Evanston’s Economic Development Committee voted Wednesday night to support a request for $2 million in financial assistance for the city to the planned Valli Produce store at the Evanston Plaza shopping center.

Valli says it plans to spend a total of $8.6 million to renovate the former Dominick’s market at the site. The city aid would be borrowed against anticipated revenue from the tax increment financing district created for the shopping center in 2011.

Valli hopes to open the store, at the intersection of Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, by this June. That’s a month before the planned opening of the city’s third Whole Foods store, in the other shuttered Dominick’s here.

Valli representatives at the meeting said demolition work inside the store is already well underway and they showed a series of slides showing renderings of different sections of the store.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the store renovation is just the first phase of a larger project to redevelop the rest of the shopping center, which is expected to cost another $5.4 million and is expected to include a request for additional city assistance.

The overall project is expected to generate about 215 construction jobs during renovation and about 275 permanent jobs — 200 in the supermarket and 175 from other shopping center tenants.

The city aid still requires approval of the full City Council.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Why is it ‘profitable’ businesses need government money ?
    If a business is sure they are sound and will be profitable, why do they all come begging for government money ?
    Either they are a good business or not.
    They may need a loan [see a bank] or equity financing [sell stock or get a financial partner] but don’t come begging for taxpayers to pay your bills.

    1. Here is Why

      Because the City offers this and any smart business owner or entity will take advantage of this incentive.  Simple as that.  It is called good strategy.

      Also, because any profitible business offers so much back to the community in terms of jobs, goods and services, neighborhood revitilization and contribution to the tax base.

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