Mariano's to Build New Store in Bronzeville

Construction is expected to begin 2015

A new Mariano's Fresh Market is coming to Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.

The popular grocery store chain will build a new store at 39th Street and King Drive on the city's South Side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday. Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

Owner Bob Mariano has been working with Emanuel for six months on the plans for the new location, which they hope will "bring healthy food into undeserved neighborhoods in the city."

Mariano was welcomed with cheers when introduced at a Wednesday news conference.

"That's a lot of pressure. I'm just a grocer," Mariano said.

Mariano said he initially considered a location at 39th and State for the new store. He said the company has brought 9,000 jobs to the Chicago area in just 3-1/2 years.

"What this Mariano's project represents is the continued renaissance of this great neighborhood," Ald. Will Burns (4th) said at a Wednesday news conference. "For a long time, people on the South Side have felt they haven't gotten their share."

Emanuel said the new store will expand access to fresh, healthy food options for Chicago residents.

"You have to be everywhere ... this is the first of multiple stores for the South Side," Emanuel said.

The Bronzeville Mariano's will be different from the several stores sprouting in Chicago in former Dominick's locations.

It is expected to bring 400 jobs to the area.

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