(CBS) — Dominick’s shut down a year and a half ago, but several area stores are still empty. Now nine communities are coming together to try to bring new life to 10 vacant stores.

CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports those suburbs decided they’re stronger together than separate.

There are 27 Dominick’s stores still left empty after parent company Safeway pulled out of the area. One of them is in Bensenville, which is one the stores that local leaders hope they can market as a group.

One is the loneliest number, whether you’re the last guy left behind, or the big empty building next door.

“You have a lot of larer shopping centers that are definitely missing that anchor,” said Jason Zawila, planner for the Village of Woodridge.

The former Dominick’s there looks like many in the area with parking spaces in abundance where, at least for now, trash is the only thing looking for a spot.

“It is an opportunity for that next retailer to come in or grocer,” said Zawila.

He, along with eight other municipalities are joining forces to market 10 former Dominick’s locations to big box grocers.

The hope? The sum of the suburbs is greater than their parts.

“It’s a regional marketing effort… so what we did was put together a brochure – that lists the different sites. Demographics are typically what these retailers look for, the traffic counts,” said Zawila.

And this is about more than just finding a new store.

Nearby Stevens Family Restaurant took a hit when Dominick’s closed.

They say they hope the regional marketing initiative works.

“That first winter that Dominick’s was closed was the worst,” said Jennifer Galetsis of the restaurant.

Leaders say it’s a chance to work together to solve a problem.

The other seven suburbs participating are Bartlett, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Naperville, Oswego, Romeoville and Wheaton. The website created by the nine municipalities is www.1call10stores.com.
A spokesperson for Dominick’s parent company Safeway tells CBS 2 they are still aggressively looking to sell the remaining 27 stores.