Photo by Joe Boyle
A large crowd waited in line for nearly two hours for the grand opening of the T.J. Maxx store at the new Evergreen Plaza on Sunday morning.
TJ Maxx is the latest entry to the increasing presence of retail shops and other stores to join the new Evergreen Plaza development.
The grand opening attracted a large crowd of shoppers who were waiting in line for over an hour and a half on Sunday morning. The new TJ Maxx, 9660 S. Western Ave., now joins Carson’s, which was the first store to open in September 2016, DSW shoe store and Petco.
A DJ was on hand to entertain the crowd before the grand opening. Minutes before the ribbon-cutting took place, TJX Companies, Inc., which operates T.J. Maxx, presented a $10,000 check to the Evergreen Park Pantry Coalition as a charity donation.
Accepting the check was Mary Ann Diel, who serves as the director of the Evergreen Park Pantry Coalition and Citizen’s Services for the village. TJX Companies presented the check to assist in providing food for residents in need.
“We held a job fair for T.J. Maxx and allowed them to use our space just over a month ago,” said Diehl, who was appreciative of the donation.
“We have held several job fairs for the businesses that are opening up here,” added Evergreen Park Trustee Carol Kyle. “This is just a great time for Evergreen Park and everyone is excited. The businesses are excited, too.
“We had quite a few openings the past week,” added Kyle. “Ulta Beauty opened the other day. The lines were going down the block.”
Ulta Beauty is a couple of doors down from T.J. Maxx. Another bright note the past week was the reopening of Barraco’s restaurant at 95th and Lawndale, which suffered damages to their kitchen during a fire last year.
During the T.J Maxx event, plenty of celebrating was occurring outside. The Dazzling Diamonds dance troupe, which is based out of South Holland but draws performers from all over the south suburbs, entertained the crowd with songs and dance moves.
Joanna Powell was allowed to cut the ribbon before the crowd was allowed in the store. Powell, a resident of Heyworth, Ill., was chosen to cut the ribbon because she was the first in line at 6:30 a.m.
“I was hearing about this all week,” said Powell, as she strolled through the store’s aisles. “I was visiting my son and I thought why not? I’m going out there.”
Recently opening across the parking lot facing Western Avenue is MODD Pizza, T-Mobile and the Potbelly restaurant. Besides the Plaza development, a variety of restaurants are opening in Evergreen Park. Krispy Kreme doughnuts held its grand opening at 9510 S. Western Ave. on Tuesday morning.
All this is news that Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton had been waiting for. Just last week, Whole Foods 365, a discounted version of the store that is now owned by Amazon, had indicated that it will open next year at the new Plaza.
Even though Dick’s Sporting Goods store has backed out due to the delay of Whole Foods 365 as stipulated in their contract, Sexton indicated that developers have a couple of other businesses that have shown interest in the site.