Thursday, January 25, 2007

News from the Deli Counter: North Avenue Whole Foods Will Move in 'Near Future'

You learn the darndest things at the deli counter.

Whole Foods is packing up and moving out, according to the lady who packed my orzo, feta & spinach salad into a plastic container this morning.

Apparently, they're building a new structure just a bit south of their current location.

Why? I asked.

Her answer spoke volumes about the nature of change in our neighborhoods: "Because the building is old."

Old? Didn't you just move in like a decade ago? (I've since double-checked -- they moved in in 1993.)

Yeah, she said, but they didn't build it. "Whole Foods likes to build its own buildings."

It's true and confirmed on the Whole Foods website right here.

"In the near future we will be relocating to a new facility which will nearly triple our size and allow us the opportunity to better serve our customers (sic) needs with cutting edge food venues and lifestyle options." -- Rich Howley, Store Team Leader

It's no wonder that buildings have so much pressure on them to come down right after they've been put up. No market-strategy-carrying company wants to shoehorn themselves into a space meant originally for another purpose.

I can't fully blame Whole Foods for making strategic decisions and wanting to build a facility that helps them achieve their competitive goals. They obviously retro-fitted themselves into their current space, which at one time belonged to Sam's Warehouse.

But, egads, TRIPLE its current size? I'm surprised by that. I love Trader Joe's in part because it's easy to get in and out so quickly.

I avoid those giant stores as much as I can less I get sucked in and am never seen by my family again.


Pete said...

The trivially-inclined might like to know that some of that same building (the older section that Peet's is in, plus the section that fronts on Kingsbury) were part of the old Peter Hand Brewery, former makers of Meister Brau. Peter Hand was the last large-scale brewery in Chicago before it went out of business in 1978, and also invented light beer. (Miller Brewing bought the formula for what became Miller Lite from Peter Hand.)

Anonymous said...

I wonder what is being done to handle new
traffic patterns and the added congestion from
bulding going in south of North Avenue?
Whole Foods -- the British School---Twin
condo towers that will be thirty stories tall--

All this added traffic will be pouring onto North
Avenue and Clyborn and Halsted Street.
Who is planning this stuff? Where's the city

Jennifer said...

Thanks for both of these comments. I love hearing about building history. And, I have A LOT of opinions on Anonymous 11:06's comment. I'm going to elevate it to the main part of the blog and comment there.