By GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Sneaker and sports apparel chain Mr. Alan’s hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday.
The new store, 4700 S. Cottage Grove Ave., is the sixth Mr. Alan’s store to open in the Chicago area.
Mr. Alan’s, which has had stores around the Metro Detroit area since 1974, carries more than 50 brands including Adidas, Reebok, and new merchandise releases such as the Jordan Shadow 1 and Jordan Retro 11.
“The 4th Ward welcomes Mr. Alan’s to the 47th and Cottage Grove Retail Corridor,” said Ald. Sophia D. King (4th). “Mr. Alan’s is joining a strong group of retail service providers in the Shops and Lofts at 47thdevelopment, which is an important anchor in the business district. With a community-focused business model, Mr. Alan’s is in harmony with the project’s community promoter, Quad Communities’ Development Corporation (QCDC), business attraction and retention mission. As Alderman, I look forward to working with Mr. Alan’s and wish them success.”
The idea to bring Mr. Alan’s to 47th Street was born out of a conversation over 10 years ago according to Shirley J. Newsome, Board Chair, QCDC.
Newsom said that In addition to expanding the community’s economic growth with a new retailer, Mr. Alan’s sits below a new housing unit which has been developed above it, Shops & Lofts at 47th street,
During the grand opening Power 92 provided live music featuring DJ R Dubb and DJ Nehpets. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed food courtesy of the Jerk Taco Man food truck and cake and pastries from community bakers. Power 92 also held a number of raffles where participants won gift cards for Mr. Alan’s.
“This is my adoptive city and I am so proud to be here,” said Frank Petruziello of the real estate’s development group. “The most important thing for me is not walking on gravel. This space has been empty for a number of years and it has made the whole project look closed, unfinished and [like] nobody was home. But now, somebody is home: Mr. Alan’s. We are so pleased to have that excitement and activity happening here. It finally says we’re open for business.”
The new development provided around 30 jobs, with 10 employees working currently at the new establishment, said Executive Assistant Andrea Vangoss. “We’re excited to be a part of the community and offer opportunities for people to work here.”
Corey Dorrough, regional manager of Mr. Alan’s, said, “We’re looking forward to doing positive things in this community. I truly love this city and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow this beautiful project. I started with Mr. Alan’s 24 years ago as a stock guy and today I’m a regional manager in this company. We just want to keep bringing jobs to this community.”
Rhonda McFarland, executive director of the QCDC said Mr. Alan’s will be a great addition to the nationally recognized Shops and Lofts development.
“The commercial tenants [of the Shops and Lofts at 47th development] represent a mix of locally owned and minority-led businesses, national chains, and Midwest-regional providers,” McFarland said. “This opening is another example of Quad Communities Development Corporation’s work promoting economic inclusion and diversity of amenities within our commercial corridors and the power of partnerships.”