Grocery Store Proposal for Former Maywood Market Stalled

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews

An entrepreneur’s plan to purchase and turn 615 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood, which once housed the former Maywood Market, into a full-service grocery store called Save More Fresh Market has hit a snag in the road, according to village of Maywood officials.

Ali Hamden had offered $400,000 for the 22,000-square-foot, village-owned building and the roughly 61,000-square-foot, village-owned parking lot next to it.

Hamden, who presented his proposal to the village board in April, and village officials had been in negotiations over the purchase price earlier this year but talks have stalled since Central Grocers — a 100-year-old wholesale food distributor based in Joliet — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.

The bankruptcy coincided with the company’s decision to lay off about 550 workers employed at its Joliet warehouse, according to a May 4 report by the Chicago Tribune.

“Central Grocers is a grocery cooperative that has along operated as a wholesaler for more than 400 independent grocery stores in the Chicago area—including chains like Treasure Island, Pete’s Fresh Market, Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market and Sunset Foods—distributing private-label Centrella products as well as produce, meat and dairy,” according to the Tribune report.

Central Grocers was also a supplier to Hamden, who had also been in negotiations to open a Save-A-Lot grocery store and was getting close to opening a 15,000-square-foot Save More Fresh Market — both located in Chicago.

David Myers, Maywood’s assistant village manager, said that since Central’s bankruptcy, Hamden’s funds have been tied up.

“He’s still interested in purchasing Maywood Market but he just needs to find another food distributor,” Myers said.

According to a July 26 Chicago Tribune report, Supervalu Holdings, based in Minnesota, was looking to step “into the void being left by the bankrupt Central Grocers.”

The Minnesota grocery company offered $61 million to purchase Central’s Joliet distribution warehouse. A bankruptcy judge approved the deal last month, the Tribune reports.

So far, it isn’t known how the presence of Supervalu will affect the Maywood Market negotiations. Attempts to reach out to Hamden for comment by Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

The former Maywood Market to get lighting

At its regular meeting on Aug. 15, the village board is expected to approve a motion to contract with VT-Tech Service Inc., based in Elmhurst, for $9,000 worth of electrical repairs at the former Maywood Market. VT-Tech was the lower of two bidders.

“Right now there’s no power and we have various developers showing the building with flashlights,” Myers said last week.

The repairs will restore general lighting to the building. Myers also said that the village is looking to install an alarm system to prevent any acts of vandalism or theft, which in the past had been reported by village officials. VFP

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