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Strack & Van Til parent company warehouse listed for sale

The grand reopening of the Strack & Van Til store in Schererville in 2015. Strack & Van Til's parent company is now selling it off.

More than just Strack & Van Til is up for sale.

The grocery chain's parent company, the century-old Central Grocers Inc. cooperative, listed its main warehouse in Joliet as up for sale on Commercial Cafe, a national commercial listings website. The listing says to contact the seller for pricing.

Joliet-based Central Grocers, a $2 billion company which bought Strack & Van Til in the late 1990s, supplies 400 independent grocery stores throughout the Chicago area, including with Centrella brand products, but counts Strack & Van Til as its largest customer.

Central Grocers is selling off 22 Strack & Van Til supermarkets and closing nine Ultra Foods the yet-unnamed buyer isn't interested in. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union Local 703 is suing the co-op to block Central Grocers from selling itself or parts of its business off to an unknown buyer.

A Central Grocers spokesman declined to comment on the pending sale.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters has reported Central Grocers has been exploring the possibility of bankruptcy amid a difficult market for independent grocers.

The company has listed its 934,490-square-foot warehouse at 2600 W. Haven Ave. in Joilet. It constructed  the "state-of-the-art dry, refrigerated and frozen food distribution" building in 2011.

At the time Central Grocers employed 400 workers there, but employment has fallen to around 300, according to the union. Strack & Van Til also warned the state of Indiana it will lay off 174 workers when it closes its Gary and Merrillville Ultra Foods this summer.

Overall layoffs will likely exceed 1,000 after 14 Strack & Van Til or Ultra Foods supermarkets close this year.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.