The Crusader Newspaper Group

Crowds jam grand opening of new Jewel-Osco in Woodlawn

Supermarket first in a string of developments to spark urban renewal in the neighborhood

Crusader Staff Report

Crowds of shoppers on Thursday, March 7 flooded a festive grand opening of the new Jewel-Osco supermarket in Woodlawn, ushering in a new era of urban renewal in a neighborhood that for decades had been a food desert.

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City leaders and Jewel-Osco executives celebrated the occasion with a brief ceremony in the produce section, where numerous shoppers marveled at a wide selection of fresh produce and hot foods.

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Servers offered free samples of deli foods while customers packed shopping carts with discounted items that flew off the shelves.

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Located at Cottage Grove and 61st Street, the supermarket will bring relief to many residents who live in a food desert. The 48,000-square-foot store is a full-service supermarket that will offer fresh produce, a deli counter, ready-to-eat meals and a variety of services for customers.

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The store will employ approximately 200 full-and part-time workers when it opens in early March, 2019.

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The Jewel-Osco supermarket is one of several developments sparking urban renewal in the Woodlawn neighborhood. A $29 million, mixed-use affordable housing complex on Cottage Grove and 63rd is nearing completion, as the Obama Foundation continues to move forward on its plan to build a $500 million Presidential Center and Library in Jackson Park. There are also plans to renovate the CTA Green Line station at Cottage Grove and 63rd.

Of all the projects, Jewel-Osco is the first development to be completed.

“This is a proud moment for Jewel-Osco,” said Doug Cygan, president of Jewel-Osco, who spoke at the groundbreaking in 2018. “This new location underscores our commitment to providing good jobs, fresh produce and other essentials in order to help enhance a community.”

UnknownUnknown 15“Woodlawn is in the midst of a renaissance, and we are pleased to partner with Mayor Emanuel to bring Woodlawn its first full-service grocery store in over 40 years,” said Leon Walker, Managing Partner of DL3 Realty. “This new Jewel-Osco store will bring fresh food options to residents, provide hundreds of jobs to the community, lead to even more revitalization efforts and help ensure Woodlawn becomes a community of choice for families in Chicago.”

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