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Alderman Hopes For New Grocery At Dominick’s Site

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Ald. Tom Tunney, Dominick's

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says he hopes a new full-service grocery store will move to the old Dominick’s site at 3012 N. Broadway. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said Monday night that he hopes a full-service grocery store will be part of a new plan for the long-vacant lot in East Lakeview where a new Dominick’s was supposed to be built.

In a community meeting dominated by a discussion of a major zoning change farther south on Broadway and the possibility of a Wal-Mart store moving into the neighborhood, Tunney also addressed the vast empty lot at 3012 N. Broadway, which has been vacant since a 34-year-old Dominick’s store burned to the ground on Father’s Day 2005.

Ground was broken in 2008 for a sparkling new Dominick’s and an upper-bracket condo development on the site. The Broadway 3030 project was supposed to feature floor-to-ceiling class windows and long terraces with the Dominick’s on the ground floor. Condos were priced from $400,000 to $1.2 million.

But the developers, Michael O’Connor and Jonathan Zitzman, defaulted on a mezzanine loan for the property in 2009, and the land was sold at a bankruptcy auction.

Now, the signs urging prospective buyers to “experience the excellence” of the condo development are covered with new signs warning that unauthorized cars parked in the old Dominick’s lot will be towed.

“The bottom line is the project as approved ended up being finally not able to be built,” Tunney said at the meeting of the South East Lake View Neighbors Association.

Thus, the zoning for the site has been downgraded from a B3-3 community shopping district, to a lower-density B3-2 community shopping district, as it was when the old Dominick’s was in business.

Meanwhile, new developers are working on a new plan for the site, which Tunney said “hopefully… will include a full-service grocery store.”

But will it be Dominick’s, or another store? While the signs for the condo development have been covered up, a sign announcing a new Dominick’s coming soon still stands at the site.

In a statement Friday, Dominick’s said it does not currently have a lease on the site.

“We continue to work on a potential development with the new owner of the property who recently acquired the property through the bankruptcy auction,” Dominick’s said in the statement. The store declined to elaborate.

The Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce said Monday that new developers will present their plan once new tenants are identified, and until then, it’s too early to say what will be part of any new development.

The chamber said “other grocery (stores), as well as big boxes, have shown some interest in this location.”

Also at the Monday night meeting, Tunney said zoning has been downgraded for the site of a planned 12-story condo complex at Belmont and Hudson avenues that will not be built. Zoning has also been downgraded for the boarded-up restaurant space at 2941 N. Clark St. – formerly home to Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant and before that, Deni’s Den Greek restaurant – after a development plan there also failed, Tunney said at the meeting.

Adam Harrington, cbschicago.com

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