On November 18th the Department of Planning and Development announced a recent City Council decision to award funding to neighborhood grocer Yellow Banana LLC. Yellow Banana will be using the funding to aid in acquiring and rehabilitating a total of six supermarkets on the west and south sides of the city. The grocery stores are all Save A Lot supermarkets and have been acquired via $13.5 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
The locations include:
• 10700 S. Halsted Street, Morgan Park
• 2858 E. 83rd Street, South Chicago
• 420 S. Pulaski Road, West Garfield Park
• 4439 W. 63rd Street, West Lawn
• 7240 S. Stony Island Avenue, South Shore
• 7908 S. Halsted Street, Auburn Gresham
The project is expected to cost $25.2 million to improve each store’s operations. The amount dedicated for each individual store’s funding will be based on the community’s needs. Yellow Banana has committed to preserving the existing Save A Lot branding.
Only one of the six stores is currently closed. The Auburn Gresham location halted operations in February 2020, and with the help of this new funding will reopen in the coming months. According to the release the investments are expected to create up to 20 full-time jobs while retaining the 70 existing positions across the five operating stores.
According to its website, Yellow Banana is a Black-owned retail grocer that operates 38 Save a Lot stores in the United states throughout the Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Dallas metro areas. The company intends to refinish store facades, remodel interiors, in addition to other upgrades to allow for smooth operation. The TIF assistance comes by way of the City’s Chicago Recovery Plan, and Mayor Lightfoot’s $1.2 billion strategy for equitable economic recovery, and support for thriving and safe communities.