CALUMET CITY | Calumet City's new economic development coordinator has been on the job for three weeks, and already has a vision of bringing a new supermarket to the city.
Coordinator Bryan Swanson told the City Council the former Sterk's Super Foods store in the Wentworth Woods Shopping Plaza could be remodeled into a large-scale supermarket chain wishing to locate.
Currently, the city has one supermarket, Pete’s Fresh Market. Swanson said he thinks that far west Calumet City location would be complimented by the far east site of the former Sterk’s. Supermarkets in surrounding communities are the Jewel/Osco in South Holland, and the Strack & Van Til in Hammond.
He also told aldermen a supermarket to the east would also draw customers from nearby Hammond.
“It was a supermarket for a long time,” Swanson said. “It could easily be one again.”
Swanson doesn’t have a specific supermarket chain in mind.
“I wish I could say I’m bringing Whole Foods to Calumet City,” he quipped. He plans to meet with officials he knows from the Aldi Foods chain to see if they could guide him in finding a company interested in Calumet City.
Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said she was pleased to hear Swanson was working on the issue.
“It would be wonderful to get a grocery store there,” she said, adding that the city already is working to clear out the one-time Video Max, Pizza Hut and Long John Silver’s stores that are part of the property.
“It’s pretty desolate out there,” she said of the area. “But maybe we can create a whole plot that can be developed.”
In other matters, Swanson said he has been meeting with the property manager for River Oaks Shopping Center and the individual managers of the mall’s stores to figure out what their needs are and how the city can react to make the shopping center stronger.