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Break Ground For Market At 111th St. Site

Despite cloudy skies and a steady drizzle, groundbreaking ceremonies took place last Friday morning for the beginning of the construction phase of Mariano’s Fresh Market, which will be located at 111th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn.

Construction plans for Mariano’s Fresh Market is the centerpiece of a Tax Incremental Financing District (TIF) project to rejuvenate this particular Oak Lawn intersection. {{more}}

The project has been often debated over the past eight years because of the uncertainty of the future of local businesses currently at the location, such as the popular Flap-Jack’s restaurant.

Mayor Dave Heilmann, along with village manager Larry Deetjen, played major roles in the TIF plans.

Deetjen had stated during a recent Oak Lawn Village Board meeting that Trader Joe’s was pursued for the corner but they declined.

Heilmann had also stated that Trader’s Joe’s was considered because of its upscale food products.

But Deetjen and village trustees are more than happy to have Mariano’s Fresh Market at the 111th Street location.

Bob Mariano, owner of Mariano’s Fresh Market and chairman and CEO of Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc., was on hand for the ceremonies.

ÒWe are going to give (Oak Lawn) the best service,” said Mariano. ÒWe promise the most phenomenal shopping experience.”

Deetjen added his excitement of adding Mariano’s Fresh Market to Oak Lawn.

ÒYou (Mariano’s) are all about customer service, and we had our chances (at other businesses) but we have the one that will be a great addition to the village,” said Deetjen.

Deetjen and Mariano stated that not only will the food market be the centerpiece of the TIF project but it will also be an integral part of linking future development of the adjacent Wolfe Wildlife Refuge Center.

This will be the 10th location for Mariano’s. The first store opened in Arlington Heights in July 2010.

Plans for the 70,000 square-foot shopping facility will employ about 400 people and will feature upscale architectural aesthetics at the Oak Lawn location, according to village officials.

ÒThis was Mayor Heilmann’s vision to have this development,” said Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th). ÒWe are all happy to have Mariano’s aboard. We are ready to get started.”

Earlier this month, Heilmann lost in his bid for third term as Oak Lawn mayor. He was defeated on April 9 by Dr. Sandra Bury, a local optometrist and former president of the Oak Lawn Rotary Club.

Heilmann did not attend the groundbreaking. Quinlan, who was not up for election, was an ally of Heilmann. Bury did attend the ceremony.

Trustee Bob Streit (3rd) is also a supporter of the TIF District on 111th Street.

ÒIt was always a great idea to have this TIF District,” said Streit, who also was not up for election. ÒThat we have Mariano’s as part of it makes it better. They are a great success story.”

Other current trustees in attendance were Alex Olejniczak (2nd), Thomas Duhig (4th) and Thomas Phelan (6th). Olejniczak easily won his election against Julie Misner. Duhig lost a three-way race to independent Terry Voerderer. Phelan did not run for another term. However, the candidate he backed, Mike Carberry, was victorious.

Village Clerk Jane Quinlan won her election and returns for a third term. All the current trustees and Jane Quinlan took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Voerderer also took part in the festivities, along with Bury and Tim Desmond, who won his election for 1st District Trustee against incumbent Cynthia Trautsch.

Olejniczak did ask Mariano when the project will be completed. Mariano said he did not know but plans for the store’s completion are scheduled to completed within a year.

While Heilmann was not in attendance, he did mention during a February village board meeting that Mariano’s Fresh Market will be a great addition to the site and will draw other businesses to the 111th Street location.

Heilmann described Mariano’s as having an Italian coffee shop, a sushi bar, an on-site chef, wine and cheese shop and a full-service pharmacy.

Deetjen also lauded the efforts of Hamilton Partners, the developer of the Stony Creek Promenade project. Deetjen said that the village and Mariano’s will continue to work with Hamilton Partners to secure other successful tenants to the development.

Mariano’s is noted for having locally grown food and specialty products imported from around the world.

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