BERWYN – An 18,000 square-foot full-service grocery store has come another step closer to the 6200 block of West 26th Street following the Sept. 10 City Council meeting.
Council members unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant a code variance for the proposed store's lot.
The property consists of two parcels: One consisting of five lots and commonly know as 6205 W. 26th St. The other parcel consists of five lots, including the former home of Great Western Electrical Supply , Inc., at 6227 W. 26th St.
The move clears the way for the New Torres Fresh Market, a full service grocery store that includes a fresh meats department, deli, bakery and possibly a small taqueria, said Martha Linares, who owns the store with her husband, Adolfo.
"We did it here in Cicero, mainly as a place for our employees to eat," Linares said, "It will be a Mexican fast food place."
Linares said the existing one-story building will be utilized in the construction of the new store, but will under go an addition along with a complete change in the facade. The proposal includes a 35-space parking lot as well.
The Linares' also own Torres Supermercados, 5304 W. 25th St., in Cicero, and another location in Melrose Park. They also own Berkeley Finer Food Stores in Berkeley and Batavia.
Running the new store will be Linares' sister, Lorena Rubio, and the Linares' son, David Linares.
Linares said she and her husband are no strangers to the 26th Street neighborhood, having lived in Berwyn prior to moving to Riverside and having bought many of the electrical fixtures for their Cicero store from Great Western Electrical.
The Cicero store, which is about 12,500 square feet in size, employs 57 people, mostly from the area near the store.
"A good 90 percent of our employees are from Cicero, which is good," Linares said. "I prefer to have them live close."
Linares said the Berwyn location may employ about 60 people, hopefully all from the neighborhood.
Plans are now being finalized and the ground breaking is expected before the end of the year, she said.
Mayor Robert Lovero said the store is a much-welcomed addition to the community.
"We definitely needed a facility like that in that part of town," Lovero said.