City grants $13.5M for Yellow Banana to reopen Save-A-Lot

Community has lost multiple businesses recently

7908 South Halsted Street (Loopnet, Yellow Banana, Illustration by The Real Deal)
7908 South Halsted Street (Loopnet, Yellow Banana, Illustration by The Real Deal)

Auburn-Gresham is getting its Save-A-Lot grocery store back.

The city, with the support of Alderman David Moore, agreed to award a $13.5 million grant to Yellow Banana to reopen the store at 7908 South Halsted Street, which had been closed for two years, the Chicago Tribune reported. The money will be used to reopen the Gresham store and renovate five other Save-A-Lot stores it operates on the South and West sides.

The Auburn Gresham neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, known as Gresham, had also lost a CVS drugstore across the street and an Aldi at 7627 South Ashland Avenue. Alderman Moore criticized the companies for leaving the community.

“It’s about discrimination,” Moore said at a news conference last month. “On the South and West sides of Chicago, there’s one store for every 110,000 people. That’s a problem dealing with equity.”

Yellow Banana, a Black-owned company, is committed to increasing food access in Chicago, co-founder Michael Nance told the outlet.

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“We want to be the grocer of choice for communities and cities that are grappling with food insecurity,” Nance said in an interview with the Tribune. “We think we can be creative thought partners that can bring both private and public dollars to bear on the situation. We think we can provide solutions.”

The company plans to put in new LED lighting, HVAC and refrigeration systems and install new fixtures and bathrooms. Each of the stores will have to close for about three to four weeks for renovations. To offset the impact, Yellow Banana plans to stagger the renovations and provide transportation to shuttle residents elsewhere when their stores are closed.

Yellow Banana plans to open the Gresham store by the end of the year.

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Victoria Pruitt