With the county’s three Dominick’s locations up for sale and slated to close by Dec. 28, if left unsold, local municipalities are working to make sure they aren’t left with large empty retail space.
Safeway, the parent company of the grocery store chain, is trying to sell off its Chicago-area locations by the end of the year. Only four of the 72 Dominick’s stores it has operated in the Chicago area have been sold so far. They were bought by New Albertsons Inc., which owns Jewel-Osco.
Dominick’s has locations in Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills and Fox River Grove.
In Lake in the Hills, village officials have been in discussions with retailers about finding a replacement for the Dominick’s supermarket at Algonquin and Randall Road.
Over the past year and half, they’ve been working with the owners of the Centre of Lake in the Hills to try to identify prospects to take over the Dominick’s space, Economic Development Coordinator Gino DeVivo said at a recent meeting.
DeVivo added there are ongoing discussions with a prospective tenant who is interested in leasing 50,000 square feet of the 72,000-square-foot space.
The remaining square footage would be available for another retailer.
Dominick’s has indicated it would leave before the end of its lease term if a buyer or new tenant is found, DeVivo said. Dominick’s is leasing the building until 2017.
“We’ve been staying ahead of the curve on this one,” DeVivo said.
In Fox River Grove, Village Administrator Karl Warwick has also worked on marketing the Dominick’s property in the village to prospective grocery chains.
He said Fox River Grove could offer a sales tax rebate if a grocery store moved in. The village would rebate 40 percent of the sales tax back to the grocery store.
The Dominick’s in Fox River Grove also is in a tax increment financing district, which are used for economic development, Warwick said.
One of the big concerns about losing the Dominick’s is that it’s an anchor store for the shopping center at Routes 14 and 22, Warwick said.
Safeway announced Oct. 10 that it was leaving the Chicago market by early 2014 to focus on more profitable business. The Dominick’s chain had lost $35.2 million during the first nine months of the year. During the third quarter alone, the Dominick’s chain lost $13.7 million.
Employees were notified of the plans to close up shop in a letter this week. The company confirmed in a statement that it expects to close all unsold stores “on or about” Dec. 28.
• The Associated Press contributed to this report.