SOUTH SHORE — The former Dominick’s grocery store is emptying out in preparation for new tenant World Fresh Foods to move in.
On Wednesday, everything from the coolers down to the brooms left behind when Dominick’s moved out in December 2013 was auctioned off by SB Capital Group. The lease officially ended in May.
Auction workers, who declined to be named, said nearly everything in the store was sold and buyers ranged from small mom-and-pop stores in the city and suburbs to resellers from Florida.
"I think that's a good sign," said Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th).
Clearing out the store at 2101 E. 71st St. is the first step for bringing in World Fresh Markets, a chain run under the name Pueblo Supermarkets in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Lease negotiatians are ongoing, according to Hairston.
The owner of Jeffery Plaza, Cannon Commercial, could not be reached for comment.
As far back as October, the owners of Jeffery Plaza said a lease was imminent with the grocer.
The deal was delayed until Hairston (5th) was satisfied that the South Shore location would not be affected by the grocer pleading no contest in 2010 to tampering and illegal use of utility equipment and agreeing to pay a $12,000 fine and provide additional community services in the Virgin Islands.
Hairston cleared the way for the grocer to come in after the owner agreed to use a different management company to operate the new Chicago store, which promises to bring catering, a juice bar, local vendors and other services requested by the community.
Since Dominick’s closed, two other businesses in the plaza have also closed or consolidated.
Radio Shack closed as part of a wave of 1,784 closures nationwide for the electronics retailer in February.
Rainbow Kids consolidated its adult and children’s clothing into one store from two in the plaza in March.
An Ace Hardware that closed at the end of 2012 remains vacant.
"You have to have an anchor, and most of other businesses say they want a grocer," Hairston said.
She said the economy has not been kind to the owners, who have suffered the loss of two tenants due to corporate retailers going through bankruptcies or broad closures of their locations.
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