CITY HALL — A city commission Tuesday unanimously endorsed a plan to seize a shopping center in South Shore in an effort to bring a full-service grocery store back to 71st Street.
If approved by the City Council, the city could use its power of eminent domain to purchase Jeffery Plaza, a 113,300-square-foot shopping center at 2101 E. 71st St., which has been without a grocery store since Dominick's closed in December 2013.
The vote of the Community Development Commission Tuesday was unanimous.
In May, a Charter Fitness gym opened in about half of the space once occupied by Dominick's.
The old Dominick's in the Jeffery Plaza remains the only location not taken over by another grocer since the chain closed all of its Chicago locations.
In May, the center was listed for sale for $19 million by real estate company CBRE, which is selling the shopping center for owner Cannon Commercial. CBRE announced that Shop 'n Save had signed a lease for the space.
However, Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) told DNAinfo a few weeks later that Niles-based Shop & Save Market had yet to sign a lease but was close to finalizing a deal.
Hairston has long been in favor of the city gaining control of the shopping center through eminent domain because of the owner's yearslong failure to find an anchor tenant.
"This is necessary to bring economic development to the community," Hairston said Tuesday.
The commission also endorsed a plan to give city officials authority to seek a developer to take over Jeffery Plaza, at Jeffery Avenue and 71st Street. A request for proposals issued in 2015 drew no responses, according to the report.
In 2015, the Chicago City Council approved the use of eminent domain to seize the shopping center. That authority expires in November 2018, and city officials said Tuesday the authority needed to be extended.