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home : news : business   April 30, 2016

5/22/2014 8:17:00 AM
County Market halts Oglesby store; Sullivan's status is ...

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

County Market isn’t coming to Oglesby in 2015.

Mayor Don Finley said Wednesday that Niemann Foods Inc. of Quincy contacted him and said they have put on hold their plans to build a 28,000-square-foot supermarket and pharmacy, citing economic data they consider unfavorable.

Niemann could not be immediately reached for comment, but Finley shared the e-mail which read, in part:

“I am sorry but due to the lingering economy in the state of Illinois, we have put the Oglesby project on hold. We still envision building a County Market in Oglesby, but not at this time.”

Finley further stated the company plans to farm the tillable land acquired late last year, ensuring no construction in 2014 and no opening next year.

Finley said he wondered if the state’s uncertain budget and forthcoming election gave Niemann pause about building at this time.

“Which is sad, that the state of Illinois is putting the whole town in this situation,” he said.

Niemann’s decision comes as a surprise considering they acquired 5 acres located northwest of Walnut Street and Columbia Avenue late last year for $365,000.

Finley said as recently as last week he anticipated a groundbreaking later this spring, with a store opening expected some time during 2015.

The announcement comes nearly a year to the day after Niemann announced a $6 million operation expected to create up to 70 new jobs.

At its May 2013 press conference, Niemann cited a retail study (procured by Oglesby) showing the city could support a supermarket on the heels of the Jewel store closing in Peru.

Finley aggressively sought a company willing to build a supermarket and said he now plans to look for another one.

“If I knew this wasn’t going to happen, I’d have continued to look,” he said. “Now, with this information, it gives me the enthusiasm to get out there and fight for something. I’m not going to stop now.”

Sullivan’s in the Valley
Meanwhile, Spring Valley Mayor Walt Marini dismissed an unconfirmed report that Sullivan’s Foods, which announced a supermarket to be built on the former Bassick property, also was being put on hold.

Sullivan’s could not be reached for comment before press time; but Marini said he was unaware of any delay.

“As far as we know it is not true,” Marini said.

UPDATE: Gerry Kettler, diretor of consumer affairs at Niemann Foods Inc., confirmed after press time Thursday that Niemann still intends to bring a county market to Oglesby.

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Article comment by: Anonymous15699

figured they would back out no one wants the people of oglesby to have a grocery store I guess

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