New life for Whole Foods plan?

September 2, 2008
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Whole Foods logoAn Atlanta firm is hoping to revive the development of a Whole Foods grocery at the northwest corner of 86th Street and Keystone Avenue. Dominion Capital, which took over the site after foreclosing on Premier Properties USA Inc., is talking with Whole Foods in hopes of completing the plan for a 60,000-square-foot store and 32 townhouses, said Ben Easterlin, a Dominion principal. Easterlin said several issues have to be addressed before Whole Foods work would begin, including negotiations with Irwin Union Bank, the senior lender on the property. Dominion hopes to partner with the developer that first pitched the project, Paul Kite Co. But Kite has no plans to get involved again, at least for now. "I'm pretty sure its going to be a legal mess for a long time," Paul Kite said in an e-mail. "If it were to get all cleaned up and it can still be done, we'll look at it then." Easterlin estimates construction wouldn't begin for at least 6 to 9 months. He said it still isn't clear who controls the vacant, overgrown strip center across the street, where Premier had proposed the Venu project. But no matter, he says: The "highly improbable" project wasn't going anywhere fast. "Simon would've shut those guys down in five minutes," he said.

Also check out a proposal for cottage homes on another parcel in Nora, along with more about the Whole Foods proposal, in this story from IBJ's print edition.
  • I'd rather see Whole Foods move into the Kite strip center East of the Fashion Mall......I think this is too close to their Nora location
  • If built, the 86th/Keystone store likely would replace the smaller Nora store.
  • It will be nice to see a whole foods below 82nd/86th in the near future..
  • More unnecessary development. Just say no. The Whole Food store
    just west of this proposed development is never packed with shoppers,
    nor is the Trader Joes on 82nd Street, nor are any of the Farmer's Markets.
    Support what is already in place.
  • Sounds like they are all hell-bent on taking the peace out of Our Lady of Peace cemetery.
  • I still think the original proposal with the condos would be the best option.
  • The current Nora location of Whole Foods is far from their typical store. As previously mentioned, it's much smaller, but more importantly; it's a sub-par example of Whole Foods. I was in there one time after they officially changed over from Wild Oats and was far from impressed. (I probably had delusionary visions of the North Ave. store in Chicago and thereby set myself up for a big let down.) I would think that WF would be interested in getting a real location in Indy, and I think it will be very successful. They have a large distribution center in Munster, IN, which would lead one to believe they could easily expand throughout the Midwest.
  • This is a family neighborhood - not a retail area. We like the ability to safely walk the streets of our neighborhood with our children and dogs and do not want this taken away from us. Take the store and put it some place else - please.
  • Aw Fred, you need to move out of the city then.
  • Naw, Fred should just move downtown -- no one wants retail there.
  • When ever I go to Trader Joe's it's always packed.......I generally go on Saturday's though. I also find the Nora Whole Foods to be pretty steady.......
  • Whats wrong with trans-fatty foods?

    forget the hippy stores! go buy a greasy burger!
  • Whoever proposes to go forward with it will have the same commitment hurdles (commitments that Whole Foods proposed) that prevented it from being developed before.
  • I wish one would come on the southside or in Greenwood. It would be the only grocery store I would shop at.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.