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Whole Foods confirmed as Market Square anchor

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The specialty grocery chain Whole Foods has agreed to anchor the Market Square Tower project under development by Flaherty & Collins Properties, the local company confirmed late Tuesday afternoon.

The developer set aside 40,000 square feet at the base of the $81 million, 28-story project in hopes of landing the Austin, Texas-based chain. Whole Foods confirmed it closed on the lease deal in a separate statement Tuesday. The store is expected to open in 2017.

Now that the deal is done, Flaherty & Collins hopes to announce a groundbreaking date for the downtower tower soon, said Jim Crossin, Flaherty’s director of development.

The developer has been pursuing Whole Foods for the site ever since the tower project was announced last summer.

“We think it’s a big boost to the development having Whole Foods as the anchor tenant,” he told IBJ. “They provide yet another quality grocery store in the downtown market.”

The Whole Foods store will be built on part of the former Market Square Arena site at North Alabama and East Market streets. It will occupy much of the ground level of the apartment tower and will sit just two blocks from an existing Marsh store at Massachusetts Avenue and Alabama Street.

Marsh also is building a store set to open May 15 as part of Flaherty & Collins' Axis at Block 400 development at the southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Michigan Street.

The Whole Foods store will offer organic fruits and vegetables, specialty items, high-quality meats and take-out options for lunch and dinner.

“With this centrally located store in Indiana’s capital, Whole Foods Market will increase access to healthy and organic options to downtown residents and workers,” said Michael Bashaw, the company’s Midwest regional president, in a written statement.

Whole Foods has two other locations in the Indianapolis area, at 1300 E. 86th St. and 14598 Clay Terrace Blvd. in Carmel.

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  • Broad Ripple
    Wonder how, if at all, this affects the mixed use project anchored by a whole foods in Broad Ripple. Probably does not, since a lot of stores have that many locations in the area.
  • Great!
    I think this is great news for downtown! Now if the development on the south part of the old MSA site can land Target as part of the new mixed use Cummins project, that would be awesome. I know there has been some questions about having enough residential density downtown but it is coming quickly and I don't think there is a better site for an urban Target store. For those who point to the former DT Nordstrom's as an issue, remember that store was doing great before they opened the one at Keystone. Department stores are just not a growing business anymore so Simon is doing the best they can by putting in a mix of office space (Indy Star) and some new restaurants (maybe even a gym). I look forward to seeing this Whole Foods open and to see what other retail now follows on the south part of MSA. Hopefully the Cummins mixed use project will be just as dynamic (probably just not as tall unless they add residential) as this project. F&C has helped raise the bar on downtown development.
  • Makes Sense
    If cities like Minneapolis, Milwaukee and even Detroit have Whole Foods locations in their greater downtowns, then it stands to reason that Indy's should have one. I think that Chicago has something like 10 Whole Foods locations within its city limits alone with a more on the way.
  • Yay!
    Much awaited, long overdue. I am so glad that we will no longer need to go up to Nora (even though we will miss the employees we have connected with) from downtown. Thank you Whole Foods for coming to downtown Indy!
  • Really AC?
    Downtown is very much a safe place. There are plenty of people, including myself that can afford downtown rents or mortgages. We are in a different time where people old and young would like to be able to bike or walk to the grocery, a restaurant, to shop, etc. Please stay in the burbs if that is what makes you happy.
  • progress
    Cool news... Indy's making steady progress. Every time a downtown parking lot is replaced with a contributing development, an angel sings.
  • More development!
    I love the comments by suburbanites that watch too much Dateline and are scared of anything urban. I grew up in the burbs and can't imagine ever going back. The reason everything costs more downtown is because people are willing to pay it to live in the city. Just like everywhere across the country. The new Marsh and Whole Foods are going to compliment all the downtown residential development beautifully. The only reason the mall is struggling is because there isn't enough tourism for the department stores. No big deal, it will be filled with more restaurants and bars soon enough. Hopefully a gym too! Leave the department stores in the burbs.
  • Love the City
    This is great news. Nationwide demographic trends all point to people moving back to cities and this will help continue that trend right here in Indy. Also, just an FYI, I moved here 5 years ago and paid over $1200 a month for my apartment.
  • Downtown the place to be.
    There are already thousands of folks living downtown who are paying the $1,200 + rents/condo payments a month and more moving in everyday. Law and order is alive and well in protecting downtown, the crown jewel and most vibrant area in Indianapolis. And Whole Foods will add another stone to that crown.
  • He we go again
    Hmm. This sounds all too familiar to the opening of Circle Center and Indy's excitement to - remember - get a Nordstrom! And we know how that turned out. As someone else commented, the people who can afford $1200+ a month in rent probably don't want to live in downtown, surrounded by violence and unsafe neighborhoods. But, on a brighter note, my north side Whole Foods will be less crowded.
    • Huge win for downtown residents
      Really great news for Indy. The multitude of services a downtown Whole Foods offers will improve the quality of living downtown.
    • This is Big
      What a coup!! This, along with the upscale Marsh supermarket at Block 400 creates just the right critical mass for downtown to really take off as a place for living. Still a little puzzled about who on earth is going to fill all the $1,100 to $2,150 per month apartments flying up DT.
    • YES!
      This is such exciting news for downtown! I cannot wait until this opens!!

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