A new grocery store for the Loop

A grocery store is coming to the building soon to be vacated by the Carson Pirie Scott & Co. department store, according to today’s Sun-Times. City officials so far aren’t confirming or denying these plans, only saying they’d like to see a grocer in place of Carson’s. “With our student population and our growing residential population, it’s very important to encourage grocery stores to look down in our new neighborhood of the East Loop,” Planning and Development Commissioner Lori Healey told the Sun-Times.

The store’s arrival would be a watershed moment in the Loop‘s progress towards becoming a viable residential neighborhood. There are grocery stores nearby, including one in Streeterville and two on Roosevelt Road, but there’s nothing a quick walk from Millennium Park, around which many new residential buildings are clustered.

We predict big success for this new store (if it in fact comes). On a recent late-night foray downtown, we noticed that the Jewel-Osco on the southwest corner of Roosevelt and Wabash was hopping. Even after midnight, the parking lot was nearly full, and people were roaming the aisles. The Sun-Times called a long list of stores to see if any of them would would dish about plans for a Loop store, including Wal-Mart. (Wal-Mart? Would it carry artisanal pork and mesclun greens, to fit in with the row of upscale stores and luxury condos along State Street?) Loopers (and others), weigh in: is this grocery store a good idea? What kind of store would work best?

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