SOUTH SHORE — Karriem's Fresh Market will take over the long-vacant Dominick's store in Jeffery Plaza.
The new grocer will take over half of the former Dominick's and owner Karriem Beyah said he's close to starting construction.
Karriem's Fresh Market would take over 40,000 square feet of the former 62,000-square-foot Dominick's store with a full selection of meat and produce, as well as a cafe and juice bar, an indoor grill, sushi and bar.
The grocer is currently working out a deal with Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans to sell its famous beignets in the store's bakery.
The grocery store is expected to open in the spring 2017.
The remainder of the former Dominick's will be used by Charter Fitness and a children’s clothing store.
The former Dominick’s in Jeffery Plaza, 2101 E. 71st St., has been vacant since the grocer left at the end of 2013, but the space was tied up in limbo for months as Dominick’s continued to pay for a lease on the empty storefront for five months.
Friday’s announcement is now the second time neighbors have been promised that a grocery store was close to taking over the store.
World Fresh Markets seemed poised to take over the store once Dominick’s lease finally ran out in 2015.
The World Fresh Market plan was controversial in the neighborhood because of the owner’s now-resolved legal troubles operating another chain in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The deal fell apart in the beginning of 2015 when the manager brought in to ease concerns from Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) and others left the project because of a family illness.
Progress appeared to be stalled as the owner tried to sell the entire shopping center for $19.5 million and the city continued to consider using eminent domain to take over the property.
According to Hairston and others working on the project, breaking up the 62,000-square-foot Dominick’s into smaller storefronts in December is one of the largest factors in the revival of the project.
The major shopping center in South Shore has faced difficulty in recent years with other stores also closing their doors. Radio Shack closed as part of a nationwide closure of 1,784 stores for the electronics retailer in 2015. Rainbow Kids consolidated its adult and children’s clothing into one store from two in the plaza later in 2015. An Ace Hardware also closed at the end of 2012.
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