SOUTH SHORE — After nearly six years of waiting, South Shore’s new grocery store is set to open this month, ending the neighborhood’s status as a food desert, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) confirmed Monday.
The Local Market by Shop and Save at Jeffery Plaza, 7131 S. Jeffery Blvd., “should be open in two weeks,” Hairston told Block Club. An exact open date has not yet been announced.
A Shop and Save representative said the company is “doing our darnedest to make sure it’s open” in the next two weeks. The company has been in contact with the alderman’s office “every day,” Hairston said, giving updates on signage and hosting a recent job fair.
In recent weeks, signs of life have appeared at the long-dormant site. A Local Market sign now hangs on the facade, and window coverings have come down to reveal interior shelving.
Dominick’s closed its Jeffery Plaza location when the grocery store chain folded in December 2013. It remains the last of the 15 shuttered Chicago Dominick’s to be replaced with another grocer.
Hairston said residents shouldn’t be worried about the store opening. “The proof is in the pudding,” Hairston said.
“Other than the actual date that it’s going to open, everything is there,” she said, adding that the site “just finished inspection.”
Final touches to be completed include reviewing the site’s refrigeration systems and shipping in food to stock the store’s shelves. Thirty percent of the store will be reserved for fresh produce.
The store will employ the equivalent of 97 full-time workers, according to the Chicago Development Fund, which granted $12 million in New Market Tax Credit funding to the project in February.
The city approved $10 million in tax-increment financing dollars to the developer in October 2018.
In February, Shop and Save purchased the Jeffery Plaza shopping center. The company has maintained leases with all existing tenants, including Papa John’s, Gamestop and the Red Rooster restaurant, as it prepares to anchor the center.
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