The closing of Hyde Park grocery store Treasure Island on October 8, along with the chain’s five other stores in Chicago, has left Hyde Park community members wondering who the next tenant will be in the now-vacant University-owned building.
Associate Vice President of Real Estate Operations Angelica Marks is leading the effort to find a tenant that fits the community’s needs. In a statement to The Maroon, University spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said, “Immediately after the store closing, the University worked in collaboration with the alderman and other organizations to host a community meeting and job fair, resulting in multiple job offers on the spot for some attendees.”
In a post on the 53rd Street blog, a website run by the University on news about Hyde Park, University Marketing Communications Manager Amy Srodon said, “The University’s Real Estate Operations team is working aggressively to re-lease the space…. In an effort to provide the most current information possible, we will provide updates on this blog.”
“For now, there is no shortlist with specific stores to succeed Treasure Island, but the University is trying to incorporate community members into the process,” Sainvilus said.
“We are currently in the process of meeting with a wide range of grocers that operate in the Chicagoland market to understand their interest in the Hyde Park Shopping Center. This also includes following up with every single one of the suggestions from community residents,” she said.
Community members want an immediate fix for the lack of grocery stores, with consideration given to those who will fill the vacancy permanently. The Hyde Park Google Group “Good Neighbors” has hosted Hyde Parker’s discussion of the closing. One “Good Neighbors” post suggests a temporary “‘former-Treasure-Island’ store” to provide short term employment for the jobless Treasure Island employees.
Others say that Hyde Park needs a moderately-priced store such as an Aldi or Jewel-Osco.
Another “Good Neighbors” post said, “I know many people were driving out of the neighborhood to Costco, Trader Jo's, Aldi's, etc. So I think that a moderately priced replacement store would have a good chance of success.”
“I certainly hope the powers that be are not saying our neighborhood can’t support another store,” says another “Good Neighbors” post, “because the situation as it currently stands is completely unsustainable.”