South Shore residents should stop begging for a Mariano’s

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At a meeting in a South Shore church a couple of months ago, nearly 100 residents turned out to vent their frustrations over the departure of Dominick’s grocery store from Jeffery Plaza.

Ald. Leslie Hairston, who was leaning on crutches, listened patiently for nearly three hours as speaker after speaker complained about the vacant 62,000 square-feet of space.

They were clear.

They didn’t want a discount grocery store or a dollar store. They already had that. They wanted an upscale grocery store like the Mariano’s in South Loop or the Treasure Island in Hyde Park.

While Hairston didn’t make any promises, she did advise her constituents that she would be working with the mayor and the realtors representing the mall’s owner, to make sure the empty hulk wouldn’t remain that way for long.

So, I understand why Hairston went off on Wednesday when Emanuel and Roundy’s CEO Bob Mariano announced the grocery chain would build a new store at 39th and King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Her constituents wanted to know why?

“Bob Mariano needs to meet with my constituents face-to-face and tell us why we’re not good enough for their company to consider moving to our ward,” Hairston said, as reported by the Early & Often Sun-Times political portal.

“I feel like I’m living in a part of the city that’s been cordoned off,” Hairston said.


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