BROOKLYN, N.Y. (November 15, 2006). Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world's leading retailer of natural and organic foods, today officially broke ground for the company's first Brooklyn store, located at the corner of Third Avenue and Third Street. At a ceremony attended by local elected officials, community leaders and area residents, Whole Foods Market officials detailed their plans for the 68,000-square-foot grocery store on a 2.1 acre site. The store is expected to open in spring 2008.
“We are extremely excited about bringing Whole Foods Market to Brooklyn,” said Christina Minardi, northeast regional president for Whole Foods Market. “Whole Foods Market will not only offer Brooklyn residents a wide array of natural and organic foods, but we also look forward to making our store a valuable community resource.” The new Whole Foods Market will feature a Community Room available to local civic groups, as well as a landscaped, publicly accessible esplanade along the Gowanus Canal.
The store will include on-site parking for 430 cars, and shoppers will access the Whole Foods Market parking lot via entrances on Third Street and Third Avenue. In addition, pedestrians will be served by a covered walkway from Third Street to the store's main entrance. Featuring large windows into the store on both the Third Street and Third Avenue elevations, the Whole Food Market will maintain a pedestrian-friendly, active and accessible streetscape. In addition, the two-story, landmark 19th century building situated at the property's corner at Third Avenue and Third Street will remain in place.
Like all Whole Foods Market stores, the Brooklyn store will be designed as a food 'experience', featuring approximately 37,000 square feet of retail area displaying a wide range of products, including produce, meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and health and beauty products. Throughout the store, specialty counters will offer a wide variety of prepared foods, ranging from soups, pizza, and sushi to salads and coffee. The prepared food can either be taken home or eaten in one of the in-store eating areas. A 9,900-square-foot first floor will contain an eating area with seating for more than 220 people and a Community Room overlooking Third Street.
The Whole Foods Market site is being developed under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's voluntary “Brownfield Cleanup Program” to ensure that this former industrial site is comprehensively cleaned and re-developed in an environmentally responsible manner. Construction of the Brooklyn Whole Foods Market will take an estimated 13 months and will create approximately 300 construction jobs. The store is being developed in conjunction with Cypress Equities, a national retail development company and an affiliate company of Staubach Retail.
The store will create approximately 550 permanent jobs, ranging from cashiers to store leadership. Whole Foods Market Team Members are offered great benefits, with a full complement of affordable medical benefit options, insurance, retirement, paid time off, and one of the highest store discounts in the industry. Of the 550 permanent jobs, it is anticipated that approximately 90 percent will be full-time positions. The average wage at an established store is approximately $13 an hour. Whole Foods Market understands the importance of hiring from within the community and will work with local groups and officials to ensure locals are informed about the job opportunities coming to the neighborhood.