Genevans who think the downtown could once again use a grocery store appear to be in for a fruitless wait, according to an economic development report.
Ellen Divita, the city's economic development director, told city council members this week that judging by the space retailers want, and where they want it, the city doesn't have any parcels available.
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A large grocer, such as a Mariano's, would typically want about a 70,000-square-foot store, and is looking for at least 7 acres, she said. None of the 7-or-more-acre sites available in Geneva is in the downtown. They are all west of Randall Road, along Fabyan Parkway, on Kirk Road or on Route 38 near Kirk.
A boutique grocer, similar in size to the Fresh Market near Geneva Commons, would take up about 20,000 square feet on 2 acres, and require 100 parking spaces under current city law. Divita said she has talked to grocery store representatives about a few parcels, including the shuttered bank on North Third Street. But the stores want to front on a state highway, such as State Street, for visibility.
Geneva used to have grocery stores downtown, in the building that now houses Sav-Way liquors and on the site of the bank. she said. There is a Dominick's on Randall, an Aldi on East State, and the Soup to Nuts health-food store on West State.
Divita said she has talked representatives of Mariano's, which has opened 11 markets in the Chicago area since 2010.
Divita also compared demographics for the Kirk area and the Randall area, using 1- 3-, 5- and 10-mile radiuses.
The difference in population, households and median household income was most pronounced in the 1-mile radius. In 2012, the city forecast a population of 677 people living near Kirk Road and Route 38, with a household income of $67,967. By Geneva Commons on Randall, however, there were 8.992 people, and a median household income of $89,415. The household incomes were nearly identical in the 10-mile radius, however.