New Grocery Stores to Open in Food Deserts


First lady Michelle Obama attended a press conference today, where Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that four grocery chains will open 17 new stores in communities the mayor described as “food deserts,” neighborhoods with a shortage of available fresh food.

White House photo of First Lay Michelle Obama.

Supervalu Inc. plans to open a new Sav-A-Lot store by the end of the year in North Lawndale, and is working on new Sav-A-Lot stores in the Grand Boulevard, Austin, Near West Side, West Pullman, Morgan Park, Calumet Heights, West Englewood and Englewood communities, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. plans to build three new Mariano’s Fresh Markets stores in Bronzeville, South Chicago and Forest Glenn; Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is slated to build three new stores on the south and southwest sides; and Aldi’s plans to build a store in Roseland.

Marianos' website photo of fresh fruits and vegatables.

In addition to these stores, Emanuel also announced that one of Chicago’s urban farm networks, Growing Power, has signed an agreement with Walgreens Co. and Aldi’s to produce jobs and economic development at farm sites in the city.

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CHA Launches Initiative to House Women Ex-Offenders


Ex-offenders rights advocate Willie J.R. Fleming commends CHA Board members during a recent meeting to discuss creating housijg for women ex-offenders. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Women ex-offenders who formally lived in Chicago public housing will get a second chance to get supportive housing under a plan announced this week by the Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.

At their Aug. 16 public meeting at the Savoy Square Community Center, 4448 S. State St., the CHA Board authorized interim Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ponce to contract with the Viceroy Apartments on the Near West Side to set aside 17 units of subsidized housing for formerly incarcerated women who once lived in public housing.

The Viceroy Apartments is a six-story brick hotel that was constructed in the 1920s and is located at 1519 W. Warren Blvd. Heartland Housing is redeveloping the structure to include historic preservation of the façade and a total rehab of the interior and its 89 studio apartments, according to an Aug. 10 letter from CHA staff to the board that was e-mailed to Residents’ Journal. The letter indicates that 72 units in the building will for homeless women or those at risk of being homeless. The CHA waiting list will be the primary source of referrals for these 72 units. The remaining 17 units will be master-leased to St. Leonard’s Ministries to provide permanent supportive housing to women ex-offenders. The City of Chicago is donating the property, while Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) funds and other sources will be used to complete the rehab. Rent will be set at approximately $685 per month.

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