In December 2018, CDF provided $11.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to Jewel Food Stores, Inc. to fund the purchase and installation of equipment and inventory costs for Jewel’s new 48,000-square-foot full-service Jewel-Osco grocery store located at the northwest corner of 61st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in Woodlawn. Tracing its roots to 1899, Jewel-Osco currently operates over 180 stores in the Chicagoland area, Indiana, and Iowa. The new store was constructed by development partnership between DL3 Realty and Terraco, with a long-term lease to Jewel that was executed as a result of the NMTC financing from CDF being available.
The project brings the first full-scale, full-service grocer to Woodlawn in approximately 40 years, offering new access to healthy food and job opportunities. Nearly 40% of the store’s footprint is dedicated to fresh foods including produce, dairy, meat, and deli that will serve a two-mile radius with over 30,000 residents of USDA-designated low-income/low-access “food desert” areas and nearly 18,000 households receiving SNAP benefits. At full capacity, the project is anticipated to create 208 FTEs, 100% of which will pay living wages. Approximately 95% of positions will be union-affiliated, and Jewel has partnered extensively with Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. (POAH) on sourcing new-hires from the local neighborhood. Additionally, the store’s pharmacy will provide access to important medications for the community while offering no-cost condition management (e.g. diabetes and hypertension) and educational classes (e.g. smart shopping, healthy eating and cooking) operated by its pharmacists and dieticians.
The project serves as a commercial anchor for the Woodlawn Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. NMTC equity was provided by Northern Trust.