Far South Side retail development brings convenience, jobs to area

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Residents in the West Pullman and Morgan Park communities who purchase household staples, clothes or discount auto goods won’t have to travel to the south suburbs or farther north for a big box retailer to accommodate their needs.

Residents in the West Pullman and Morgan Park communities who purchase household staples, clothes or discount auto goods won’t have to travel to the south suburbs or farther north for a big box retailer to accommodate their needs.

The Target store heard their cries and heeded the call, shoppers told the Defender.

The Minneapolis-based retailer took advantage of prime retail space on South Marshfield Avenue and opened a store last October.

“It feels good to not have to go to Oak Lawn or drive to 87th Street to shop at a Target. It’s not that long of a drive to either store, but going only a few blocks is much better,” said West Pullman resident Nicole Marsh, who likes to shop during the morning hours.

Target is the anchor of a new 30-acre strip mall development on 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue and the ninth store in Chicago.

The site was home to the former Libby Cup factory, and the city had been using the site to house its salt trucks for the 9th, 19th and 34th Wards, said Chester Wilson, the chief of staff for Alderwoman Carrie Austin (34th). Target is located in Austin’s ward.

Wilson said Target is currently joined by Panda Express restaurant. Staples, Jewel Food Store, Chili’s restaurant, Marshall’s and Burlington Coat Factory, among others, are slated to open later this year.

“We expect to have the mall about 60 percent open by August,” he said.

He said the area itched for its own sit-down restaurant and quality, discount retail stores because too often the residents were forced to travel the Bishop Ford Freeway to shop in the River Oaks mall area a few miles south in suburban Calumet City, to go a few miles west to the Crestwood shopping community or go northwest to the Target and K-Mart in Oak Lawn.

Morgan Park resident Cecilia Echols agreed.

Echols often stopped on Fridays at the Target store near 87th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue while on her way home from work to get toiletries for the family. Now she doesn’t have to get off the Dan Ryan Expressway to make that stop.

“I can get off the 119th Street exit on I-57 and drive right into Target’s parking lot. It’s very convenient,” said Echols, who also enjoys getting her fix of Starbucks coffee inside the store.

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