Dominick's preview: Chain makes West Town hires

Dominick's Finer Foods plans to recruit 90 workers from the West Town community at its new store to open this month at 2021 W. Chicago.

Two-thirds already have been hired, Wynona Redmond, the grocer's public-affairs director, told the East Village Association at this week's membership meeting. The store will employ 140 employees on the rebuilt Edmar Foods site.

At about 42,000 square feet of space, the store is half again as big as the West Loop store at 1 N. Halsted, or about three-quarters the size of the 424 W. Division location near the Cabrini-Green housing project.

The West Town store opens Sept. 27 with an invitation event and a week of promotion to follow, including a Wells High School band performance. The store is expected to keep hours till midnight and will include a meat market, Starbucks coffee stand and U.S. Bank facility.

The building will have about 133 parking spaces on the building's roof deck and sides, accessed from Lee Street. Three I-Go ride-sharing vehicles will be located there. Decorative storefront tiles were designed by a resident artist Talcott elementary school, Redmond said. The store also plans to sponsor Wells High in the city's adopt-a-school program.

Local hiring was an issue in Dominick's bid to raze the Edmar grocery and adjacent buildings. The Safeway Stores unit agreed to neighborhood concessions that Ald. Manuel Flores described in a letter during the permit review process.

Bickerdike Redevelopment, Casa Central and Erie Community House all referred job candidates, Redmond said. Recruiting efforts included an Aug. 16 job fair.

Store 2775 is the Dominick's chain's 82nd location. It had 113 stores at the start of 2004 and has been closing its less-profitable stores during the West Town grocery's planning and construction.