Local

Report: Wal-Mart Signs 20-Year Lease For New Bronzeville Development

West Chatham Wal-Mart Supercenter

A Wal-Mart Supercenter opens Wednesday in the West Chatham neighborhood. (Credit: CBS)

roe250 David Roe
Veteran WBBM anchor David Roe has been with the station for over 20...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Wal-Mart is making another foray into Chicago’s South Side – this time in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily says the world’s largest retailer has signed a 20-year lease for a 41,000 square-foot Neighborhood Market store focusing mostly on groceries, at the planned Shops & Lofts on 47 development at 47th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

A grant of $13 million in Tax Increment Financing dollars has been proposed for the $45.6 million development project, which is being handled by two Columbus, Ohio-based developers, Crain’s reported.

The mixed-use development will also include mixed-income housing, composed of 24 market-rate apartments, 44 affordable units, and 28 Chicago Housing Authority public housing units, Crain’s reported.

The housing will be located in a five-story building that will include the Wal-Mart, the newspaper reported. The plan for the development also calls for two new six-flat buildings and a new nine-flat building, as well as the renovation of an existing three-unit structure, Crain’s reported.

Wal-Mart has been opening stores of various sizes across the Chicago area in the past year, with mixed reaction from neighbors in several areas.

The first Wal-Mart store in the Chicago city limits opened at North and Kilpatrick avenues in the Austin neighborhood in 2006.

Four years later, after a protracted fight with organized labor, Wal-Mart got the green light for a major expansion in Chicago. The retailer has been met variously with bouquets and brickbats in different areas of the city.

A new Supercenter opened to much fanfare at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue in the Chatham neighborhood in January. Another is planned for 111th Street and Doty Avenue in the Pullman neighborhood.

Another Neighborhood Market store has opened in the Presidential Towers at 555 W. Madison St., and smaller Wal-Mart Express stores have also opened at 83rd Street and Holland Road across from the Chatham Supercenter, in the old Pearl art supply store at 225 W. Chicago Ave. in the River North neighborhood, and at 3636 N. Broadway in the East Lakeview neighborhood, in the former Recycled Paper Greetings card company building.

And despite heated opposition from the community, Wal-Mart has also signed a lease for a Neighborhood Market at the south end of East Lakeview, in the Broadway at Surf retail complex, in the 2800 block of North Broadway.

Neighbors protested for several months last year that the store would put independent retailers in the area out of business and permanently damage the character of the neighborhood, but Wal-Mart ultimately won. The Cost Plus World Market that occupied one of three storefronts Wal-Mart will take over closed last month after 15 years in business.

Wal-Mart has retailer has signed leases for smaller-scale stores at 76th Street and Ashland Avenue in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, at 71st Street and Western Avenue in the West Englewood neighborhood.