Woodman's seeks to replace Macy's spot in Bloomingdale
Woodman's Food Market is seeking permission from Bloomingdale to demolish the former Macy's department store at Stratford Square Mall to make room for a stand-alone grocery store.
Officials hope the proposed 24-hour grocery store will attract more customers to Stratford, which has lost two anchor stores and is poised to lose a third.
"There aren't many big-box retailers left," Village Administrator Pietro Scalera said. "So the village felt this use would help generate traffic, which hopefully will have a trickle-down effect. Perhaps more people will visit the mall."
The Carson's department store chain is in the process of closing its remaining stores, including the one at Stratford, as a result of a bankruptcy sale of its parent company.
Meanwhile, the Macy's space at Stratford has been vacant since that store closed in March 2017. The mall's J.C. Penney store closed in 2014.
Shortly after the closing of Macy's, Stratford's owners approached the village and indicated they were in discussions with Woodman's to tear down the Macy's and part of the mall next to it.
The Wisconsin-based grocer wants to build a 247,000-square-foot grocery store on roughly 19 acres. It would not be attached to the mall.
The site would feature a 2,300-square-foot car wash and two gas stations -- one unattended facility and a fully staffed station with a convenience store and lube center.
Sean Gascoigne, Bloomingdale's director of community and economic development, said the plan commission recently recommended approval and the village board is going to start its review on June 25.
The Woodman's chain mainly operates in Wisconsin but includes locations in Carpentersville, North Aurora and Rockford. The company is expanding in Illinois and plans to open a Buffalo Grove store in September and another at routes 12 and 120 in Lakemoor.
Reached by phone Monday, a spokesman for Woodman's declined to comment.
Bloomingdale officials have expressed concerns about adding a grocery store at Stratford when there's already a Mariano's across the street and a Meijer down the road.
Woodman's has told the village its store wouldn't hurt similar businesses in Bloomingdale.
"They felt very strongly that the market and the business plan they have for Woodman's would attract a different demographic and a different population than the other grocers that we have in the village," Gascoigne said.
Scalera said "time will tell" what kind of effect the Woodman's would have. "But we're pretty optimistic that all of the grocery stores we have in town will be able to prosper and do well."
The proposed food market would have a 136,000-square-foot shopping area with sections for a bakery, produce, meat, frozen foods, health and beauty aids, dry goods and a liquor department. The rest of the building would be used for storage.
One question the village board is expected to address is how much sales tax revenue the Woodman's would generate. Scalera said the former Macy's and the Carson's helped generate significant sales tax dollars for Bloomingdale in the past.
"Our hope is that with Woodman's coming there, it will kind of replace that lost revenue," he said.