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Upscale grocers show area whole lotta love

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Southern Denton County residents can finally check a couple of coveted upscale grocers off their wish list.

Whole Foods Market officials announced July 25 that they will open in Highland Village in 2014.

Meanwhile, just 2.6 miles south on FM 2499 in Flower Mound, the long-awaited groundbreaking of specialty grocer Market Street is becoming closer to reality and a Kroger Signature store is getting a multi-million dollar makeover.

Whole Foods Market
The Austin-based Whole Foods Market organic grocery chain has plans to construct a 38,000-square-foot store in The Shops at Highland Village on the northwest corner of FM 407 and FM 2499, which sits just inside Highland Village across the street from Flower Mound.

“We’ve been working with them on it for some time,” said Highland Village Mayor Pat Davis. “We had our hopes up over a year ago and it didn’t come to fruition. Things finally fell into place a couple of months ago.”

Davis said that the city expects to see formal site plans from the grocer by the end of August or September.

Two existing tenants at the mall – Coldwater Creek and Coldwater Creek The Spa – will be relocated to make room for the store and the building that they currently reside in will be taken down.

Davis said that the new grocer will make shopping in Highland Village more of a regional attraction.

“I was in the food business for 30 years so I am very familiar with what a grocery store like this can do for the area and this store can draw from 40 to 50 miles away.”

Davis expects interest from other upscale retailers that may not have had Highland Village on their radar.

“It’s a big benefit for our city,” said Davis.  “It’s got a great draw and I believe it will help us possibly get even more stores that will add to the mix.”

Whole Foods Market consistently shows up as one of the top two most wanted retailers on surveys sent to neighboring Flower Mound residents by the town’s economic development department.

Davis added, “My wife and I are personally excited about it because we are empty-nesters and we like to get prepared foods and don’t like to cook a lot since it is just the two of us.”

Market Street
A record plat and site plan for River Walk Market anchored by a Market Street grocery store at the northeast corner of FM 1171 and FM 2499 was unanimously approved at the July 23 Flower Mound Planning & Zoning meeting.

The site plan is scheduled to be considered by Town Council at their August 20 meeting.

Market Street features specialty items, whole-health/gourmet products, pre-prepared foods and everyday grocery items.

The store will be 55,716 square feet, which is a bit smaller than a typical Market Street that clocks in around 70,000 square feet.

“We had to make it fit to save trees,” said developer Eric Seitz with the Seitz Group. “Our goal is to save all of the post oaks, all the specimen trees.”

Three separate retail/restaurant buildings of 14,000, 11,000 and 10,000 square feet will join Market Street in the development.

Market Street is expected to open by fall of 2013.

Kroger Makeover
Caddy-corner from Market Street sits an aging Kroger that will soon shine like a new diamond.

Last month, the Flower Mound Town Council unanimously green-lighted a $14.3 million improvement plan for the store.

The grocer plans to add 20,000 square feet to the store by bulldozing vacant retail space on the west end of the shopping center and add a fueling station in the parking lot with five gas pumps and two electric car charging stations.

Some of the highlights of the improved store include a new exterior, the addition of a pharmacy with a drive-through to replace the current walk-up window, a larger natural foods section, along with an enhanced bakery, deli, wider aisles, an upscale wine department, and fresh sushi bar.

Construction is expected to begin this fall and take between nine and 12 months.

“Our residents should be excited as this is one of many projects this council will deliver to our town,” said Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden.  “We are fully committed to economic development and growing the employment and commercial tax base in Flower Mound.”

 

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