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Groundbreaking Takes Place on Englewood Whole Foods Site

Deborah Bayliss | 7/2/2014, 3:45 p.m.
Groundbreaking for a new Whole Foods store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, a planned 18,000-square-foot anchor for a 5.5-acre retail development, ...
Groundbreaking for a new Whole Foods store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, a planned 18,000-square-foot anchor for a 5.5-acre retail development, was held yesterday with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thompson and Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb in attendance.

Groundbreaking for a new Whole Foods store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, a planned 18,000-square-foot anchor for a 5.5-acre retail development, was held yesterday with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thompson and Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb in attendance.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thomson, seen here last year announcing that Whole Foods was coming to Englewood.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 16th Ward Ald. JoAnn Thomson, seen here last year announcing that Whole Foods was coming to Englewood.

"Today's groundbreaking is symbolic of the millions of dollars in investments that are already being made in Englewood," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "With public and private investments, we can ensure that residents across not only this neighborhood, but Chicago, have high quality options for food and services, as well as the investments in infrastructure, education and public space that create vital communities for the future."

Scheduled for completion in 2016, the store, located on the northwest corner of 63rd and Halsted streets is expected to create 100 jobs and provide area residents with additional access to fresh and healthy food options.

Englewood Square will be part of a 13-acre, mixed-use redevelopment project that will include three other buildings totaling 30,000 square-feet of space. Three adjacent sites totaling four acres will be sold by the City in response to market demand and community needs.

"The residents of the 16th Ward and I are very pleased to celebrate the historic groundbreaking of Whole Foods. We thank Mayor Emanuel and Whole Foods for making 63rd and Halsted home," said Ald. Thomson. "Our neighborhood and community will see growth in economic development, job creation, nutrition, and opportunity as a result of this development and I look forward to lasting prosperity for Englewood."

The Englewood Square project and Whole Foods build on the more than $362 million in planned and completed public and private investment underway in the community; projects that are expected to create or retain over 4,140 jobs.  

Chicago Neighborhoods Now projects in Englewood are expected to create nearly 500 permanent jobs, over 3,000 construction jobs, and retain more than 500 current jobs, further strengthening economic development, bringing more affordable housing, attracting new retail and jobs to the area, and driving additional private sector growth.

Starting today, the City will begin infrastructure work across the Englewood Square site that includes new roads, sewers, electrical, environmental remediation, and other improvements to facilitate the development. The work was made possible by $10.7 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance. Upon completion of the infrastructure work next year, 5.5 acres will be sold to Chicago-based DL3 Realty, which will construct the retail complex on behalf of Whole Foods and other retail tenants.

"We are elated to begin construction of our Englewood store, and are working closely with community stakeholders to imagine and develop a destination that not only provides fresh, healthy food choices for the community of Englewood, but also serves as a community meeting place for information and education about food and living a healthier lifestyle," said Robb. "This new store in Chicago's South Side is an example of our sincere efforts of living our company's core values."

Whole Foods Market currently has three stores under development including one in Hyde Park.

"Our roots are deep in the communities where we open our stores and Englewood will be no different," said Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Market Midwest Region President. "As the brick and mortar of the store builds this future Whole Foods Market, we look forward to building our relationship as a trusted resource for quality natural and organic foods, and health and wellness information. We will continue to meet with city and community members to build a store that serves the neighborhood the highest quality natural and organic food, and offers residents free educational classes on healthy eating and nutrition, shopping on a budget and cooking demonstrations."