Is Woodman's grocery store a good fit for Bloomingdale? Officials want to study plan.

 
 
Updated 7/10/2018 6:15 AM
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  • Woodman's Food Market is seeking permission from Bloomingdale to tear down a former Macy's store and part of Stratford Square Mall to make room for a new grocery store.

      Woodman's Food Market is seeking permission from Bloomingdale to tear down a former Macy's store and part of Stratford Square Mall to make room for a new grocery store. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

A proposal to demolish a former Macy's store to make room for a new Woodman's Food Market would provide a boost to Stratford Square Mall, Bloomingdale officials say.

But before there's a vote on the plan, Village President Franco Coladipietro said he wants to consider the impact the proposed 24-hour grocery store would have on similar businesses in town.

"We have significant big-box retailers in the community," Coladipietro said. "So I want to study how it (Woodman's) would fit into our existing retail base."

Coladipietro's remark came after he and village trustees publicly reviewed the Woodman's proposal on Monday night.

The Macy's space at Stratford has been vacant since the store closed in March 2017.

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.

If it gets permission from the village, the Wisconsin-based grocer would build a 243,000-square-foot 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.

On Monday, village trustees asked only a few questions when they reviewed the plan during their committee of the whole meeting. They could vote on the project later this month.

Coladipietro said he believes the board will be supportive of the proposal.

"It's going to add a significant retailer to our community, which is positive for the village of Bloomingdale" he said.

Coladipietro acknowledges the stand-alone store would be "a good starting point" to spur redevelopment at Stratford, which has lost two anchor stores and is poised to lose a third.

The mall's J.C. Penney store closed in 2014. Now 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.

Still, Bloomingdale officials are concerned 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.

"At first blush, it looks as if they're going to complement the community," Coladipietro said. "I just want to make sure that -- because of the size and scope of this project -- we do the analysis."

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 in Lakemoor.

If built, the Bloomingdale store 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.

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