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Grocery Co-Op To Call Historic Uptown Building Home

Chicago Market, a food cooperative, is opening a 13K SF grocery store inside the historic Gerber Building underneath the Wilson Avenue 'L' station in late 2019.

Uptown's status as an up-and-coming retail submarket took another step forward Wednesday with the announcement that Chicago Market, a food cooperative, will open a grocery store in the historic Gerber Building. The beaux-arts style building, built in 1923, was recently rehabilitated as part of Chicago Transit Authority's recently completed $203M renovations to the Wilson Street 'L' station.

CTA's board of directors unanimously approved the plan at its monthly meeting. Chicago Market will occupy the entire 13K SF space and agreed to a 10-year lease with two five-year renewal options. Rent starts at over $238K with 3% increases annually. CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told the Chicago Tribune Chicago Market's first two years will be rent-free, which will allow Chicago Market to put money into building the store.

A Chicago Market spokesman told Bisnow CTA is handing the cooperative keys to an empty shell. Chicago Market expects to spend $4M to $5M to build the store. Construction is expected to last 18 months, with time allowed for design, permitting and an environmental assessment.

Chicago Market formed in 2014 as a community-owned grocery collective with a goal to open a supermarket featuring locally grown, organic, sustainable meat, produce and dairy products, as well as supermarket staples such as dry goods, bulk and frozen foods, and beer, wine and liquor. The collective will host nutritional educational programs at the store.

Chicago Market members are also owners in the grocery store. As of press time, Chicago Market has over 1,060 members, including Alderman James Cappleman (46th), who is Chicago Market's 500th member and in whose ward the grocery will be located.