MOUNT GREENWOOD — A pair of dollar stores has surfaced in the 19th Ward with varying degrees of fanfare.
Dollar Tree opened late last month in the old Family Pride Finer Foods at 10601 S. Pulaski Road in Mount Greenwood.
Meanwhile, Family Dollar is under construction in the former Ace Hardware store at 11810 S. Western Ave. in Morgan Park.
The closure of Family Pride caused a considerable reaction when it was announced in January. Disappointed customers headed to the store in the final days to say goodbye to the 35 employees and take advantage of final sales.
Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) sent an email to constituents on June 2 announcing that Dollar Tree would be replacing Family Pride. The email made it clear that O'Shea was hoping to attract a different user to the site, but that the new owners, Seneca Real Estate Development, weren't interested in such conversation.
"Once the Dollar Tree is open, I would ask all residents to keep in mind the lack of concern shown for our community during this process when making their shopping choices," O'Shea said in the email.
Regardless, Dollar Tree is now open after what appears to be a full interior rehab. The fresh produce aisle and aged deli counter are gone, replaced by bargain office supplies, candy, cleaning products and other dollar store staples.
A store manager declined to comment when asked about the Mount Greenwood unveiling, as did Randy Guiler, vice president of investor relations for Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree Inc.
The Family Dollar — just 3½ miles away — received little attention by comparison. Going out of business sales at the old Ace Hardware came and went without much ado.
Terrence Sommerfeld, president of Oak Brook-based Metropolitan Real Estate Co., is named as the owner of the building on a permit displayed in the front window. He did not respond to repeated attempts for comment.
The interior of the former hardware store has also been cleared out. Garden supplies, plumbing parts and barbecue grills have all been replaced with an open floor plan.
There's no word on when the store might open, and the alderman's office declined to comment about the development.
Coincidentally, Dollar Tree announced on July 6 that it had completed the acquisition of Family Dollar. The combined company will have sales exceeding $19 billion annually with more than 13,600 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces.
The merger will not impact the addition of any Family Dollar or Dollar Tree stores already in the pipeline, said Guiler, the company spokesman. But he declined to comment on specific stores.
"We will continue to build the Family Dollar brand," Guiler said.
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