After a wait of about nine years, Prospect Heights is getting a grocery store to replace the former Dominick's at 1241 N. Rand Road.
Ultra Foods will open in that spot at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, after spending what city officials said was about $13 million to remodel the 87,000-square-foot store.
"Ultra is a class operation, and this store will be a showcase," Mayor Nick Helmer said. "That's why it has taken longer than we thought to open. They had to revamp everything: floors, ceilings, walls. It is one of the most beautiful stores in the area and will rival anything on the market today."
The store will employ about 300 people between part-time and full-time and is the chain's 12th outlet in the area. An additional four stores are located in northwest Indiana.
One notable feature of the store is Mezzanine Café, which includes a hot foods bar complete with entrees, sides and snacks; a salad and soup bar; wing bar; olive bar; and a selection of hot and cold beverages.
The Prospect Heights store has a deli that carries domestic and European specialties and the store stocks an assortment of Polish, Eastern European, Russian, German, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, kosher and Hispanic items in its international aisles.
In the seafood department, breaded and seasoned filets are ready to take home to cook, while on-site cooks can prepare complete seafood dinners or fish selections fresh to order. Fresh sushi is prepared daily by sushi cooks.
Bread and doughnuts are made daily while cakes are scratch-made and can be custom decorated.
"Consumers will find the freshest produce, meat, deli, seafood, bakery and produce available with the lowest overall prices … all under one roof," Dave Wilkinson, Ultra Foods president, said in a news release.
Ultra Foods buys fruits and vegetables locally, nationally and internationally, including organic alternatives. "This Ultra Foods has one of the largest health and natural foods sections in the area, too," Wilkinson said.
For its grand opening, the chain is giving away prizes, including $5,000 cash, a one-week stay at the Biggest Loser Resort Chicago Fitness Center, gaming systems, tablets, TVs and other items.
Store hours are 6 a.m. to midnight. Store information is at www.Ultra-Foods.com.
The city approved a sales tax-sharing agreement in October 2012 as an inducement to Ultra Foods. The city will give Ultra about 50 percent of its share of the sales tax over a period of 15 years, with each party expected to get $2.9 million in total. The store will get 80 percent of the 1 percent sales tax the first year, and the advantage will shift toward the city over time.
Helmer said the closing of Dominick's stores, including one 1.25 miles away in Arlington Heights, should help Ultra.
The city got another new grocer last June, when a discount store, Save-A-Lot, opened at 610 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Palwaukee Center space that once held Irv's menswear.