Construction has begun on a new Mariano's grocery store on Chicago's South Side, which is expected to open next year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with two aldermen and Bob Mariano, broke ground on the new site at the intersection of 39th Street and King Drive on Thursday. The site, which has been sitting vacant for several years, is located in the Bronzeville neighborhood.
"At Mariano's, we make it our business to take care of people -- that's why we're joining the Bronzeville community and are honored to be part of its revitalization efforts," Mariano, the chairman and CEO of Roundy's, Inc., which owns Mariano's, said in a statement.
Construction of the 74,000-square-foot facility will create more than 200 construction-related jobs and 400 permanent jobs, according to the mayor's office.
Mariano's is working with Phil Johnson of Johnson & Lee Architects to build the store. Johnson, a Bronzeville resident, also designed the Ping Tom Memorial Park boathouse in Chinatown, which opened in 2013.
"I'm very excited that the Bronzeville Mariano's is moving forward," Alderman William D. Burns, of the 4th ward, said in a statement. "The project will create a great grocery store and hundreds of construction and permanent jobs. This is the kind of development that we have wanted in Bronzeville for a long time."
Mariano's says it has created thousands of jobs in Chicago and opened 29 stores in the Chicago area.
Ahead of the store opening, Mariano's will continue its practice of hosting a career fair for both experienced and entry-level local candidates to meet with store recruiters and learn about the job opportunities to come.
"This new store will ... provide an economic opportunity for Bronzeville and as importantly, it will also provide the opportunity that every family deserves to get healthy food in their own neighborhood," the mayor said in a statement.
The other Mariano's locations in Chicago are in Bridgeport, Bucktown, Edgewater, Jefferson Park, Lakeshore East, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village, the South Loop, the West Loop and Ukrainian Village.