America’s healthiest grocery store known as Whole Foods Market is slated to come to Englewood at 63rd Halsted by 2016. A possible sign of relief for many residents who dismissed Chicago Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) original plans to bring a Save-A-Lot to the community. This plan was overriden by the will of local residents and the responsiveness of 16th Ward Alderman JoAnn Thompson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Since the beginning of the summer, dozens of residents took to R.A.G.E.’s Facebook page demanding that a quality grocery store other than a Save-A-Lot be brought to Englewood. Early this year there was an inked deal by CNI to use TIF funds to build an 18,000 square foot-Save-A-Lot.
During a public village meeting in July of 2013 hosted by Resident Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) there was an out cry of disdain from residents whose concerns was that Englewood is being kept poor and old.
Many community leaders and residents felt that bringing in a senior citizen building, a new parking lot for the WIC depot, a Save-A-Lot placed next to an Aldi and Walgreens would not be a good use of TIF funds.
In 2010, Asiaha Butler blogging as Mrs. Englewood wrote about the idea of a Whole Foods coming to the community. “For example, a rep spoke about the TIF 67th & Wentworth area that outlines many areas in Englewood and other neighboring communities. I am particularly concern about the old KKC site…As a resident I would like to have a grocery store like a Whole Foods or even Trader Joe’s.” Since 2011, the re-development plan by David Doig of CNI was brewing. The act to engage the community about the development was not initiated according to Butler and other community leaders. CNI plans included a Save-A-Lot, senior housing and a parking lot for WIC depot (run by Catholic Charities). Read the entire story written by Rashanah Baldwin here on the Englewood Portal: http://www.englewoodportal.org/news/6620
What are your thoughts about this new development?