For the last year, Chicago Market has been in the process of searching for the perfect site. We've worked with our real estate broker, commissioned a market study and visited tons of sites around the city. We're pursuing a few of these sites, but we've been unable to talk about them publicly.
Chicago Market is proud to announce that we, in collaboration with Alderman Cappleman's office and community leaders, are applying to be part of the new Wilson Red Line stop.
The gorgeous Beaux-Arts-style Wilson Station (aka the Gerber Building) was designed by architect Arthur U. Gerber in 1907, and was considered to be the hub to the north side's renowned entertainment district during the Jazz Age. Now, as part of a $203 million CTA restoration which moves the train station across the street, we are ready to take advantage of this one-time-opportunity to make this historic blue-speckled terra cotta building Chicago Market's potential home.
You said "potential." What does that mean?
The CTA has issued a Request for Proposals, or RFP, asking for bids on the property. We are working with Alderman Cappleman's office, our commercial real estate brokers, our architect and designer, and our community partners to craft the best professional and community-oriented proposal possible. We anticipate that mainstream chains like Popeye's, Dunkin Donuts and Mattress Firm will seek the space, but we believe our community owned grocery store will make the Wilson Station a destination like no other. It's an ambitious project for the CTA, which is why we need your help and input.
We've spent the last two years searching for sites, and there are some other promising options still under consideration. This property, however, is an incredibly exciting opportunity on a tight timeline.
If we are chosen, and we are doing everything we can to make sure we are, the CTA tells us that the building will be ready for build-out by January 2018. Our goal is to have our financing, design and construction teams in place to begin right away.
How Can I Help?
If you've been waiting to become an Owner of Chicago Market, now is the time. Our store is poised to become a reality, and we need to be able to show as much community support as possible. We have nearly 900 Owners - but we're going to need 1500 in order to make this project a reality. Want to bring amazing, sustainable, locally-sourced food to a neighborhood near you? Join us today.
The easiest way to help RIGHT NOW? We're putting together a petition of support to show the CTA how many people want a great, locally-owned grocery store to open in this space. Please sign it.
This seems complicated. I have questions!
Join us April 29 at our Spring Co-op Pop-Up for tomato seedlings, great local food shopping, and stop by our Wilson information table to learn more.
Or, stop by Dovetail Brewery on May 2 for our Ownership Info Session - we'll talk about Ownership and the co-op in general and will also speak to this exciting bid for the Wilson location.
And read about us in the Tribune!
We've all been waiting a long time for this news. Thank you for being part of this journey with us.