Crusader staff report
Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) and Mayor Rahm Emanuel led a tour of the construction site of the new Shop & Save that will occupy the former Dominick’s supermarket that closed in 2013.
The two on Wednesday, May 15, led about 25 people through the site located in the Jeffrey Plaza shopping center at 71st and Jeffrey in South Shore. Residents toured several areas inside the gutted space as construction workers hammered away to build the new Shop & Save. Residents also viewed poster boards that include renderings of the proposed supermarket.
“I think this is important for the community,” Hairston said. “There were a lot of rumors, skepticism during the election- a lot of misperceptions, misconception, misinformation so I wanted to keep my constituents apprised of what was going on. It wasn’t just a boarded up building to take some community people to show where it’s going to be in actuality as opposed to just on a poster board.”
Emanuel said “This is about respect. It’s a grocery store. It’s a place to shop when you look around, we just did the South Shore Group-11 different recipients of about $100,00 or a $150,000 whatever to set up coffee shops, restaurants. When people talk about food deserts, they’re actually opportunity deserts.”
The redevelopment will create an estimated 85 construction jobs and up to 85 permanent jobs within Shop & Save, in addition to the retention of 59 full- and part-time jobs at the other stores in the plaza. Local hiring efforts will be required as part of the TIF assistance.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Shop & Save Co-owner Eva Jakubowski, Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Shop & Save Co-owner Cezary Jakubowski. (Photo by Erick Johnson)
Shop & Save is owned and operated by Cezary and Eva Jakubowski. Both were there during Wednesday’s tour. The company’s new store is expected to open this fall and will offer a wide range of fresh food choices, including produce, a deli, European-style bakery and a selection of meats and seafood.
In 2013, Mayor Emanuel convened a Grocery Task Force after Dominick’s parent company, Safeway Inc., revealed it was pulling out of the Chicago-area market. The task force worked to ensure every store was bought by a new owner.
From 2011 to 2017, Chicago’s food desert population has decreased by more than 31 percent, based on the number of people who live more than one mile from a store of 10,000 square feet or more that sells produce. Since 2011, the number of city and independently operated farmers’ markets has nearly doubled, and 12 of the 14 city-operated markets now accept SNAP.
The South Shore Dominick’s space was the last of 15 vacant Dominick’s to be occupied.
Correction: This story initially incorrectly reported the name of supermarket as Save-A-Lot.