The former Maywood Market, located at 615 S. 5th Ave., which closed in 2011. | Google Earth
Thursday, April 27, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Less than six months after Aldi — Maywood’s only full-service grocery store — closed, another grocer is looking to move into the village.
Ali Hamden, an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a range of different businesses over the last 25 years, is looking to open a grocery store, Save More Fresh Market, inside of the building that once housed the former Maywood Market, located at 615 S. 5th Ave. Maywood Market closed in 2011 after fewer than two years in operation.
Unlike Aldi, the Germany-based international discount grocery store that closed its Maywood location at 215 Madison Street in December, Hamden is an independent entity who, since 1988, has owned and operated a 7-Eleven, a string of neighborhood grocers and two gas stations.
He also buys, fixes, and either holds or re-sells single family homes, multifamily buildings and commercial properties. Hamden, who owns AH Group, is currently in negotiations to open a Save-A-Lot grocery store in the Chicago area and a 15,000-square-foot Save More Fresh Market grocery store in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.
According to a letter of intent filed in January, Hamden has offered to pay $400,000 for the 22,000 square foot building, which is located on a roughly 61,000 square foot paved lot. Maywood owns both the building and the lot.
The Pearson Realty Group, the village’s contracted broker, suggested that the building and lot be listed at $595,000 and estimated that they could probably fetch between $505,000 and $545,000 in a final sale.
At an April 26 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting, Hamden said that his offer “only reflects the fact that we have been through [the building] only once.” He said he didn’t know the condition of the roof. Hamden’s letter of intent states that his offer “reflects the fact that significant electrical repairs need to be made.”
This year, the village budgeted $30,000 to maintain the former Maywood Market. In the past, village officials have reported on numerous acts of vandalism that have taken place on the premises.
Hamden is asking for a Class 8 tax abatement, which would significantly lower the amount that he pays in property taxes on the store and surrounding lot each year. According to village data, the taxes owed on the facility and the lot totaled over $230,000 in 2013. A Class 8 incentive would have lowered that amount to around $87,000.
Hamden estimates that the village could realize $60,000 a year in property tax revenue and $40,000 a year in sales tax revenue, which would total around $1.6 million over 10 years.
According to preliminary projections provided by Hamden, Save More Fresh Market could generate between $3 million and $4.7 million in sales revenue each year. Hamden said that he’ll utilize all of the square footage that was utilized by Maywood Market, including the bakery and hot food areas.
In addition, Hamden said, his store will produce its own brand of specialized products that will sell in both the Maywood and Uptown stores.
“This will give us a good opportunity to compete with big stores around us,” Hamden said. “I’m looking for a bigger facility. We need a warehouse and want an easier way to operate trucks. We’ll have a full line of meat, produce, grocery and non-grocery items. We will not sell liquor or tobacco. We are strictly a supermarket for the community.”
Hamden’s AH Group had secured a loan of up to $700,000 from Chicago Bridge Loan, which would be used to finance the acquisition of the property.
Hamden isn’t the only prospect that has been attracted to the former Maywood Market.
In an interview earlier this year, Village Manager Willie Norfleet Jr., said that roughly three other suitors had expressed interest in the property, including EATS Groceries owner Thom Alcazar, who describes EATS as a “concierge-type shopping experience.”
In an interview in February, Alcazar said that the majority of EATS would be warehouse space, with customers making orders from kiosks or from their homes or businesses, since EATS would also entail delivering groceries to various locations. At the time, however, Alcazar had not made an offer on the Maywood property.
After Wednesday’s LLOC meeting, village board members went into executive session to discuss Hamden’s offer. The negotiations between the village and Hamden are ongoing. VFP
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