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.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. AJ Wright to HomeGoods

    Great Idea Mayor Tisdale! 

    HomeGoods would be a GREAT addition to the Evanston retail landscape and would keep jobs in our community. 

    Thanks for taking on TJX to do some creative thinking and keep busineeses in Evanston!

  2. Go for it!

    I fully agree that the Home Goods store would be a welcome addition to this struggling plaza. I support Mayor Tisdahl’s effort and while she is at it maybe we can finally get a Trader Joe’s there as well. Sick of having my tax dollars supporting Glenview and having to drive there on a regular basis. Home Goods would be a great start and a store that would help anchor the plaza.

  3. Mickey D’s downtown?

    I hope that our mayor will also encourage McDonald’s to reopen a store in downtown Evanston.  The McDonald’s formerly in the Orrington Hotel had become horrible, but that’s no reason a new Mickey D;s could not be opened; it’s sorely missed.

  4. Trader Joe’s

     I am completely stymied as to why there is not a Trader Joe’s in Evanston.  What’s wrong w/putting it where Dominick’s is … it would give them healthy competition.

    If not there, then why not on Oakton where the OSCO was – across from the Resurrection rehab.  That store has been empty  – and an eyesore – for years now … that would be ideal and a big boost to the neighborhood.

    Or is it because of ‘class’?  Would the ‘northshore’ Evanstonians NOT go to a Trader Joe’s that wasn’t in their ‘snobbish’ area.  Evanston is a big city and can handle two Trader Joe’s if the ‘upper crust’ doesn’t want to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi.

    1. Tried, shot down unceremoniously

      8th & 9th ward aldermen courted Trader Joe’s long and hard to move into the former Osco/CVS at Oakton & Asbury.  Seems like it was just about to be greenlighted when the TJ rep took one look at the location and gave it the ol’ thumbs down.  Not sure if any real reason was given…

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