Whole Foods shelves store slated for Fishers

March 26, 2013

High-end grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. is shelving plans to open a store on 116th Street in Fishers.

Town Council President John Weingardt said Monday that Whole Foods is no longer expected to be the anchor tenant in a commercial development planned for the southeast corner of Hoosier Road and 116th.

“We got real close, but they just decided to back away,” he said.

A Whole Foods representative confirmed Tuesday that the Austin, Texas-based retailer is not pursuing the Fishers site, but declined to elaborate.

The publicly traded company has said in regulatory filings that it intends to triple the number of stores it operates, primarily by opening 35,000- to 45,000-square-foot supermarkets in new locations.

Whole Foods already has stores in Indianapolis and Carmel. In total, the chain has more than 340 stores in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Developer HDG Mansur approached Fishers leaders earlier this year, asking for a new traffic signal for the proposed Arbor Village project at 11387 E. 116th St. A site plan reviewed as part of an engineering study included a 30,000-square-foot Whole Foods, a 6,000-square-foot bank and another 30,000 square feet of retail space.

Mansur agreed to pay for a stoplight just east of Hoosier Road and curb cuts that would improve vehicular access to the site. Council members had the request on their March 4 agenda, but did not act on it after questions arose about whether the plans were appropriate for the site.

Weingardt said he didn’t think the delay was a factor in Whole Foods’ change of heart.

Fishers was one of 50 locations the grocer was evaluating nationally, he said.

“It was a bigger-picture decision,” Weingardt said. “They’re just looking in a different direction right now. I bet they’ll be back.”

Specialty grocery chain The Fresh Market, meanwhile, is moving forward with plans to open its third central Indiana store in Fishers this year.

The Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s chosen site, at 116th Street and Cumberland Road across from a Kroger store, is less than two miles from the HDG Mansur property.

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