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VOL. 128 | NO. 208 | Thursday, October 24, 2013

Whole Foods Eyes Germantown Site

By Amos Maki

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Whole Foods Market and local development firm Cypress Realty Holdings Co. are targeting the Poplar Avenue corridor in Germantown for the Memphis area’s second Whole Foods store.

(Daily News File Photo)

Cypress Realty Holdings, in conjunction with Ford Jarratt Realty & Development Co., has submitted plans to the city of Germantown to develop a 41,000-square-foot, freestanding Whole Foods store.

The proposed store would be located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Pete Mitchell Road, on the eastern edge of Germantown’s Central Business District and across Poplar from the Germantown Collection shopping center. The store is expected to employ 100-150 people.

“We have been looking to add a second store in the Memphis metro area for some time,” said Norah Smith, Whole Foods Market vice president of real estate. “We are excited about moving forward and bringing a beautiful Whole Foods Market to the Germantown community.”

The next step is winning approval for the project at the Tuesday, Dec. 3, meeting of the Germantown Planning Commission. If approved at the Dec. 3 public meeting, the project will proceed to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on Dec. 19.

“We welcome the opportunity to bring Whole Foods Market to Germantown and the eastern suburbs of Shelby County,” said Price Ford of Cypress Realty Holdings. “We hope the citizens of Germantown will voice their support for this project to city officials and turn out for the Germantown Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 3 to show their support.”

High income levels, population density and high traffic counts make Germantown an attractive destination for upscale developers and retailers and the suburb has been preparing for growth.

In 2005 Germantown adopted its “Vision 2020” plan, the smart growth redevelopment plan for the Central Business District that promotes mixed-use development combining commercial, residential and retail space in a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

The site plan for the new Whole Foods shows the store being built close to Poplar with landscaped parking areas at the intersection of Poplar and Pete Mitchell and behind the store along Pete Mitchell.

Joe Jarratt of Cypress Realty Holdings said the new Whole Foods would produce significant new sales and property tax revenue for Germantown, drawing customers from not only Germantown but from other Memphis suburbs and unincorporated Shelby County.

“This is one of the first developments submitted under the city’s smart growth development plan,” said Jarratt. “It is a high-end specialty retailer that caters to the Germantown residents. Whole Foods Market will keep sale tax revenue in the city as well as attract additional revenue from outside the city.”

Whole Foods, founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, has been active in the Memphis area lately.

In addition to the planned Germantown store, the specialty grocer is in the midst of a $3.1 million expansion of its East Memphis location. Whole Foods is relocating its current 25,000-square-foot store at 5022 Poplar into the space next door formerly occupied by Office Depot. Whole Foods has also been said to be exploring a move into Midtown Memphis.

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396