Rolling Meadows officials hope Wal-Mart will be among the retailers that consider a long-vacant commercial site on Kirchoff Road now that plans for an Uncle Joe's grocery store there have fallen through.
Mayor Tom Rooney revealed earlier this week that the new grocery store proposed for 2915 Kirchoff wouldn't be coming because of financing issues. The site, located in the heart of the community, has been mostly vacant since a Dominick's store there closed in 2004.
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Wal-Mart recently submitted plans to open a "Neighborhood Market" store just a few blocks away, near the intersection of Kirchoff and Library Road. Neighborhood Market stores are smaller than Wal-Mart's traditional department stores, measuring about 38,000 square feet. They offer a mix of groceries and pharmacy items.
City officials now wonder if Wal-Mart might agree to change its plans and open the Neighborhood Market store at 2915 Kirchoff instead.
"It seems like it would be a great fit," City Manager Barry Krumstok said. "It's very close to the site they've selected, and the zoning is already in place for a grocery."
Anne Hatfield, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said via email Thursday that "we have reviewed several sites and the present one at Kirchoff and Library is the one we are pursuing."
Hatfield said the Neighborhood Market store would complement the existing full-size Wal-Mart store in Rolling Meadows.
Wal-Mart's proposal for Kirchoff and Library will be discussed at a Jan. 21 committee-of-the-whole meeting. Traffic and infrastructure issues will likely be among the topics council members discuss, Krumstok said.
In the meantime, Clark Street Development, owner of the property at 2915 Kirchoff, has been reaching out to other potential tenants, though no specific deals are yet in the works, Krumstok said.
"It's all in the beginning stages," he said. "But inquiries are being made."