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The City of Evanston’s Economic Development Division has been working closely with representatives of Gordon Food Services (GFS) for nearly a year to secure a location at 2424 Oakton Avenue for a proposed GFS Marketplace store.
“Gordon Food Service has been working with the city for quite some time. The Evanston market is a good one for the company and we have met with GFS and encouraged them to make the Oakton site the perfect location for their new store,” said Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey. “Some of the issues faced have been challenging but successful outcomes do not come easy. Gordon Food Service is a very positive addition to our town and for our economy.”
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Gordon Food Service is the largest family owned distributor of foodservice products to restaurants, schools and good service operators in the country. Its GFS Marketplace Stores, which began in 1979, offer products and services for a broad range of customers; including restaurants, caterers, schools and daycares, churches and non-profit organizations, families and more. There are currently 142 GFS Marketplace stores throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
GFS Marketplace is geared towards business customers who prefer to pick up their products as well as consumers looking to shop for restaurant quality products without membership. Restaurants, caterers, convenience stores, churches, day care operators and service organizations will all find products to meet their foodservice needs at the proposed new store on Oakton. GFS Marketplace will bring four full time management jobs and approximately 30 permanent hourly jobs to the community when it opens. The current site purchase is dependent upon receiving a No Further Remediation Letter from the Illinois EPA.
The actual site on Oakton St. is currently under contract for GFS and the Site Plan Approval was passed at the last meeting of the Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee. Before GFS can close the purchase of the property, the city is working with them to help resolve some site remediation issues.
“We are excited about becoming an important part of the Evanston community and we look forward to our continued growth and commitment to Chicagoland,” said Jay Zylstra, president of GFS Marketplace. “As a member of the community, we are pleased that we will be able to create new jobs and bring a store to this community that offers exceptional customer service and unique solutions for businesses, organizations or simply satisfying a family’s shopping needs.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with GFS to bring them to the Oakton site and continuing to grow the Oakton Street retail area,” said the city’s Economic Development Manager Nancy Radzevich. “GFS Marketplace will bring new jobs, new sales taxes and enhance the property tax base along Oakton Street; all of which are such critical elements to a healthy local economy.”
The city will continue working with GFS through the site remediation process along with the final site approval and permitting processes.