West Loop Mariano's Fresh Market Taking Form
Plenty of job postings are now popping up all over the internet for positions at the brand new Mariano’s Fresh Market in Chicago’s West Loop, which can only mean one thing: the grand opening is just around the corner for this growing grocery chain’s newest Chicago location. Back in July 2011, Crain’s first reported the city approved $7 million of tax-increment financing to help fund the near $42 million cost of the new Greektown retail development. And just over one year later, the grocery is finally starting to take shape and getting set to open its doors. About a week ago, the signage on the front of the store and in the parking garage was installed, and there’s no doubt the glass façade to the building’s main entrance makes for an attractive addition to the intersection at Halsted and Monroe Street. The new West Loop Mariano’s Fresh Market will be the 3rd location to open in Chicago over the past year and a half, with plans for a new 65,000 square foot store in the South Loop already in the works. Construction for the South Loop Mariano’s has yet to begin, but the big box grocer hopes to break ground later this fall.
The new West Loop Mariano’s hasn’t come without controversy, however. With a large Dominick’s just one block north and two Jewel-Osco stores also serving parts of the West Loop, the project has left some West Loop residents wondering if another large grocery store is the best development option for this popular part of downtown Chicago. But due to the addition of hundreds of new condos and apartment rentals over the past decade, it’s hard to believe the West Loop population won’t find the new Mariano’s store convenient.
Like it or not, one positive aspect about the new store is certain: this sudden influx of large groceries in the West Loop should certainly minimize the chances of having waiting in line at the store—and when it comes down to it, who wouldn’t like that?