Breaking News / Economic Development

Maywood Aldi Closing A Done Deal, But Officials Have Made Concessions

aldi

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., with Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Congressman Danny K. Davis, among other community members, outside of the Maywood Aldi on Madison Street. | Michael Romain/VFP

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || UPDATED: 12/22/16

Despite a vigorous push to keep the store open, a group of village officials and elected leaders have resigned themselves to the reality that the Maywood Aldi, 216 Madison St., will close on Dec. 24. Company executives announced the news earlier this month.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st), who convened a Wednesday afternoon press conference outside of the store, said that, during meetings held earlier this week, Aldi executives gave two main reasons for the store’s closing.

“The first reason is because this store is the least shopped store in Cook County,” Boykin said. “[Aldi] has over 160 stores in the Chicagoland area. [There’s been a] downward trend in terms of the number of shoppers at this store over the last 10 years.”

Boykin said the other main reason Aldi gave for leaving is because of rising property taxes.

“Property taxes, at this location, have increased 80 percent over the last six years,” he said. “So, the combination of low shopper rate, high property taxes and high sales taxes makes it untenable to do business here in Maywood.”

When asked why it decided to close on Christmas Eve, Boykin explained that Aldi officials were thinking about the work schedules of its employees.

“Whenever you close a store it’s never easy,” Boykin said. “But they said it’s the fourth quarter. In 2017, they want to start anew and fresh, so the timing is kind of awkward. But they also indicated that they wanted to give their employees a chance to have a bit of a vacation.”

Boykin said that county officials “would do well to heed this trend [of business leaving the village],” before referencing Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel, located at 1001 Madison St., which closed its doors roughly a decade ago because of the village’s high property taxes.

It was previously reported that, according to village officials, Aldi received a Class 8 property tax incentive. But based on a recent communication with an Aldi official and Cook County records, the company didn’t receive any property tax exemptions. According to county records, the 2015 first and second installment tax bills for the Maywood Aldi totaled nearly $150,000

In a 2009 West Suburban Journal article, Corbin Colonial’s owner estimated that his 2008 second installment property taxes were $110,000.

“We have to figure out a way to make sure that the county is competitive and that we’re attracting business here and in Maywood,” Boykin said.

Rev. Marvin E. Wiley, pastor of Rock of Ages Baptist Church, 1309 Madison St. in Maywood, said that the problem with taxes also rises to the state level.

“The taxes in Maywood are high,” Wiley said. “I think the problem is state government and we need to talk to the governor, who came out and said that he was concerned about Maywood. We need to talk to him about lowering the taxes in Maywood — if only for three years — to try to bring in businesses […] If you don’t’ lower the taxes, other businesses are going to go.”

Boykin said that he was able to negotiate a three-pronged agreement with Aldi. The company, he said, has agreed to provide free shuttle service to nearby Aldi stores for shoppers who relied on the Maywood store. The details of the transportation arrangement, Boykin said, will be hammered out in the days ahead.

Aldi also agreed to lift any restrictions on the sale of the store, which it owns, to another grocer that may be interested in moving in; and that no jobs will be lost because of the closing.

Thirdly, Boykin added, employees at the Maywood store have been notified that they will be transferred to other stores in the area.

During the Dec. 21 press conference, village officials explained that they’re looking beyond Aldi to other prospective development projects. Boykin said that, according to Aldi executives, there may be another grocer looking to seize the soon-to-be-vacant property. Village officials agreed, adding that the grocer is among other developers that are knocking on the door.

“I would like to ensure all of Maywood that I’m working around the clock to improve the goods and services of this village,” said Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins.

“Currently, we’re looking at adding businesses and are in talks with grocers and manufacturers who are interested in making their products in our village and the surrounding consumer trade area,” she said. “We’re looking forward to adding many additional businesses to our village.”

Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr. said that he considers Aldi’s exit an opportunity.

“It’s always disheartening when you lose a service, but the right posture is to get back up, snap out of it and seek another alternative,” Norfleet said. “We need to begin recruiting somebody to come in and not just limit ourselves to one company. We need to find another way to get those services back. Sometimes, you can get something a bit better if you don’t lock yourself in for somebody who wants to leave.”

U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (7th), who said he frequents Aldi, said that the Maywood Aldi’s exit is part of a larger narrative of economic change happening across the country.

“When people moved out here there were jobs everywhere, but many of those jobs have left urban America,” he said, adding that the expansion of expressways into far-away that allow people to travel to and from, and live in, faraway suburbs puts inner-ring suburbs like Maywood in a bind when it comes to attracting, and retaining, both customers and the businesses they serve.

“Trying to balance a budget, especially if you’re not getting much in the way of commercial tax revenue, is hard,” Davis said. “It’s hard to keep a community going.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. said that Aldi’s exit from Maywood, where it’s been located since 1992, is part of a more insidious pattern.

“I saw them leave 87th Street (in Chicago), I saw them leave Peoria and now Maywood,” Jackson said. “It looks as if they’re expanding, generally, but moving away from black communities. We find that pattern unacceptable. And they’re getting tax breaks from the state and county and cities. We need a good social contract with consumers, taxpayers and store owners to share in the benefits of the relationship.” VFP

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the amount of property taxes Aldi was paying on its Maywood location and that the company received tax exemptions. VFP regrets the error.

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14 thoughts on “Maywood Aldi Closing A Done Deal, But Officials Have Made Concessions

  1. And recognizing the very real danger of upsetting those who love Maywood’s favorite sacred cows, I would kindly call upon the leaders of our property-tax-exempt organizations to champion their respective organizatio’s participation in the solution rather than continue to be found among the perennial accomplices to Maywood’s ongoing property tax revenue woes. Please be good neighbors, and stop sitting on tax-exempt properties which are nonessential (and/or in some cases completely unnecessary) for either your organization’s function or existence.

    • Excellent observation John Yi. Quite a few once tax paying houses are now parking lots for churchs among other things. The village would also be wise to start taking a look (and has been brought to their attention numerous times over the years) at so called single family homes with multiple units in them–all adding to the tax burden for the rest of us. Oh, and by the way, perhaps start citing some of these same houses for Code violations regarding the upkeep and apearance. Once again, it affects the rest of our property values.
      Merry Christmas

      • Yes, some churches are indeed guilty of this, along with our community’s largest non-profit(s), along with many other taxable entities who have been given special tax breaks and other financial incentives to encourage redevelopment (while sitting idly for months and even years with endless foot dragging and/or inactivity on projects). And let’s not forget the most guilty culprit of them all, the Village of Maywood. How many empty lots are we talking about? Who knows?

        And absolutey, TK, the untold damage done by those who have allowed building codes and zoning ordinances to go selectively unenforced (for at least the 9 years I’ve lived in Maywood) are nothing short of negligent and incompetent (and probably criminal)! The owners of the single family homes which have been illegally converted into multi-family multi-dwelling residences need to be properly taxed, fined, and forced to de-convert at owners’ expense. Everyone must contribute to the solution.

        There are numerous, obvious, and well-known factors which have continually exacerbated the tax revenue problems in our Village. No citizen should vote for, support, or endorse any mayoral or trustee candidate or slate who doesn’t have a reformation plan to rectify repeatedly identified problems which are clearly within the means and ability of our local government to easily address.

        I haven’t even lived In this community one decade yet, but I am already tired of hearing the same things asked of our village government, but I will say it one more time on behave of many. “Just enforce existing laws and ordinances, and please for the love of Maywood, do your jobs!”

  2. Then, the village of Maywood needs to lower there property taxes and the water bills, then…this situation would have not happen. That is why Maywood had years of disinvestment, due to property taxes being high. I am very surprised how more than 24,000+ residents are letting this happen. The residents should have came to these town hall meetings and hold the board trustees accountable.

    With the mayoral election coming up this year, I hope that this can be a wake up call for the residents of Maywood to be more community involved. That is the only way that Maywood will move forward and not backwards. Something to think about!

  3. How did WE let this happen? I’m so glad you asked. The current Village board is divided! The Yarbrough posse is against everyone and everything! Every idea Mayor Edweena Perkins come up with to bring this village forward, the Yarbrough underlings vote against it. They have NO PLANS FOR THIS VILLAGE! The Yarbrough underlings are hands down to progress in this village! If you don’t get people to exercise their right to vote, we’re gonna keep getting what we’re getting el-toropoo-poo (chewed up grass). Many of you are right when you say this community is on the shoulders or backs of the few. The Yarbrough underlings practically gave away prime commercial land to “Stairway to the Stars” on 5th Avenue, then allowed them to make it tax-free. How bout that? Oh don’t let me forget how they paved the alley and the land next to the “Stairway to the Stars” with our tax paying dollars! You can thank Trustee Michael Rogers for spearheading that.
    How come we don’t have a grocery store? Ask the Yarbrough posse WHY?

    • Redmond never , ever knows what she is talking about. She just talks. No research, no skill, no experience. A plain political operative who never contributes anything constructive to anything and everybody knows that. She just wants attention. Thats why no one ever chooses her, selects her, elects her, hires her or appoints her to do anything except to be a politcal hack. No one wants to have their business where they know they have to be bothered by totally negative , misinformed people like her . She can’t handle that truth.

      • Well “Mr Rodgers of the neighborhood” It seems like I must have struck a nerve. lol. You’ve been sitting there almost 4 years what have you done to earn a seat on Village of Maywood Board. You said I never been selected, or elected to anything. FYI what have I ask for? The only yhing I’ve ask for is the YOU DO THE JOB YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO! I’ve never ran for anything and never will. It seems the only way to get elected in this village is to kiss the Yarbrough ring among other things. How well do you know that. Its no secret that you road in to this village on the backs of the Yarbroughs!

      • Is it at all possible that ALDI left because of me or you? The fact that we have no revenue in this village because of me or you? The fact that we have a empty grocery store sitting there going to waste is that because of me or you. I am concerned about the fact that $3.5 million dollars in taxpayer funds went down the drain with the Maywood Market. I am concerned about the fact that the Maywood Market was vandalized and over $200,000 in damage was done. Where was the insurance? Did Henderson Yarbrough’s sisiter in law have the insurance policy on that? If there was no insurance on the Maywood Market at the time of the vandalism, why? Where is the accountability? You “Mr. Rodgers of the neighborhood” you’re just sitting there taking up space talking much and doing NOTHING! April 2017 we can and will get rid of you!

    • What is seems like is Redmond knows nothing and does nothing positive. Thats the simple truth. Rogers has been elected, selected, appointed, hired and chosen to serve at National, state, county, municipal, corporate, charitable and all kinds of leadership over and over again spanning several decades . And manages to have a proven record of accomplishment despite the constant efforts of do-nothing complaint leaders like Redmond who absolutely typifies the reason why businesses and investors are hesitant. That is a fact whether she can see it or not. Tons of other people can see it. And anyone who remotely pays attention knows Rogers makes his own decisions every single time based on experience and processing information. And stands strong on it. Like proudly supporting the Stairway to the Stars based on its record of enhancing the quality of life in the area. Some folks can’t stand positivity and progress because it gets it the way of their complaintfest . But at least a thousand others truly get it and are really happy about the shining new development .

      • “A thousand others gets it.”However there are 23,000 registered voters in the village of Maywood that are waiting for Mr Rodgers plan for this community. I mean after all he is paid to use his super powers for the Village of Maywood. I know you came up with idea of sticking a couple of railroad tracks in the ground and calling it the “Underground Railroad.” I like that about you because Harriet Tubman is my idol. I especially like the part in her story where she had to force a scary Negro to be free. You know when the male slave wanted to turn back to the slave master because he was afraid to be free. Ms. Tubman put a gun to his head and said “BE FREE OR DIE! You’ve got four months to put up or shut up! April 2017 your time is up! Merry Christmas

  4. …. And that explains why businesses are hesitant to come or stay. They just don’t want to deal with nonsense daily. No plan can overcome overwhelming nonsense.

    • Well, we’re all waiting for your plan. Who knows you just might get it right after a three and a half year wait. Will you continue to hide in this newspaper? However you’re right a “NO PLAN” is good for NOTHING!

  5. The taxes skyrocket in Crook County, Aldi can’t afford to keep the store open and…they are racist.

    Thank you J.J. for clearing this up. You should have shaken them down earlier when thefe was still some payoff money to be had. Well, better luck next time!

  6. Mike Rodgers you are so unprofessional…. A true professional does not argue with the citizens. However, with this with this behavior you have truly demonstrated you are lacking leadership… not only you the whole entire board. If one on the board should voluntarily remove themselves… minus Isiah Brandon. This board or any other board in the pass has accomplished absolutely nothing but the demise of Maywood. The burden of the towns financial woes have been placed on the residents. That board minus one (Isiah) has a group of uneducated, tacky dressing, ignorant and never can get along group of salvage individuals. The town of Maywood would be fools to vote back in Yarbrough and his cronies…. Ester Readith, Rivers and whom every else. You clowns cannot act right for the sake of freedom… Have you idiots heard of Gentrification? Nope… The white MAN sitting back saying keep up the good work you Ape Monkeys…so they can come in and scoop that town up… The Police Chief SUCKs…you never see squad cars around the town…my understanding is that you only have 2-3 officers working in 25000+ community. I have heard from officers that the The police Chief is running everyone away or attempting to fire them but he is unsuccessful… and the Village pays has to pay for his crap and reward these fofficers finically. I also hear the the Village Manager also sucks… my understanding he is a character from the wizard of oz with no Brains or heart. The Village manager from my understanding he is also the cowardly lion. Not to mention Every law firm contracted to Maywood is abusing us finically… Yes Klein Thrope and Jenkins… but what can you expect when a majority of your board members are barley educated and still possess a slave mentality. Before any replicable businesses come to Maywood you need to get the Police department in order with better leadership, get rid of the White boys who are causing property taxes to go up … Babish, Rice and Shliech… we the citizens pay the price while they go back to their white neighborhoods and spend our money. Yes get rid of the police board.. Gloria Clay.. Ester Readith and those two black guys.. for some apparent reason they do not believe in diversity… they are only hiring white people a very few blacks. The police board is also a group of uneducated individuals… listen to Gloria Clay talk… how can she run something when she can’t keep her home out of foreclosure? People think before you put people in place… such as education, diversity and common sense. Until then Maywood is doomed

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