SOUTH SHORE — Three grocers are now back in discussions to move into the former Dominick’s store in Jeffery Plaza, Ald. Leslie Hairston said.
At a Tuesday night ward meeting, Hairston (5th) read an e-mail to constituents she got from Ultra Foods claiming the grocery store chain approached Jeffery Plaza officials about renting the store and had made initial commitments to move in.
A representative from Ultra Foods was not available to comment, and Hairston did not say why the chain had not committed to the location, but said the store needs about $6 million in upgrades.
“I know there are leaks in the roof because you could see it in the store when you were shopping,” Hairston said.
She said Pete’s Fresh Market has expressed renewed interest in the former Dominick’s after initially writing it off.
“I brought them back to the table,” Hairston said.
Karriem Beyah, who used to run a grocery store on 55th Street and the Dan Ryan Expy., has also said he would like to open a market at Jeffery Plaza, Hairston said.
“I’m going to be pushing for a concept that has a focus on fresh meat and fresh produce,” Hairston said. “As you can see, there is still interest.”
She said many grocers were initially put off by the landlord’s request for $1.8 million in rent and a long-term lease on the store. The owner has now become more flexible and is even willing to sell the shopping center for $27 million, Hairston said.
She said she thinks that many other Dominick’s were direct sales rather than leases helped ease the transition and is partially why the South Shore location is the last to be replaced.
Though Dominick’s closed in December, it continues to pay rent on the Jeffery Plaza store. Its lease expires in May 2015.