After 52 years, Stanley’s Fresh Fruits & Vegetables abruptly closed its doors at the corner of North and Elston avenues on Monday, April 22. The produce market’s sudden closure comes roughly nine months after its owners put the property up for sale. The parcel is still being actively marketed to real estate investors, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Founded in 1967, Stanley’s sourced its products from dozens of Midwest farms and had a dedicated multi-generational customer base. But as the once industrial area located between the Lincoln Park and Bucktown emerged as the next untapped frontier in Chicago real estate development, it’s little surprise that Stanley’s was looking to cash out.
To the east, developer Sterling Bay’s sprawling $6 billion Lincoln Yards proposal would transform the former sites of the Finkl Steel plant and the city’s Fleet and Facility Management complex. To the south, developer R2 plans a mixed-use makeover of the iconic Morton Salt shed at 1357 N. Elston Avenue.
The Chicago City Council opened the floodgates to new development in the area when they voted to lift the North Branch Corridor’s protected industrial zoning designation in 2017—introducing roughly 760 acres of land to new residential, commercial, and entertainment-related uses.
With a zoning change, the 61,000-square-foot former Stanley’s site “would be able to support an excellent mixed-use property,” said Keely Polczynski of commercial brokerage firm CBRE in a statement last summer.