Amazon Fresh, the high-tech grocery store that has looked ready to spring to life for more than a month at 7201 24th St. in the North Riverside Plaza shopping center, won’t be opening its doors until at least May, according to North Riverside Village Administrator Sue Scarpiniti.
In the works since late 2020, Amazon had been loath to reveal it was behind the renovation of the former longtime Jewel/Osco storefront, but it became obvious early in 2021 through building plans that Amazon Fresh was coming in. The company made it official in mid-January when the Amazon Fresh sign went up on the façade.
Originally, according to Scarpiniti, the store was slated to open in March, but that’s now been pushed back.
“They told [the village’s building department] that the delay is putting in all the fiber-optic infrastructure, IT-related stuff,” Scarpiniti said. “They’ve got their personnel team in place.”
The shopping center’s property management company still needs to complete some site improvements, said Scarpiniti, namely, the installation of protective bollards along the front façade.
Strip mall changing hands
Meanwhile, the roughly 8.8-acre North Riverside Plaza shopping center at the southwest corner of Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road is on the verge of being sold.
Online property listings indicate the North Riverside Plaza was listed for sale last November by its longtime owner. Montreal-based Federal Construction Inc.
The owner retained Mid-America Real Estate Corporation to field offers for the property, which wraps around the Hobby Lobby property to the west and includes the commercial property south of Hobby Lobby.
The shopping center, which was built in 1967, is labeled by Mid-America as under contract. The Landmark has learned that the property received bids from three large real estate investment firms and that the sale is supposed to close at the end of March.
The Landmark reached out to Alan Saposnik of Tower Real Estate Services Ltd., which has long managed the shopping center, for additional information, but did not receive a response.