Construction starts on Pete’s Fresh Market in Oak Park; ‘early spring’ opening expected

Renovations at the much-anticipated Pete’s Fresh Market in Oak Park have officially begun, and a representative for the grocery store said the company expects to open in early spring next year.

Interior demolition of the property, a former Dominick’s at 259 Lake St., began about three weeks ago, said Eugene Grzynkowicz, the general contractor for the project. He said that work on the building’s façade began on August 27.

“We’re starting full force, as far as construction goes,” said Grzynkowicz, a senior project development executive for the Chicago-based grocery chain.

Grzynkowicz said that work on the 45,000-square-foot store involved a “complete gutting” of the building’s interior; renovation plans for the forthcoming Pete’s include the installation of new fixtures, flooring and aisle cases.

With work now underway, the company expects to open the new Pete’s market in “March or April,” he said. Pete’s had originally targeted a late 2014 grand opening for its Oak Park store.

Pete’s paid $6.25 million for the store in January, amid a period that saw Safeway Inc. — Dominick’s parent company — shuttering and shopping out its 26 metropolitan and suburban locations. The Oak Park market, as well another store in River Forest, were not among the former Dominick’s properties swept up by competitors Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods and Mariano’s.

At the time, Village Board President Anan Abu-Taleb lauded the news of Pete’s potential arrival in Oak Park, stating that the chain had “a good reputation” and adding that he expected the store to be a good fit for the village.

“Oak Park has the demographics for such a concept,” Abu-Taleb said in February.

In May, the village granted Pete’s a $1.5 million subsidy to go toward renovation costs for the $5.85 million project.

The forthcoming Oak Park store will be the company’s 11th location in the Chicagoland area.

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