Rising property taxes and fewer shoppers led to the end of ALDI’s 22-year run in the Village of Maywood, said the Cook County Commissioner who tried, but failed to negotiate a deal for the shop to stay.
That leaves the town of 24,000 residents without a single hometown grocery store, said 1st Dist. Commissioner Richard Boykin.
The company agreed to provide a 24-seat shuttle bus service for Maywood residents daily to the company’s Bellwood store.
“It’s a bad situation because [ALDI’s exit] leaves a whole community without access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” Boykin said. Boykin met with company officials in the weeks before the closing. The shop closed Dec. 24. “Nobody likes store closings, especially on Christmas Eve,” Boykin said.
ALDI’s Maywood location at 216 Madison St. had the worst foot traffic of all 160 locations in Cook County, Boykin said. ALDI also presented data showing that many Maywood residents shopped at other ALDI locations within a three-mile radius in Bellwood, Broadview and North Riverside, he said.
“The truth is, increasing property taxes and sales taxes made it untenable for them to do business in the Village of Maywood.”
ALDI released a statement saying employees’ jobs would be saved.
“It’s important to note there will be no job losses with the closure of this location. We are pleased to share that all of our Maywood employees will be transferring to other nearby ALDI stores,” the statement said.
With depressed home values and closing businesses, Maywood’s commercial property taxes have risen quickly in recent years.
“This is purely an economic decision,” said the statement from the ALDI. “Over the last six years, our property taxes have increased nearly 80 percent and recently imposed taxes on consumers and businesses will further negatively impact retailers throughout Cook County.”
In 2015, the total property taxes on the Maywood ALDI parcels added up to $148,127.81, according to ALDI Spokeswoman Shenetta Johnson.
Boykin said the lesson was important: “We must reduce taxes in Cook County. I understand the math,” he added. “Businesses are in business to turn a profit. If you’re looking at a 10-year trend with higher property taxes and lower shopper base, you make the business decision. We don’t like it, but I understand it,” he said.
Boykin also said ALDI agreed to forego real estate restrictions that might prohibit the sale of the ALDI property to another grocery store, if the village could find another grocery store to move in.
Shuttle buses will run for the first two weeks leaving at 10 a.m. from the Maywood ALDI to the Bellwood store.
— ALDI to provide daily bus service from shuttered Maywood store to Bellwood —