The A.J. Wright store in Evanston Plaza, at Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, will close permanently in mid-February. Its parent company, TJX, announced last week that it will close all 162 A.J. Wright stores. While it will “rebrand” some of those stores under one of its other store names – TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods – that will not be the case with the Evanston store. Doreen Thompson, director of public relations in the Framingham, Mass.-based corporate offices, told the RoundTable last week that there are no plans to rebrand the A.J. Wright store in Evanston.
The shopping plaza is in receivership with Foresite Realty, after foreclosure filings against owner Joseph Freed & Co. Doug Tarr of Foresite told the RoundTable he had “no information” about what the next step for the site would be.
A.J. Wright was one of the anchors of Evanston Plaza, along with a Dominick’s food store. Many of the spaces are vacant. Other smaller businesses there, such as Panino’s Restaurant, Subway, Metro Kleeners, Kingston Grill, Dunkin’ Donuts and Dance Center Evanston, have loyal clients and customers.
At a neighborhood meeting held several months ago at a local church, residents told a representative of the Freed Company they would like to see the shopping plaza attract businesses reflective of the neighborhood’s needs and tastes.
Alderman Lionel Jean-Baptiste, alderman of the ward where the shopping center lies, has planned a “media event” for 3 p.m. Thursday, to put pressure on TJX to re-open the store under one of the parent company’s other brand names.