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Arlington Heights-based grocery chain Valli Produce Inc. says it plans to open a 70,000 square-foot supermarket in Evanston Plaza, Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, in the space formerly occupied by a Dominick’s food store, according to information from the City of Evanston.
Evanston Plaza would be the fourth suburban location for Valli Produce, an independent grocer offering large selections of fruit and vegetables, imported foods and other grocery items.
A July 9 statement from the City said City officials met with Valli Produce earlier this year and Valli is in the final stages of completing an agreement with Safeway Inc. The lease with Safeway Inc., parent company of the now-defunct Dominick’s food stores, reportedly expires in 2017.
The City said Valli has stressed its commitment to a high level of customer service and takes pride in stocking the highest quality produce and hard-to-find ingredients.
After Dominick’s left Evanston Plaza, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl formed a special Grocery Store Working Group to help address the Evanston vacancies. Since then, the City has worked closely with Evanston Plaza property owner Bonnie Management Corp. and Safeway Inc. to bring a new grocer to the space.
“Valli Produce would be a wonderful addition to Evanston Plaza, and would only add to the rich diversity of shopping options already available in town,” said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.
“The City applauds Valli for recognizing the value of the Evanston Plaza location and the strong sense of community that makes Evanston a special place to live and work. We look forward to continuing to work with all parties to help facilitate the property’s transition and renovation. The City also stands ready to evaluate proposals to financially assist in the renovation of the grocery store and improvements throughout Evanston Plaza, using the existing Tax Increment Financing District which includes the property,” he added.
Once the sublease is executed, according to the City, Valli plans to improve and expand Evanston Plaza’s grocery space, subleasing the 58,000 square-foot former Dominick’s as well as an adjacent space for a total of 70,000 square feet.
Founded in 1977, Arlington Heights-based Valli is named after its founders’ former home, a small farm town in southern Italy, according to the firm’s website. Current Valli locations include Arlington Heights, Glendale Heights, Hoffman Estates, Love’s Park and Rockford.