Whole Foods confirmed as Market Square anchor

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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