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Jewel’s Uncertainty Curbs Deerbrook Enthusiasm

Parent company of Chicagoland grocery chain is told to find a buyer.

Uncertainty surrounding the future of Jewel’s parent company, Supervalu, and the economy in general led the owners of to regroup with plans to renovate the Deerfield shopping center.

Gateway Fairview, the owners of the mall, Other changes included relocating to an outdoor location at the north end of the center.

Mall ownership had proposed and the Village Board of Trustees was working with Gateway Fairview to refine it.

That changed Monday when Mayor Harriet Rosenthal told the Board at its scheduled meeting Deerbrook ownership had withdrawn its offer.

“The combination of financial uncertainty associated with Supervalu’s ownership of Jewel, along with the time interests of present tenants and the overall challenged presented by the economy, caused them to withdraw the request and reassess their strategy,” Rosenthal said.

A story in Friday’s Chicago Tribune quoted sources from Bloomberg News saying Supervalue was being advised to find buyers for all of the company’s stores rather than some of the companies it owns like Jewel Osco.

“Supervalu has been asked to seek a buyer,” a source familiar with the Deerbrook project said. “Much of it has to do with the economy and we are paying the price for it.”

When Gateway Fairview made its public proposal to the Village Board in June, it planned to move TJ Maxx from the mall’s interior to the north end of the project with an outdoor entrance by demolishing the space between the existing Jewel and Back to Bed.

After that work was complete, a new Jewel with the amenities of the newest grocery stores was to be erected in the location just emptied by Best Buy. That is a major reason for the uncertainty.

Though Deerbrook cannot continue its current plan with the uncertainty surrounding Jewel and the economy in general, it intends to be a presence in Deerfield into the future.

“We’ll have to come up with a new plan,” the source familiar with the Deerbrook project said. “We still have a major investment in the project.” The company does not plan to go away and has been happy working with the Deerfield officials.

A large predevelopment investment has already been made by Deerbrook’s owners and it plans to continue its plans to improve the property. It also likes the prospects of a partnership with Deerfield. “We’ve enjoyed working with the Village and look forward to it moving forward,” the source said.

As for Rosenthal and the trustees, they too look forward to Deerbrook’s next move.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Deerbrook ownership going forward so that it continues to be a sound economic investment for them and an important asset to our Deerfield community, Rosenthal said. “As soon as they make a proposal we’ll look at it.”

barry August 27, 2012 at 01:09 PM
At first when I heard Pea Pod was going into a bank with a drive through to open its first concept "drive through grocery store" I thought..... just another fiasco. But as a day or two went by a.d I processed it all in my slower moving brain these days I actually LIKE it. I recall years ago while raising two kids as infants and not wanting to take one or the other with an ear infection outside in sub zero weather to go grocery shopping I thought it a good opportunity to try pea pod....and get $25 off on the first order. I loved it after the third order....because it took no time at all since I was now able to order off my prior group of orders. But i stayed away entirely from produce, fruits and vegetables is is my point. I like to pick my own fruits and vegetables. But while at a charity fundraiser I met an executive from Pea Pod who talked me into trying the produce, explaining how produce is bought.....and selected for customers. I tried it and was surprised that the quality was amazing....and as good or better than what I would have chosen myself. , Therefore, if I can order Pea Pod....and never ;walk through that dirty Jewell with long dead produce that any other chain would have thrown out :a week earlier, and have my groceries loaded in my car, with prices just like Jewell or Dominics and they take coupons, I'm sold!
Bringin' Down Briarwood August 27, 2012 at 02:15 PM
If the shaky status of a mediocre grocery store was the tipping point for redevelopment, it doesn't sound like there was much of a plan to begin with. To the town: please push these guys to have a SOLID plan - not one that falls apart with an easily, replaceable grocery store.
Dave August 28, 2012 at 04:36 AM
Mariano's Foods would make a great replacement for Jewel...cool store with great customer service!
SpellJewellWrong August 28, 2012 at 04:54 AM
The Peapod drive thru seems dumb to me. If you are Busy and/or Lazy why not just have them bring the groceries to your house ? You still have to pre/order either way ? I don't get it.
D'skidoc August 28, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Why not try it? The reduced costs of fuel and drivers for delivery probably makes drive thru a good business proposition for Peapod. Near the train station, and expy exits. Some people aren't home for the delivery, but can do drive thru. Can't hurt. As for Deerbrook....I hope they fire all the geniuses who have been working on this project and get some actual ideas on the table. Good luck to us!

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