Whole Foods in University Place?

wholefoods_WEBThe Northwest is a health-food junkie’s mecca when it comes to organic, raw and clean eating. As waves of natural grocery and dining options infiltrate our neighborhoods, consumers can’t seem to get enough. In the South Sound there are several health food hubs in which to load up your reusable shopping bags with bulk grains, GMO free greens and wild caught fish, but soon, University Place may be adding another organic grocer to their list: Whole Foods Market.

On Monday, Nov. 4, the City of University Place met with Verus Partners, LLC, a nationally respected developer of industrial and office properties, to discuss a proposed Purchase and Development Agreement, in which Verus Partners would purchase six lots located at University Place’s Town Center. The proposal was approved, and is set to include the immediate development of a Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market is the eighth largest food and drug store in the U.S., and is internationally recognized with 367 stores across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. With six stores in Washington state, a University Place location would be the first Whole Foods Market to hit Pierce County. Steve Victor, the city attorney for University Place, says, “a Whole Foods Market will help realize the vision of the Town Center, and the vision of the city as a more stable, urban area. [Whole Foods] is an anchor destination and will bring in customers from well outside of the University Place city limits.”

Whole Foods Market is keeping their lips sealed until the lease has been officially signed, but a representative from the corporate office says Whole Foods looks forward to releasing a statement about this exciting endeavor in the coming weeks. Victor explains that, “more than 10 years ago city officials were looking at the idea of bringing a Whole Foods Market to University Place, and Whole Foods was interested in adding a Pierce County location.” More than a decade later, what was once a vision for the future is becoming a reality. In addition to a Whole Foods Market, Verus Partners, will also be developing five other lots, which Victor explains are all intended to be retail shopping destinations.

The University Place Whole Foods Market won’t be completed until March 2015, but luckily, if you’re looking for more natural grocery options in the meantime, there are still several University Place and Tacoma locations where you can indulge your organic cravings. Check out Trader Joe’s, Harbor Greens, and Marlene’s Natural Foods Market & Deli for some health-minded food options.

is a contributor to South Sound magazine.
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