July 29, 1997
Pending completion of plans and needed city approvals, construction could begin this fall for a summer 1998 store opening. Schnucks expects to provide full-time and part-time career opportunities for more than 200 Decatur-area residents at the new store. The super center will be Schnucks' seventh store serving customers in Central Illinois -- with three in Springfield, and one each in Champaign, Urbana and Bloomington. Schnucks is a regional, family-owned supermarket company based in St. Louis with 94 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kansas.
"We're pleased to be coming to Decatur as part of our expansion in Central Illinois," said Craig D. Schnuck, chairman and chief executive officer. "We look forward to sharing our commitment to excellent value, quality products and services, and wide variety with our new friends and customers in Decatur. As we bring Decatur customers more and better groceries for every food dollar, shopping will be more enjoyable and we can deliver on our motto -- The Friendliest Stores in Town."
The Schnucks super center construction is the centerpiece of a $7 million upgrade to Northgate Mall. Other improvements include new parking lot lighting, signage and lot resurfacing. The lot will be expanded using 10,000 square feet gained by razing part of the old Jewel-Osco store. The store's remaining 35,300 square feet will be remodeled for future tenants. Another vacant portion of the shopping center will be razed to make way for the new 24-hour Schnucks at Water Street and Pershing Road. Venture, which recently signed a 10-year lease extension, will feature a new facade.
William I. Fine, founder and managing general partner of Fine Associates, said, "Schnucks is a respected retailer and a community asset wherever they do business. We're proud to adding Schnucks to Northgate Shopping Center, along with their excellent values, diverse product selection and wide array of services to area consumers."
Decatur Mayor Terry Howley added, "This move shows confidence in our city and we are delighted to get this deal done. I know people who go all the way to Champaign to grocery shop at the nearest Schnucks. That is a real endorsement of value, quality and selection. Today is a great day because today is the day I got the news. This is one more indication that Decatur has turned it around. We hope Decatur's growth will soon justify more Schnucks stores."
The Schnucks Super Center will offer meat, seafood and deli departments along with video, floral, bulk foods and general merchandise departments. In addition, the super store will feature a bakery and a pharmacy along with departments for health and beauty care products, cellular phones and pagers, and one-hour photo services.