Demolition is set to begin next week at the old Blockbuster store on Chicago Avenue, where a new Trader Joe’s is expected to open this summer.
The grocery store at 1211 Chicago Ave. will most likely open in late June or early July, according to Scott Gendell, president of Terraco, Inc., whose company is developing the site.
Fencing has already gone up around the construction site, and demolition will begin in earnest next Monday, Gendell said. That process will take approximately two weeks, at which point crews will begin preparing the site for actual construction.
“Depending on the weather, we should be able to get going in December, and you’re really talking about a six-month construction process,” he said.
Construction will not affect traffic on Chicago Avenue, since the site will give crews enough room to maneuver and store vehicles without entering the roadway.
According to Gendell, the project is about two weeks behind schedule, but hasn’t hit any major delays so far. Officials originally projected a “spring 2013” opening.
“We’re all terribly excited about the project and what we believe will be a tremendous addition to the community,” Gendell said.
Trader Joe’s regional vice president Adam Mutolo said the hiring process would not start until much closer to the store’s actual opening. At the earliest, Trader Joe’s would begin hiring employees four weeks in advance. Mutolo said he did yet not know how many positions would open up.
City manager Wally Bobkiewicz has said that the grocery store is each year. Last spring, aldermen voted 8-1 to purchase the lots at 1223- 1225 and 1229 Chicago Ave. for $2.05 million in order to build parking for the store. City officials hope to generate enough revenue in taxes from the store to offset the purchase price within five years.