STREETERVILLE — Streeterville residents will have to wait even longer for a neighborhood grocery store to open now that Mrs. Green's Natural Market, set to replace the now-shuttered Fox & Obel, has indefinitely delayed its opening.
"The project's been put on hold for a while," said Ray Jones, grocery manager at Mrs. Green's Lincoln Park store. "There's been some changes in management, but the plan is still happening. It's just on hold."
"There's no date," Jones said. "It's just kind of being put on hold so they can reassess."
Lizzie Schiffman says Streeterville residents will continue to have limited grocery options for some time:
John Collins, a spokesman for Natural Markets Food Group, Mrs. Green's parent company, said that "while we are still working out some logistical details, Mrs. Green's Natural Market is excited about the opportunity to provide families with greater access to healthy lifestyles and organic, all-natural products."
The opening was initially scheduled for March, then rescheduled for sometime in July. Workers said construction issues forced the opening date to be pushed back at the time, but a spokesman for Englewood Construction, the general contractor on the project, blamed a "leasing issue" between Mrs. Green's and the building owner for the delay.
Jones said he expected the company would "make an announcement and let the neighborhood know" about the future of the grocery store soon.
As construction continues on the Whole Foods replacing Dominick's at 225 E. Grand Ave., the neighborhood's only grocery options are Treasure Island at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive and a Jewel on State Street between Grand Avenue and Ohio Street.
At a recent community meeting about the planned development for 451 E. Grand Ave., neighbors asked Related Midwest President Curt Bailey to consider adding retail space on the ground floor and soliciting offers from grocery stores because Streeterville "really needs one."
Mrs. Green's took over the 22,000-square-foot Fox & Obel in the fall after the high-end grocery store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, months after health inspectors shut it down after finding 200 live fruit flies and 30 live cockroaches in the store.
The store estimated its assets at less than $1 million, while its debt was estimated at $1 million to $10 million.
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