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Whole Foods is Open!

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The eagerly awaited opening of a new Whole Foods Market is set to happen on February 28th. Located at 201 38th Ave North, this 40,100 square-foot store is designed to reflect the unique character of St. Petersburg, affectionately nicknamed the Sunshine City. This location will not only provide more than 800 local products from over 140 local suppliers but also signifies the first-ever Whole Foods Market in St. Pete, marking a significant addition to the community’s retail landscape. The store is positioned near two Publix supermarkets on a bustling stretch of 4th Street North, offering residents and visitors alike access to a wide array of organic and natural products​​​​.

Imagine a bright morning on February 28th, as the new Whole Foods Market in St. Petersburg throws open its doors for the first time. The air is filled with anticipation and the scent of fresh produce as locals gather, eager to explore the aisles stocked with products from over 140 local suppliers. The store, bathed in sunlight, showcases its unique design inspired by the vibrant community it serves. Shoppers marvel at the selection of over 800 local items, each telling a story of sustainability and quality. As the day unfolds, the store becomes a bustling hub of activity, symbolizing a fresh chapter in St. Petersburg’s retail landscape, one that promises to enrich the community’s access to healthy, organic food options for years to come.


Almost time to welcome our first-ever Whole Foods Market at 201 38th Avenue North, marking a significant addition to the city’s retail landscape. The store’s opening is anticipated in late February 2024, introducing a new destination for organic and natural foods in the area.

Opening Date: Feb 28, 2024

This Whole Foods Market, a 40,000-square-foot structure, is located in a bustling section of the city, next to two Publix supermarkets along 4th Street North. The site was formerly home to the Sunshine Plaza strip mall and has undergone substantial redevelopment led by local development partners J Square Developers and Atlanta-based SJC Ventures.

The buildout process for this store involved significant groundwork, including the relocation of an underground stormwater pipe, a task made more challenging by heavy rainfall and the impact of Hurricane Ian. Despite these hurdles, the construction team completed the exterior buildout, and Whole Foods has begun interior construction.

Whole Foods Market prides itself on offering a range of products that meet strict quality standards, eschewing ingredients like hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and certain artificial additives. The store will also cater to Amazon Prime members, offering them additional benefits such as discounts on select products and in-store sale items.

The new store’s location is part of the growing retail attraction along the 4th Street corridor, known for drawing customers from both affluent neighborhoods and the middle class. This area has become a hub for grocery retailers, creating a competitive environment that benefits consumers. The proximity of other popular stores like Trader Joe’s and a future Wild Fork meat and seafood market adds to the appeal of the location.

The arrival of Whole Foods is expected to have a positive impact on the local retail scene and provide St. Petersburg residents with more diverse shopping options. However, it is worth noting that other areas in St. Petersburg, like the Tangerine Plaza, continue to face challenges in attracting grocery retailers due to historical factors and market dynamics.

The opening of Whole Foods in St. Petersburg is a reflection of the city’s evolving retail landscape and the growing demand for organic and natural food options among consumers.

Backstory

March 8, 2022

St. Pete is getting its first Whole Foods Market. 

Development partners St. Petersburg-based J Square Developers and Atlanta-based SJC Ventures have started the demolition and construction process for the new grocery store at 201 38th Ave. North. in the Sunshine Plaza strip mall. 

“Part of the early construction process will include re-routing an existing storm sewer line that runs right through the middle of the property, so passersby will see that happening first, plus the demolition of the existing structures before going vertical,” Jay Miller, CEO of J Square Developers, said in a news release.

Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, has several stores throughout Tampa Bay – in Clearwater, Carrollwood, Sarasota and Midtown in Tampa. 

For over a year, it has been widely speculated that a Whole Foods would be built at the site as permits and filings hinted about J Square developing a 40,100-square-foot building for an organic grocer at the plaza.  

The St. Pete plaza currently houses a Dollar General and formerly housed a gym among other tenants. 

The grocery store site has been owned for several years by Sunrise Plaza Holdings LLC and Zag Enterprise Holdings. 

Hawkins Construction is the general contractor for the new Whole Foods project.

Original Article

More on Whole Foods St. Pete


Whole Foods confirms St. Pete store is in development

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A few months ago, we started hearing whispers about a Whole Foods Market coming to St. Pete.

This isn’t the first time a Whole Foods has been rumored for the Sunshine City. In 2012, several local publications reported that the organic grocery chain was eyeing property adjacent to Synovus Bank at 333 3rd Avenue North in downtown St. Pete. That rumor never came to fruition.

whole foods market locations in tampa bay
WHOLE FOODS MARKET LOCATIONS IN TAMPA BAY

A few years later, the Synovus Bank land was acquired by local philanthropist and art collector Rudy Ciccarello who pledged to build a world-class museum on the site. The five-story, 137,000 square foot Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement was later constructed on the property. Originally scheduled to open in 2020, the museum has pushed back its grand opening until later this year.

Since 2012, we’ve seen Whole Foods locations spring up in other Tampa Bay cities. A Carrollwood location opened in 2012, Clearwater got a store in 2014, a second Whole Foods opened in Sarasota in 2018, and Tampa’s Whole Foods will be moving to Midtown Tampa later this year.

But what about Whole Foods St. Pete? Will we finally see the Austin-based organic grocer open here? Maybe. According to our sources, a deal isn’t yet finalized.

However, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed to St. Pete Rising that “a Whole Foods Market location in St. Petersburg is in development.”

A 40,000 square foot organic grocery store has been proposed for 201-205 38th Avenue North in st pete.
A 40,000 SQUARE FOOT ORGANIC GROCERY STORE HAS BEEN PROPOSED FOR 201-205 38TH AVENUE NORTH IN ST PETE.

Additionally, St. Pete Rising can also confirm that the shopping plaza located at 201-205 38th Avenue North has been approved for demolition to make way for a 40,000 square foot organic grocery store and 207-space surface parking lot.

The shopping center is currently home to Suncoast Fitness, Dollar General, Sun Country Cleaners, and a Kahwa Coffee drive-thru. The location is across the street from two Publix Shopping Centers and less than a mile from Trader Joe’s and The Fresh Market.

The proposed organic grocery store would be co-developed by St.  Pete-based J Square Developers and Georgia-based SJ Collins. Both companies were unavailable for comment.

The proposed organic grocery store is across the street from two Publix Shopping Centers and less than a mile from Trader Joe’s and The Fresh Market
THE PROPOSED ORGANIC GROCERY STORE IS ACROSS THE STREET FROM TWO PUBLIX SHOPPING CENTERS AND LESS THAN A MILE FROM TRADER JOE’S AND THE FRESH MARKET

While we cannot confirm with certainty that the organic grocer planned for 38th Avenue North is the Whole Foods that was confirmed to be under development – we are pretty darn sure of it.

First, the organic grocer proposed for 38th Avenue North is 40,000 square feet. Whole Foods is one of the only organic grocery store chains that builds 40,000 square foot stores. Second, if you visit the website for SJ Collins, one of the co-developers for the project, 12 out of 14 of the projects they’ve worked on contain a Whole Foods.

Third, and this may be the smoking gun, one of the current tenants of the shopping center, Suncoast Fitness, posted the following message on Facebook last Friday, “We will be closing this facility in June or July due to the Landlord building a Whole Foods on the Property.”

All of this being said, the ink has not dried on the deal to bring a Whole Foods to St. Pete. But something is definitely in the works!

As always, we will keep you posted as soon as we receive confirmation.

The front elevation of an organic grocery store proposed for 201-205 38th Avenue North
THE FRONT ELEVATION OF AN ORGANIC GROCERY STORE PROPOSED FOR 201-205 38TH AVENUE NORTH

Additionally, the proposed organic grocer at 38th Avenue North has been going through the City of St. Pete approval process for the past few months. As far as we can tell, this is the timeline of past and future events related to what could be the first Whole Foods St. Pete:

The East Side elevation of an organic grocery store proposed for 201-205 38th Avenue North
THE EAST SIDE ELEVATION OF AN ORGANIC GROCERY STORE PROPOSED FOR 201-205 38TH AVENUE NORTH

On December 9th, 2020, J Square Developers, on behalf of the owners of the shopping center, submitted a set of documents to the City of St. Pete regarding their proposal to develop a new organic grocery store. The documents included a variance application, preliminary site plan, a property survey, and elevations, among other items.

On December 29th, 2020, the City sent out a Notice of Intent to Approve to all residents living within 300 feet of the shopping center. The request was for approval of the variances required to demolish the existing shopping center and construct a new 40,000 square foot grocery store.

The West Side elevation of an organic grocery store proposed for 201-205 38th Avenue North
THE WEST SIDE ELEVATION OF AN ORGANIC GROCERY STORE PROPOSED FOR 201-205 38TH AVENUE NORTH

On January 8th, 2021, the grocery store was administratively approved with no appeals filed.

On February 3rd, 2021, the project went before the City’s Development Review Commission (DRC) requesting the vacation of a portion of 39th Avenue North. The goal of the vacation was to combine the vacated parcel with the property located at 3901 3rd Street North through replatting in order to redevelop the property as a single parcel with a new grocery store.

Although City staff recommended approval of the vacation, the Development Review Commission voted 3-4, thus denying the request. The DRC denied the request as their preference is to preserve the public right-of-way and have the developer pursue a variance, as opposed to a vacation, to satisfy the maximum impervious surface area requirements.

The DRC’s recommendation to deny the partial vacation of 39th Avenue North will be heard before City Council on March 11th, 2021.

Meanwhile, following the DRC’s recommendation of denial, J Square Developers submitted an application for a variance to maximum impervious surface area requirements that is currently scheduled to be heard by the DRC on April 7, 2021.

Original Article


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