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Co-Op Grocery Store Eyes Uptown's Gerber Building

By Josh McGhee | April 14, 2017 7:40am
 Chicago Market is hoping to make the Gerber Building its new home.
Chicago Market is hoping to make the Gerber Building its new home.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — A co-op grocery store is hoping to make Uptown's Gerber Building its new home.

Chicago Market, which launched in June 2014, has been searching for a location for more than a year. The Gerber Building, currently under renovation, presents an "exciting opportunity," according to a press release by the co-op.

"We hope to bring a destination grocery store, owned by the community, to Uptown," said Grant Kessler, president of Chicago Market's board of directors.

The former clock tower is being renovated as part of the CTA's $203 million Wilson Station Reconstruction Project. The space is intended to be an "anchor for revitalization and economic development" in the neighborhood, according to the CTA's website.

Originally built in 1907 by architect Arthur U. Gerber, the building served as a hub for the Uptown Entertainment District during the Jazz Age.

The customer-owned grocery store has nearly 900 owners including Ald. James Cappleman, who said an Uptown homebase for the grocery program would be a "great addition to the neighborhood," according to the press release.

"I'm proud to say that I joined Chicago Market a few years ago and became their 500th member when I was at the Buena Park Neighbors meeting," Cappleman said.

The market offers two forms of membership for one-time contributions of either $250 or $500, according to Chicago Market's website, and payment plans are also available.

The CTA is currently accepting bids on the property. The co-op is working with th 46th Ward Office, real estate brokers, architects, designers and community partners to craft a proposal, the release said.

The market would include sustainably-farmed produce, meat and dairy products, along with dry goods, bulk foods, frozen foods, wine, beer and liquor, according to its website.

It will also include a juice and coffee bar and have space for workshops, classes, meetings and performances, according to its website.

The project would create 75 jobs, the release said.

The area currently has several of options for grocery shopping, including Aldi and Target, which are both nearby on Broadway. There is also a Jewel-Osco at 4355 N. Sheridan Rd.