Crescent Communities recently announced that a Whole Foods Market will be part of its mixed-use development at Stonewall and South Caldwell streets, bringing to uptown its first full-size grocery store.
The Charlotte-based developer plans to break ground on the project this year, and expects to complete it in 2017, according to a release.
“It is our vision that this Crescent community will redefine urban living in Charlotte,” said Ben Collins, regional vice president for Crescent Communities, in a statement. “Whole Foods Market will be uptown’s first full-sized grocery store. Its size, combined with Whole Foods Market’s holistic approach to the shopping experience, will allow residents, commuters and visitors to enjoy uptown in an entirely new way.”
The only existing grocery store in uptown, a Harris Teeter at West Sixth and North Pine streets, opened in 2003, but it’s not a full-size store.
“We’ve enjoyed being part of the Charlotte community since 2012 and are excited about the city’s continued growth,” said Jeff Turner, executive coordinator of operations with Whole Foods Market, in the statement. “We look forward to offering both convenience and a gathering place to our future neighbors and uptown’s visitors.”
Whole Foods also has stores in SouthPark, which opened in 2012 at Sharon and Fairview roads, and Huntersville, which opened late last year.
Crescent Communities’ plans for the 5.4-acre site includes the 47,000-square-foot Whole Foods, a 450-unit apartment community, a 1,200-space parking deck, 15,000 square feet of retail space and up to two hotels, according to Ben Collins, regional vice president with Crescent Communities.
Andy Misiaveg, a partner at The Shopping Center Group in Charlotte, said he was surprised Whole Foods went for an uptown location because of the difficulties posed by planning parking lots, but also that the store’s proximity to U.S. 74 could work to its advantage.
“If Crescent can figure out how to park it the right way for people getting in and out, they’re going to pull all the communities in and around uptown as well,” he said.
Whole Foods had plans to enter the Charlotte market back in 2004 when the Austin-based grocer had committed to opening a 55,000-square-foot store at the corner of Elizabeth Avenue and Hawthorne Lane as part of Grubb Properties’ Elizabeth Avenue redevelopment project, but it never came to fruition.
Brian Craver, senior vice president of brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield│Thalhimer, said Whole Foods has since then made its interest in Charlotte well known.
Misiaveg and Craver also both said uptown residents fit Whole Foods’ demographic, which Misiaveg described as educated professionals and Craver described as people looking for healthier, alternative food options.
The development’s apartment community will include a mid-rise building that will wrap around the parking deck and a high-rise building that will sit on top of the parking deck, bringing the height of the high-rise building to 20 stories.
The high-rise building will have fewer units, but the units will be larger and more luxurious, and residents will have access to an outdoor amenities area with a pool that will be built on top of the parking deck.
Craver said he was happy to see another grocer finally move into uptown, and that Whole Foods would bring diversity to the available grocery store offerings in and around uptown.
“How do you live in uptown if you don’t have a grocery store?” he said. Referring to people who live uptown, he said, “It’s nice that those