City officials are hopeful that local grocery chain Valli Produce’s plan to open a 70,000 square-foot supermarket in Evanston Plaza, at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by Dominick’s.
An official for Valli’s Produce indicated Wednesday that the company is in final negotiations with Safeway to sublease the space.
Following the departure of Dominick’s from the Chicago area at the end of last year, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl appointed a special Grocery Store Working Group to help address the vacancies of two stores in Evanston.
Early on, group members, including a representative from the Bonnie Management Corp., which runs the shopping center, identified independent grocery stores such as Valli to succeed Dominick’s at Dempster-Dodge.
City officials have worked closely with Bonnie Management and Safeway to bring a grocer to the space, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said.
“Valli Produce would be a wonderful addition to Evanston Plaza, and would only add to the rich diversity of shopping options already available in town,” Bobkiewicz said. “The city applauds Valli for recognizing the value of the Evanston Plaza location and the strong sense of community that makes Evanston a special place to live and work. We look forward to continuing to work with all parties to help facilitate the property’s transition and renovation. The city also stands ready to evaluate proposals to financially assist in the renovation of the grocery store and improvements throughout Evanston Plaza using the existing Tax Increment Financing District which includes the property.”
Once the sublease is executed, Valli is looking to improve and expand Evanston Plaza’s grocery space, subleasing the 58,000 square-foot former Dominick’s as well as an adjacent space for a total of 70,000 square feet, said Frank Chilelli, one of Valli’s owner.
“We’re going to redo everything,” he said. “All the equipment is going to be brand new, the floor, everything.”
He said the company would aim for a spring, 2015 openingTags: Valli Produce