Schaumburg hopes to avoid 5 more years of vacant Dominick's site

Schaumburg officials are trying to bring together representatives of Tony's Finer Foods and Albertsons to resolve an impasse which threatens to keep the former Dominick's store in the village's Town Square shopping center vacant another five years or more.

Itasca-based Tony's purchased the former Dominick's at 200 S. Roselle Road last summer and planned a $6 million renovation before bringing a new grocery store and new jobs to the village.

But through a series of corporate mergers, Albertsons - the parent company of Jewel-Osco - found itself in possession of the lease and its potential extensions formerly held by Dominick's.

Schaumburg Community Development Director Julie Fitzgerald said a five-year lease extension was exercised by Albertsons, running through June 1, 2021. Further extensions are possible through 2036.

But after an assessment of the market, Albertsons and Jewel announced just last month that they would not open a store in Town Square and would instead prefer to cancel their lease for the site.

The village is determined to make sure that happens if both sides are in agreement, Fitzgerald said.

Even if the situation is resolved, Tony's Finer Foods' original plans to open on the site in 2016 have already been dashed. The best-case scenario now is 2017, and even that will require a lot of work on everyone's part, Fitzgerald said.

"It's becoming complicated, and obviously the village is disappointed by that," she said. "We're hopeful for a resolution and a commitment on the part of both parties."

Melissa Hill, director of public affairs & governmental relations for Albertsons, said the company has been working with the brokerage firm HSA Commercial Real Estate to find a tenant to sublease the property. That's a relationship that precedes Tony's Finer Foods buying the property, she added.

The Dominick's store has been closed since the end of 2013, but Schaumburg officials have been anticipating a wave of economic growth in that area of the village in conjunction with the completion of the Pleasant Square residential development just to the north.

One expected project that's still on track is for Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House to move in to the former Applebee's restaurant at 18 S. Roselle Road, near the vacant Dominick's. The new breakfast-lunch restaurant is expected to come before the village's zoning board of appeals soon, Fitzgerald said.

Plans also are progressing for Art Van Furniture to move into the village's other vacant Dominick's at the southwest corner of Higgins and Meacham roads.

  HSA Commercial Real Estate has been working with Albertsons to try to find a tenant for the former Dominick's building it leases in Schaumburg's Town Square. That relationship precedes the building's purchase by Itasca-based Tony's Finer Foods. Eric Peterson/
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