Chicago’s Bronzeville gets facelift with addition of Mariano’s grocery store October 1, 2014

Construction is expected to start next year on a grocery store that will be owned and operated by Mariano’s in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The full-service grocery store will be built in an area with very little access to healthy food choices for families, on land owned by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).

Nonprofit developer Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives will build the store. The estimated $24 million project will create many construction jobs and up to 400 permanent jobs at the store. Through the Illinois Fresh Food Fund program, which is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, IFF provided a $1 million loan and a $100,000 grant for the project’s predevelopment costs.

CHA and its partners, including IFF customer The Community Builders, Inc., are developing a residential project nearby called Oakwood Shores. IFF provided Oakwood Shores with a nearly $1.3 million loan for 66 condos currently under construction. Oakwood Shores and Mariano’s are part of CHA’s Plan for Transformation to turn around blighted areas.