Stanley’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, a Goose Island staple, has put its property on the market to capitalize on developers’ attraction to the area.
The family-run business, founded by Stanley Peters in 1967, has remained committed to quality produce and low prices, longtime customers say.
They’ll soon have to find somewhere else to get their fruits and veggies, as Peters is looking to “exit the market” and “take advantage of surging development demand,” according to a press release from CBRE — the real estate brokerage group that will sell the property.
That demand is driven by a planned riverfront project nearby, between Lincoln Park and Bucktown. The massive $5 billion Lincoln Yards development touted by Sterling Bay could include, among other things, a high-rise and a 20,000-seat stadium.
Peters was on vacation and couldn’t be reached for comment.
It’s unclear whether Peters plans to re-open Stanley’s in a different location.
Stanley’s is just steps away from the proposed boundaries of the development, and the near 61,000 square feet of land Stanley’s occupies could go for a pretty penny to a developer looking to benefit from the success of Sterling Bay’s nearby development.
Some Stanley’s customers, like Carlon Walker, bemoaned how big developers have put mom-and-pop shops out of business, replacing them with expensive, brand-name stores. Walker said he doesn’t think stores like Stanley’s can survive in big cities anymore, and lamented the idea of going to Whole Foods — Walker called it “Whole Paycheck — to get his produce.
Michelle Glick was surprised and upset to find out the store was closing, and said no other store has the same variety of produce at such great prices.
“I’ve lived in this area for years, and I think (closing) it would be really detrimental to people financially and from a convenience standpoint,” Glick said. “There’s nothing like it anywhere in the city that’s nearby. It’s my go-to place.”
Tara Baumgartner, who lives near Chicago and Milwaukee avenues, said Stanley’s is the only grocery store that’s “really accessible” in the area.
Should the property be sold to a big developer, Bob Ochockyj said he wouldn’t be surprised if they built a different supermarket on the land.
“Sterling Bay probably wants to build something here, so they may build another food mart,” he said. “But it’s not going to be Stanley’s. It’s an icon.”