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Mayor wants TJX to keep Evanston store

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl says she’ll stand outside the soon-to-close A.J. Wright store at the Evanston Plaza this afternoon to urge that the chain that owns it convert it to a HomeGoods store.

The TJX Companies announced last week that it will close all the A.J. Wright stores nationwide. It plans to re-brand 91 of them as T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods outlets, but has no plans for the other 71 stores, including the one in Evanston.

While there’s a T.J. Maxx just 1.5 miles away on Golf Road in Skokie and a Marshalls less than a mile away at 2400 Main St. in Evanston, Tisdahl says the nearest HomeGoods store is nearly six miles away in Morton Grove.

The mayor says that’s "an inconvenient 30 minute plus drive" for Evanston residents and that the re-branding would "not only be profitable for TJX but also would serve the needs of several diverse communities and neighborhoods" around the Dempster Plaza site.

“Evanston is prepared and willing to roll up its sleeves and work with TJX to determine what needs to be done to rebrand this store; whether it is financial assistance through our Economic Development Incentive Funds, expediting approval for rehab or cutting any red tape. We have a vision and a commitment for this shopping center and it includes retaining such a great business like TJX Companies,” the mayor added.

The mayor’s news conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the plaza at 1900 Dempster St.

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