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Whole Foods is Coming to Town - To UP, That Is…
A Whole Foods may be coming to town - not our town, but a nearby town. If all goes according to plans, University Place will be home to a new Whole Foods Market by early 2015.
The News Tribune is reporting that after a year of studies and negotiations, a deal
is on the agenda for city council consideration next Monday was approved by the city council at this Monday's meeting.
That deal would make the new organic grocer the anchor tenant of the University Place Town Center, just north of the new library building. The mixed-use development includes apartments, and a good amount of vacant retail space. UP's city center is a long ways off from the dream of a walkable downtown, but this deal is expected to help fill in some of that vacant real estate.
For years now we've heard calls for a Whole Foods at various locations around Tacoma. None of those have ever really come close to being a reality, as the high-end grocer considers a lot of factors in choosing a location, and no location in Tacoma has the necessary mix of characteristics. Apparently they've found that in UP, although it sounds like they're relying on business from surrounding cities as well.
Whole Foods executives spent considerable time studying the area, including traffic patterns and income levels, to determine if University Place fit the business model. [UP City Attorney] Victor touted the site’s location, saying it’s easily accessible and high profile enough to draw customers from Lakewood, Fircrest, DuPont, Steilacoom and the Gig Harbor Peninsula.
“The story we told was, ‘If you want to connect the people who would shop at Whole Foods, you want to be on Bridgeport,’” Victor said.
Tacoma doesn't get a mention, but will you be making the drive to shop at Whole Foods?
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