If today was the first of April, we'd surely be frozen by skepticism at news of Whole Foods' planned expansion to the heart of Englewood. But it's September 4 and the Sun-Times and others are reporting it with a straight face. This isn't your average Metro News item but rather a big coup for everyone living within a couple miles of 63rd & Halsted (not to mention a victory for Mayor Rahm Emanuel). According to the Sun-Times, the 18,000-square-foot grocery outlet will anchor a TIF-funded 13-acre retail and park development within a 63-acre stretch of vacant land opposite the recently-rebuilt Kennedy-King College. "The good news is that I had a partner who wanted to be a partner to the whole city, not just parts of the city," Mayor Emanuel told the Sun-Times. "These things don't just happen. You gotta nurture them along."
Community members negotiating with Whole Foods have stated their satisfaction with the pricing affordability planned for this location. Whole Foods first turned the standard store-location model on its head in Detroit, where it recently opened a downtown store to great fanfare and, reportedly, decent profits. In our inequitable landscape, one Chicago won't blink while the other might well throw a parade.
·Whole Foods Market to open Englewood store in food desert [Sun-Times]
·Englewood Coverage [Curbed Chicago]