Chicago Sears in talks with Mariano's

Ald. Graham: Department store at Harlem and North being 'courted' by numerous businesses

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Chicago Ald. Deborah Graham confirmed that Sears is in talks with Roundy's Inc. to open a Mariano's grocery store at the high-traffic intersection of Harlem and North in Chicago.

She said in a telephone interview Friday that she has met with "all parties involved" in the last few days to discuss a potential deal.

"It is far too early in the talks to really be discussing a lot of details around it," Graham said.

Graham noted that Roundy's is not the only business looking at the site. She declined to speculate on how long it could be before a deal is complete.

"There are a lot of people courting Sears, and they are a long way from locking in with Mariano's," she said.

An unnamed source tells Wednesday Journal that Sears is considering a number of options for redevelopment of the location.

"I've heard they are giving Mariano's the ground floor, and Sears takes the upper floors and the basement," the source said. "The idea is that each operation would build traffic for the other."

Another possibility, the source revealed, is Mariano's building a freestanding structure in the Sears parking lot.

"What I heard is Sears is weighing a variety of options," the source stated.


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Posted: October 3rd, 2014 1:18 PM

Wow! This is indeed good news, as we are negotiating the purchase of some property just east of this location for our medicinal marijuana dispensary. Hope we can close before more details drive up property values!

chad anders  

Posted: May 24th, 2014 7:12 AM

Lol. Does it really matter? Sears is dead....who cares?

The correct name is......  

Posted: March 12th, 2014 6:19 PM

I worked at Sears Harlem/North part-time while at OPRFHS. The Chicago stores were known by their street locations unless they were located in shopping centers.

Smokey Bear  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 1:46 PM

I would have no problem repeating my criticism to the headline writer to his/her face. Pick a time and place. How about the Blake Sercye/Toni Preckwinkle event at the Avenue Ale House Wednesday Night?

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 12:27 PM

Brad - Reread the comments. I don't think anyone commented on either the reporter's character or his grammar. Comments were pretty consistently critical of the accuracy and completeness of the article's content. And this "well, you can't expect him to get everything right with the money he makes" attitude isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of his professional skills.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 11:51 AM

It is quite easy to anonymously attack the writers of these WJ stories. I have a good friend who works for the Sun-Times group in the western burbs and filled me in recently on his situation and how salaries stand in general. I can confidently say this, after hearing my friend's story, that Tim isn't making a lot of money. Please refrain from attacking the writer's character over grammar mistakes. It's classless. I don't care for mistakes either, but keep it civil (ie Email him w/suggestion

i'm not surprised  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 10:35 AM

i'm not surprised by the amount of time picking apart this story. in general, WJ news stories are ripe for picking apart.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 9:57 AM

I have a feeling that once this situation comes to fruition, if the Wednesday Journal didn't report on it until then, when there were zero questions left unanswered, the paper would be criticized for not reporting on it earlier. This is a short, quick piece, and frankly, I am surprised at the time that's been spent picking it apart. Regardless, I look forward to future coverage regarding the Sears at 1601 N. Harlem, Chicago, IL 60707.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 9:31 AM

Dan - Obvious questions: Have Sears and/or Roundy's been contacted by WJ? Assuming yes, what did they say? As it stands now, the headline could have read, "Chicago alderman announces she's working hard to benefit community, but only she can talk about it, because it's a secret."

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal Wednesday Journal Employee

Posted: March 11th, 2014 9:03 AM

Folks-- This is a story that is going to go on for a while. It is going to evolve incrementally. So this small piece is the first time a local government official, Ald. Graham, has confirmed that talks are actually going on with Sears about that location, that Mariano's is in the mix, that others might be in the mix. That's enough news to warrant this coverage. And yes, there is another source who we are confident in but doesn't want their name used who added a bit more perspective. Finally, the store is in the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago. For the purposes of an Oak Park news site we initially labeled it the Oak Park Sears store. Now we've changed the head to say the Chicago Sears store. Everyone knows what store we are talking about.

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 11th, 2014 8:28 AM

Bill - Even with the headline corrected, this is an article that suggests that any of a number of things MIGHT happen, at some point in the future, according to a secret source. It's a rumor. If the WJ wants to give Graham a free ad, give her a free ad. Don't pretend it's a story.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 8:41 PM

The only clowns here are people like Smokey and others who have some deep seeded need to attack newspapers for the slightest perceived flaw. We moved to OP in 1957, and that Sears was often referred to as "the Oak Park Sears," even though it was across the border in Chicago. Get a life, clowns.

Smokey Bear  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 8:19 PM

Or better yet, "North Ave Sears"!

Smokey Bear  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 8:18 PM

What CLOWN is writing these headlines? We go from Oak Park Sears, which is false, to Chicago Sears, which could be one of a dozen stores. How hard would it be to write "Galewood Sears"? That way, it's accurate, and Oak Parkers realize it's something germane to them

MC from Oak Park  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 1:40 PM

It's unfortunate that the opportunity for meaningful discourse here is once again dragged down by such petty sniping. Most of the comments are childish and unneccesary.


Posted: March 10th, 2014 12:33 PM

Make that Tuesday March 11


Posted: March 10th, 2014 12:32 PM

The Northwest Side Community Coalition is having a community meeting on Tuesday March 1. At 6:30 at Redeemer Church at North and Oak Park ave Our lead topic will be this Mariano' s news and what we are doing to bring it to North ave. We are the group that exposed Behind Closed Doors

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 10:19 AM

@Nick. Take a college course in logic. You've gotten into what is called the "argumentum ad hominem" fallacy. In simple English, you've chosen to "trash" the person rather than addressing the issue itself. And you've added a dash of sarcasm, too. It is an immature way of communicating. Enough said.

Oak Park?  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 9:51 AM

Sorry, Nick. Until your last post I didn't know you were still a kid. Let me try to explain this to you. The problem with the article is that it's a list of things that might happen, at a place that's misidentified, according to a source who's not named. It falls short of the accuracy and certainty that most grownups expect from a published piece of journalism. You'll learn more about this in social studies when you get to middle school. Good for you for participating, though!

Nicholas from Oak Park  

Posted: March 10th, 2014 6:59 AM

You need a life Oak Park?

Oak Park?  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 10:32 PM

Nicholas - I already have a job, which I'm expected to do with certain level of professional competence. And I DO know better than the writer of the headline, because I know where the subject of the story is located. The WJ made an amateurish error. Defend them all you want, they're still wrong, and newspaper articles are supposed to be accurate.

Mr. Austin  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 9:46 PM

The indictment of Alderman Brookin's Chief of Staff said 3 alderman take money to give liquor licenses. We already know Deborah Graham personally passed an ordinance so a liquor store controlled by a drug lord could open up in Austin with $105,000 of taxpayer money after they donated $2,000 to her. We are all praying to God that Deborah Graham is wearing a jumpsuit by the end of the year.

Nicholas from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 7:01 PM

Oak Park? - why don't you quit your job and lace up your journalist prowess to go work for the Wednesday Journal? I'm sure they would love to have you. For the rest of you of who think the greatest crime in the world was committed maybe "Oak Park?" can satisfy your daily quota of Oak Park "I know more than you do" attitude. Is this the New York Times or what?


Posted: March 9th, 2014 5:42 PM

In big city newspapers (Trib & Sun-Times), the reporter doesn't write the headline. Not sure of the practice at the WJ.

Oak Park?  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 11:54 AM

Nick - Why such low standards for professional journalists? There's an error in the headline of this story that could have been corrected if someone had spent 30 seconds on the internet. Sears has a store locator that will actually tell you the address, if you care enough to look. If you're going to publish the information, you should look. Shoddy and unprofessional.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: March 9th, 2014 10:58 AM

Bridgett. So SEO makes it OK to use misleading and inaccurate headlines just to get more "hits." And it's OK to quote an "unnamed" source who has just "heard" something; to me that's passing along a rumor. A good journalist would have called Sears to see what the object of the comment actually has to say. My earlier opinion stands.

NicK from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 10:04 PM

Oak Park? - I'm glad you're such a great newspaperman from high school. You're just another Oak Parker who likes to make a mountain from a mole hill. In the greater scheme of things, do you think this mistake will ruin anyone's weekend? A clarification will be posted sometime soon and the Oak Park world we live in will go on.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 9:45 PM

SEO-Search Engine Optimization. Keywords are purposely used so that when people are doing Internet searches via search engines (like Google), the chances of such webpages showing up in the search are increased. You'll notice that the headlines here at are not always the same headlines in the print edition of the Wednesday Journal.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 3:29 PM

What's an "SEO purpose. . . "?

Oak Park?   

Posted: March 8th, 2014 2:55 PM

Nick - You're right. We can't reasonably expect a professional journalist to accurately identify the location of his story. And this error could hardly have been caught before it was published. They're doing their best, but it's so hard! On a related note, years ago I wrote for my high school paper. An error this obvious would not have made it to publication.

Nick from Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 2:44 PM

Give the writer a break- it's just a headline. It's not the end of the world.

Bill D  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 2:42 PM

Agreed Bridgett. The reporting is solid, not "sloppy." And though they don't like to do it, most every newspaper will quote an unnamed source if they can confirm the source is credible.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 12:41 PM

Jim, I'm not following your criticism of the reporter/writer. What is he missing about the community? The headline calling it "Oak Park Sears?" That's probably for SEO purposes. And it isn't an "anonymous" source. It's an "unnamed" source. In other words, the paper knows who the source is. They are choosing not to print the identity of the source. Such practice is not at all out of the ordinary.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 12:16 PM

Just sloppy reporting and writing. If you're gonna write about Oak Park, at least learn something about the community. And the "anonymous source:" Do we really need that kind of journalism?

Bill D  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 9:53 AM

So, being subjected to a fine for disobeying red light laws makes an intersection a "traffic light nightmare," J. Oak Park? You have low standards for what constitutes a nightmare.

j.oak park  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 9:27 AM

i stand corrected and admit that i was wrong. that said, i won't be going to that location as it is a traffic and traffic light (thanks river forest) nightmare.

Violet Aura from Chicago, Illinois (not really)  

Posted: March 8th, 2014 8:40 AM

@J. OP: In your quest to be cutesy-wutsey, you also got it wrong: Sears is in Galewood, which is a part of Chi-beria. Yes, a facepalm is in order.

Really? from Oak Park  

Posted: March 7th, 2014 6:49 PM

Since when did Oak Park gain aldermen? Do we really want that? Actually, Mariano's would be a great addition to that location and all the surrounding area. But come on...Oak Park Sears??


Posted: March 7th, 2014 6:13 PM

I thought that the Oak Park/Elmwood Park Sears actually in Chicago - Galewood!

j.oak park  

Posted: March 7th, 2014 6:07 PM

yes, the oak park sears in elmwood park. facts are irrelevant here... it is oak park(ish) after all.

Oak Park?  

Posted: March 7th, 2014 6:03 PM

Oak Park Sears?

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