By Kelly Bauer, Block Club Chicago
A longtime vacant lot in Woodlawn is now home to a 48,000-square-foot Jewel-Osco, marking a milestone in a redevelopment effort in the neighborhood.
The store at 61st Street and South Cottage Grove Avenue will be a full-service Jewel, the only grocery store of that kind in the neighborhood, according to a news release from developers Preservation of Affordable Housing, which has worked to redevelop the former Grove Parc area.
The $20 million store will offer Jewel’s usual amenities, including a deli counter, fresh fruits and vegetables and full meals. It will also have a 24/7 drive-thru pharmacy.
“Across Chicago, we are working to replace increase food access with new grocery stores and availability of fresh food in every community,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a news release. “This new store is the latest phase of the renaissance and resurgence happening across Woodlawn and will build on the unprecedented level of investment, growth and progress to make the community even stronger.”
The store replaced a 3.5-acre vacant lot and created more than 200 jobs for area residents, according to Preservation of Affordable Housing. In all, the store now has 300 full- and part-time employees, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The Jewel will be open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.
The redevelopment efforts by the preservation group were spurred by a $30.5 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant. The preservation group was brought in to spur redevelopment after the 504-unit Grove Parc Plaza was demolished.