EDGEWATER — Mariano's announcement that it would open a new store in the closing Dominick's on Sheridan Road near Foster Avenue was a big statement to Tina Travlos Nihlean.
Travlos Nihlean, the president of the Edgewater Development Corporation, said the move by the up-and-coming grocer "validated" Edgewater's recent business boom, despite Dominick's plans to pull out of the Chicago market.
"It’s a 'bravo' to Mariano's for recognizing what a great location Foster and Sheridan is," said the Edgewater native. "You get validated when a significant retailer can take a risk and say, 'Yes, I’ll be there.'"
Mariano's announcement comes as dozens of new businesses and developers choose to invest in the neighborhood, she said.
LA Fitness's new gym, opening soon, and Starbucks' new drive-through location, which opened in October, also show that Edgewater is quickly becoming an economic destination for well-known brands, Travlos Nihlean said.
But that's not all.
North Broadway has been booming with other new businesses, including a new Walgreens, 63 Bar and Grill, Mexican restaurant Mas Alla del Sol, soon-to-open Pearl's barbecue and Cookies and Carnitas, which opened last week.
And Travlos Nihlean said even more development is the way.
"The publicity surrounding Mariano’s decision to choose Edgewater as one of their new locations is generating buzz with other quality businesses to take a look at Edgewater, too," she said.
The store has begun to sell off some merchandise at a discount.
Although another grocer hasn't announced plans to buy the Broadway location, Travlos Nihlean said she's confident it won't remain vacant long.
"We think that the Dominick's at Broadway really represents a unique opportunity for these retailers and developers to come into the Edgewater market," she said.
The Far North Side's other two Dominick's stores, at 6623 N. Damen Ave. and 1763 W. Howard St., also haven't been spoken for.
A manager at the Damen store in West Rogers Park said Tuesday that bargain shoppers cleaned out toothpaste, shampoo and other hygiene and household merchandise that were sold at a 50 percent discount. Other items would be sold at the same discount over the coming weeks, he said.
The manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said the store would close for good at noon Dec. 28 and that he hadn't heard any rumors about an interested buyer for the store.
"We're just waiting and seeing," he said.