Mayor Steve Chirico and leaders from over 20 surrounding communities recently gathered for a call to action.
They want answers as to why the former Dominick’s locations have remained vacant since they merged with Jewel.
Albertsons, the parent company of Jewel-Osco, has continuously renewed leases on the buildings but failed to fill the properties.
“The damaging effects of intentionally keeping these spaces vacant is very, very difficult for these communities, it’s a huge burden. And the halo effect on the ‘mom and pop business’ is tremendous,” said Mayor Chirico.
Albertsons was invited to the press conference in order to find solutions, but failed to show, instead sending a letter to Mayor Chirico stating their side of the story, saying:
“Frankly we are pleased with our progress over the last year at finding solutions to the vacancies and still have more work to do. We are cautiously optimistic about filling the remaining spaces,” stated Steve Cogan, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Store Development for Albertsons Companies.
Local leaders have asked that Albertsons stop intentionally renewing the leases and instead work with each community to fill the vacancies.
“It can’t just be about business, it has to be about the communities, so that’s what we’re asking, we’re asking them to put the communities first,” said Mayor Chirico.
Currently there are 15 vacant Dominick’s stores in the Chicago-land area, two of which are in Naperville.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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