ASHBURN — A closed high school in Ashburn is being transformed into a grocery store to serve the community.
Pete’s Fresh Market will take over the old Luther High School South at 3130 W. 87th St., according to Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th). The private Lutheran school was closed in 2014 due to low enrollment.
The Greater Ashburn Development Association conducted several polls on Nextdoor, a social networking platform for neighbors — to ask locals what they wanted to see developed in the neighborhood. Ultra Foods closed at 87th and Kedzie in Ashburn in 2017.
Locals were asked to choose from a bookstore, community center, entertainment venue, grocery store or gym. A grocery store was the top choice, according to the association.
The new grocery store is “exactly what everyone wanted and needed,” said Angie Daley, treasurer of the Greater Ashburn Development Association.
But other longtime neighbors are worried that a large grocer like Pete’s Fresh Market could bring congestion to the area.
Crystal Shinn, who has lived in Ashburn for 17 years, said the store will disrupt life for those living near the vacant school. She said she’d rather see the old school redeveloped into a youth center or another use driven by the community.
“You’re going to build this big, wonderful grocery store, but what happens to my little pocket of serenity?” Shinn said. “I don’t want to see shopping carts all over. I’d like for them to build a big wall to separate us from that or to reconfigure streets so there’s not traffic coming through our neighborhood.”
Shinn said she’d like the alderman to host a public forum with neighbors to address their concerns.
It’s unclear when the new grocery store will open. Vanessa Dremonas, executive director of Pete’s Fresh Market, declined to comment.
The grocery store will be about 2 miles away from suburban grocery stores like Pete’s Fresh Market in Evergreen Park and Jewel Osco in Oak Lawn.
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