Neighborhood grocery store shakeouts and shakedowns

We’ve recently looked in on a number of new grocery stores that are underway or proposed – a South Loop Mariano’s, a West Loop Mariano’s, a West Loop Target, a Plum Market in Old Town and a Pete’s Fresh Market on the Near West Side. Two days ago we stopped by the site of the Rebuilding Exchange, above, where Mariano’s is planning a new outlet near Bucktown.

We’ve wondered whether the West Loop openings would lead to a shakeout in the grocery store market. There’s little wonder in the fact that, according to a recent David Roeder report in the Sun-Times, Pete’s Fresh Market has apparently been the target of an aggressive shakedown effort. Every developer who’s done a project in a changing neighborhood in Chicago has experienced repeated acts of vandalism, theft and extortion. Is it any wonder that some Chicago neighborhoods languish?

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