SOUTH SHORE — Seven months after announcing a new grocery store would open in the spring in the former Dominick’s in Jeffery Plaza, it now seems at best delayed.
Grocer Karriem Beyah announced in July that he would open Karriem’s Fresh Market at 2101 E. 71st St., but earlier this week he still did not have a lease on the property.
Vladimir Ganz of Ascend Real Estate Advisors, the broker for the 40,000-square-foot property, said late Tuesday that Beyah and the shopping center’s owners, Cannon Commercial, were working through the lease details.
“Things are in progress,” Ganz said.
But the lease negotiations now have lasted seven months, and no work has been done to build the café, juice bar, indoor grill and sushi bar Beyah said would supplement the full selection of meat and produce.
Beyah could not be reached for comment.
The store has been empty since spring 2015 and has already been broken up into two smaller stores. The main floor has languished, and a trip to the store on Tuesday showed little had been done to prep for the work that would be required for Beyah to make a spring opening.
Much of the work that has been completed was finished by the last failed attempt to open a grocery store in Jeffery Plaza.
Charter Fitness is finishing renovations on a 22,000-square-foot section of the former Dominick’s for an expected spring opening.
Dominick’s closed in December 2014 as the chain shut locations across the city. The South Shore store was the only location not snapped up by Whole Foods, Mariano’s or another grocer. It languished for nearly a year before Whole Fresh Markets, a grocer from the U.S. Virgin Islands, was found
World Fresh Markets did some prep work to build a store, but then pulled out in December 2015 when the general manager left the project due to a family illness.
Beyah, who gained national prominence in 2008 for being the only African-American grocer in Chicago, stepped up in July. He had previously run Farmers Best Market in Back of the Yards, which closed in 2009 due to poor sales.
With no lease at Jeffery Plaza, Beyah does not look like he will be back in business soon.
Karriem Beyah is planning to open Karriem's Fresh Market in Jeffery Plaza, but seven months after announcing his plans still does not have a lease. [DNAinfo/Sam Cholke]
Karriem's Fresh Market originally planned to open in the spring, but work has not started. [Tria Architecture]