Woodman's gets OK to demolish Macy's, build new store at Stratford Square Mall

  • Woodman's Food Market has received permission from Bloomingdale to tear down the former Macy's store and part of Stratford Square Mall to make room from a proposed 243,000-square-foot grocery store.

      Woodman's Food Market has received permission from Bloomingdale to tear down the former Macy's store and part of Stratford Square Mall to make room from a proposed 243,000-square-foot grocery store. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/11/2018 7:31 PM

Bloomingdale has signed off on a proposal to build a new Woodman's Food Market at Stratford Square Mall.

Village trustees on Monday night unanimously approved a planned development so Woodman's can demolish a former Macy's location to make room for a new stand-alone grocery superstore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'm absolutely pleased for our community," Village President Franco Coladipietro said after the vote. "I think it's going to be wonderful for the residents and for the mall."

The Macy's space at Stratford has been vacant since the department store closed in March 2017. But shortly after the closing, Stratford's owners approached the village and indicated they were in discussions with Woodman's.

As part of its proposal, Woodman's is planning to tear down the Macy's and roughly 75 feet of the mall next to it. Then a new 243,000-square-foot store will be constructed on roughly 19 acres near the intersection of Schick Road and Gary Avenue.

Once completed, 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.

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The massive 24-hour grocery store won't be attached to the mall.

Still, it's expected to be a good starting point to spur redevelopment at Stratford, which now has lost three anchor stores.

The mall's J.C. Penney store closed in 2014. Most recently, the Carson's department store was shuttered because of the bankruptcy sale of the chain's parent company.

"The addition of Woodman's to Stratford is going to buoy its future success," Coladipietro said. "We're going to improve the retail situation at Stratford and, hopefully, that is going to benefit the mall in terms of attracting other types of smaller businesses and tenants."

Village officials, however, were concerned about the impact the addition of Woodman's would have on similar businesses. The grocery store site is across the street from a Mariano's and down the road from a Meijer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Coladipietro touched on that issue when he questioned Woodman's representatives before Monday night's vote.

James Arneson of Fox Arneson, the construction manager for the project, said Woodman's stores typically are a large draw.

"Their geographic draw is much larger than a traditional grocery store," he said.

The Woodman's chain mainly operates in Wisconsin but includes locations in Carpentersville, North Aurora and Rockford. The company is expanding in Illinois and recently opened a store in Buffalo Grove. Another store is being built in Lakemoor.

David Bossy, a real estate representative for Woodman's, said the company wants no more than a dozen stores in the Chicago metropolitan area. No additional stores are planned for Cook County, he said.

"As such, they will draw a great radius from Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove and other communities that typically would not shop in Bloomingdale," Bossy said.

After hearing that response, Coladipietro said he's confident the entire retail base in Bloomingdale will benefit from the customers Woodman's attracts.

Plans call for the Bloomingdale location to have a roughly 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 will be used for storage.

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