The $12.9 million Cermak Fresh Market project featured the construction of a 68,000-square-foot grocery store in a severely distressed northwest Chicago community. The Project marked the first phase of the 1.5 million-square-foot redevelopment of the former Marshall Field’s warehouse, shuttered in 2008. Located within a state enterprise zone, the Project brought the once robust economic epicenter back to commerce after being closed for several years, while catalyzing future phases of development on the site. The grocery store now provides fresh-food access to more than a half-million people, as well as 103 opportunities for employment, 100% of which are accessible to low-income individuals.
The Project was strongly supported by the community, including public support from both Alderman Ray Suarez and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Marshall Field’s warehouse site was a great economic engine of Chicago’s past, but working together with the community, we are reinventing it to be an even better economic anchor of the future,” stated Mayor Emanuel. As a 1.5 million-square-foot undertaking, the redevelopment of the site was guided by all levels of community leadership working to ensure alignment with the needs of the area. The availability of fresh food was also pointed to as a focal need and looked highly upon as the foundation for the warehouse’s successful redevelopment.