HYDE PARK — Mariano’s Fresh Market CEO Bob Mariano said he sees little right with the former Dominick’s location in South Shore, but remains interested in the neighborhood.
“It’s the location,” Mariano said about passing on the former Dominick’s at Jeffery Plaza, 7131 S. Jeffery Blvd. “It’s not the neighborhood.”
Mariano made his remarks last week, just before announcing plans to open a new Mariano’s location in South Chicago.
He also said he thinks the parking lot is the wrong size for the 65,000-square-foot store, he believes the entrances and exits to the parking lot don’t serve the store well and he did not like that the Metra tracks passed in front of the store on 71st Street.
“We’re not going to bring a store to the neighborhood that is below the standards of Mariano’s,” Mariano said.
The Milwaukee, Wis.-based grocer has snapped up 11 of the former Dominick’s locations and announced plans to build two more stores in the city in the last year.
On Tuesday, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said she was aware of Mariano’s objections to the former Dominick’s location.
“Do I think Jeffery Plaza could be updated? Absolutely,” Hairston said. “But you’re not going to get rid of the trains.”
She said the city is still actively negotiating with several grocers to the move into the Dominick’s, which closed Dec. 28. She said she is also still courting Mariano’s to move to South Shore.
Mariano and Hairston said they would tour city-owned lots in the neighborhood in August that Hairston believes would be a good site for a Mariano’s Fresh Market.
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