development Corp. discussion at last night's board meeting, and came away with an entirely different take as yours. It seems OPDC simply wants more funding (from $250,000 to $725,000 per year) for the same work they have proven incapable of achieving in the past. In addition, I would rather see the board and staff specifically discussing the Dominick's issue, and meeting with potential grocery store owners, rather than continuing to waste time with OPDC.

Jim Rohr from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 12:09 PM

In the grocery store business there's a big rise in the space grocers devote to the so-called "gourmet" sector. One of the biggest leaders is Mariano's whose business model now requires their stores to be around 70,000 sq. ft. So it's understandable why Mariano's took a pass on OP/RF Dominick's location. Oak Park's income levels and ethnic diversity are ideal for a Mariano's concept, they just need the space to plant one of their operations. I agree with an earlier post that concludes Oak Park planners need to fast-track development of viable retail space to attract businesses that are more than anxious to set up shop in this dynamic marketplace Oak Park.

Being Careful What We Wish For  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 11:49 AM

The comment below is supposed to say "No bother to any neighborhood, just an asset..."

Being Careful What We Wish For  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 11:46 AM

We do not want a Marianos in Oak Park. Have you seen what they do to a residential neighborhood? As good an asset as they might be in many ways, they wreak havoc on homeowners adjacent. Just visit the one on Oketo, just west of Harlem on Lawrence. The constant and heavy traffic. The soon-to-be-empty Menards site on North Avenue would be just the right site. No both to any neighborhood, just an asset to the surrounding communities.

Sarah Corbin  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 11:18 AM

For those of you that didn't get to see last night's board meeting, it involved a fantastic step toward helping Oak Park solve these issues. And, thanks to the Trustees who promised to make some changes in a timely manner. You can watch the video here http://www.oak-park.us/your-government/village-board-meetings-online Worth a watch. And exciting - like the superbowl for economic development(retail) geeks like myself.

Dominick's Shopper  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 10:51 AM

I think Nick has the right idea. It's close enough to Ridgeland for easy commuting downtown. Condos on top, grocery on the bottom. Just like Trader Joe's on Harlem.

Nick On Ridgeland from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 10:32 AM

Perfect location for a beautifully designed condominium / townhome development with integrated grocery store to increase tax base and energize east Lake St. Maybe Treasure Island, Sunset Foods or Standard Market are interested.

Affordable grocer needed from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 9:53 AM

I would love to see an affordable supermarket there like a Shop n Save, Pete's Market or Aldi's. Oak Park residents need an option for low priced groceries. Not everyone in our community can afford to shop at Jewel or Trader Joe's or have a car to shop outside of Oak Park.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 9:34 AM

Tired of high prices at Jewel, so you shop at Whole Foods? WHAT?

The duder  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 9:14 AM

Sadly I'm not surprised this didn't happen, but I really wish it did. I agree that a Caputo's would make a great addition in that area, and I Target would too. It's a rare space in Oak Park where you not only have a large retail structure, but also a large parking lot to support the transport of larger and bulk items.

OP Resident #623 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 8:47 AM

At least the Trustees are good at attracting SRO housing and wig shops. But seriously, is anyone surprised that Mariano's wouldn't want its pick of small, outdated stores? No retailer in their right mind wants the store on Lake Street because Oak Park is way too hard to do business with / in. I view dealing with the Lake Street vacancy as one of the first real challenges for Anan, who was elected on the premise that his business knowledge would position him well to "right the ship".

Angel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 7:19 AM

I've shopped at Marianos few times and since they've opened, their prices have definitely skyrocket. I guess a better option than most.

Speedway from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 7:02 AM

Disagree with 7. Need something in that spot that is a tax base. Park district is not a tax base.


Posted: December 3rd, 2013 5:47 AM

For the OP Dominick's, I wish the Tennis Centre would expand or else put a nice indoor pool by the park district to go with the upgraded gym facilities.

just a girl...who pays taxes from oak park  

Posted: December 3rd, 2013 1:26 AM

I would love to see a Mariano's here. I'm tired of Jewel with their high prices. I shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for the bare necessities. Meijer is where we go for our total grocery take home. That empty space on the corner of Harlem and Lake would perfect for a Mariano's.

Connie from River Forest  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 11:53 PM

I heard Menards on North Ave is moving to 25th street and a Marianos is going in there. Can't wait!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 10:43 PM

Oak Park has itself in a bit of a pickle. For three decades the village has tried to make the downtown area into a Retail Mecca (Lake St, into a mall in the 80's, making Marion into a mall in the 1990 and then into a street again, Sertus, Colt, Whiteco, Tiger Grants, red bricks, blue paths in the 00's, etc. etc.), we find that we cannot attract first rate retail. We can't get Mariano's, but we do attract Sleppy's. Mariano's would probably consider OP if there was a large quality location available. But we do not have attractive locations large enough to attract Mariano's, Tony's, Kroger, etc. There is no space downtown for them, and the alternatives (Madison, eastern Lake St., Chicago, Roosevelt, and Southland) are undesirables because they are under-developed. They have been ignored for the same three decades that the Retail Mecca was stumbling along and TIF money was disappearing. So what is the next step? The only planning on fast track is Affordable Housing and the Consolidated Comprehensive Planning with Berwyn, River Forest, Maywood, and Bellwood. The former Sertus project and the latest Colt alternative are on slow track. Where are the village's dynamic actions? Where are the tax solutions? Where are the Big Opportunities?

Purchasing Power Galore from Oak Park and Environs  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 10:37 PM

It wasn't too long ago that Oak Park was the third most populated township in Northeastern, IL, Berwyn and Cicero were first and second, not sure in which order. There is money and purchasing power here. Too bad it went unrecognized. Oh well, Pressure is off Oak Park to police the Dominicks on Lake Street and now we can also travel like Chicago's West Siders have to do because they lack resources. Now we, too, have to go to other neighborhoods outside of our community to do our grocery shopping.

m on ridgeland from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 10:37 PM

Very sad, but not surprised. The Dominicks in RF is way too small. The OP one is also small for a Mariano's and not in a good location traffic wise. We loose out due to being land locked and a reputation out there that OP is not a great place to do business. All we can do is put up awful blue steel structures on North blvd and take away more parking!!! What a town!

never fear... from oak park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 10:30 PM

don't worry, business services surely has something up their sleeve, right Loretta? Don't get me wrong, this will not be an easy task, bad location, as Sarah from Oak Park said, not big enough, among other factors. Maybe Oak Park can get that Target store that was going to go in Downtown Oak Park years back?.(insert insane laughter here now). Yet here i am, still living here. Not sure why.

OP Jim  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 10:16 PM

I sure would love to see a new and improved Pans in that space. Perfect outcome.

Suzette from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 8:25 PM

How disappointing, a missed opportunity for Oak Park. As a resident on Lake Street, we need a full service market. Now, Jewel will be the only option and for walkers, that's quite a distance. A Kroger would be wonderful. There are many reasons to spread our wings east on Lake. The residents are here and more will locate if needs are met. How did this opportunity slip thru our fingers ?

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 8:03 PM

WE NEED A GOOD ETHNIC PRODUCE MARKET!!! Why is it so hard to get one that I have to travel all the way to buy most of my fresh fruits and veggies?! Caputos, come here ASAP!

Pamela from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 7:58 PM

A Kroger would be nice and I would love to see Aldi return but, the village did their best to get them out and keep them out. Seems Aldi was not classy enough for Oak Park but, Aldi is in some very upscale areas. You have senior housing nearby and, a large number of multi-unit buildings not to mention homeowners and a store could do well. Dominicks on Lake was profitable. The village is not business friendly. We need a grocer on the east side of Oak Park.

Sarah@OakPark.com from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2013 6:59 PM

While I would love a replacement I have a reality check for all of us: 3 mile radius offers a weak household income, Lake St in that portion has low traffic per day, and the store itself doesn't have enough sq ft. We do have a structure in place in Oak Park already that is supposed to help with business attraction, I just don't know how effective that structure has been in the last few years.

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