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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, May 17, 202204:50 AM EST

Whole Foods Market: ‘Another testament’ to urban core growth

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The grocery will anchor the One Riverside development in Brooklyn at the former Florida Times-Union property.

While a Whole Foods Market spokesperson said May 3 the organic and natural foods grocer has no details to share about the One Riverside Jacksonville store, area retail brokers say it will draw from the neighborhood, the core Downtown and the Southbank.

Plus, Whole Foods does its homework before choosing a site.

“Whole Foods choosing Brooklyn as their third area location is another testament to the growth we’re seeing within that trade area and the urban core as a whole,” said Carrie Smith, senior vice president of retail for the Franklin Street real estate company.

Whole Foods intends to open in the Brooklyn area of the Downtown Northbank.

Plans for One Riverside include apartments, retail and a restaurant.

“The market has easily become one of the more highly sought-out trade areas of Jacksonville, which is apparent by the amount of new developments we see coming out of the ground,” Smith said May 9.

“Every facet of commercial real estate is drawn to the market – multifamily, retail, hospitality, you name it,” she said.

“This market is on fire.”

NAI Hallmark Managing Partner Christian Harden

NAI Hallmark Managing Partner Christian Harden, who is based at 200 Riverside Ave., welcomes the new neighbor.

“I  think it solidifies Brooklyn as the premier submarket in the urban core with its premier amenities,” Harden said May 6.

“But I think it also serves as a fantastic amenity to Downtown. The office properties will benefit from the convenience of another grocer on that side of Riverside Avenue.”

Retail broker and representative Geneva Henderson, executive vice president of Lat Purser & Associates Inc., spoke from a professional and resident perspective.

“What a great tenant for Riverside,” she said May 6 by email.

“It will draw Downtown, especially now that the Downtown is defined as also over in the Southbank.”

The size of the Whole Foods Market is larger than the next closest supermarkets – The Fresh Market and Publix Super Markets Inc.

“Being a full-size grocer in that market will be great. There are just some things you can’t find at the smaller stores,” Henderson said.

“After having lived in San Marco and shopped regularly at the Fresh Market in Riverside I would think that Whole Foods will pull a lot of those shoppers as well.  Additionally, Whole Foods does a lot of market research and they would not be going into a location that doesn’t fit their criteria,” she said.

Geneva Henderson, executive vice president of Lat Purser & Associates Inc.,

A Whole Foods Market spokesperson confirmed May 3 that a Jacksonville store is in development, adding that details will be shared when available.

The 44-year-old Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market intends to add its third Jacksonville location after opening the first in Mandarin and the second in Jacksonville Beach.

Atlanta-based Fuqua Development announced April 29 that Whole Foods Market will lease the grocery space at its $250 million apartment, retail and restaurant project.

The developer paid $25 million on Feb. 4 for the 18.8-acre site at 1 Riverside Ave. that was home to The Florida Times-Union campus.

The grocery store is planned on the parcel where the Times-Union’s five-story 55,500-square-foot office building has been demolished. The last piece of the structure came down May 3. 

Work now turns to the three-level 223,000-square-foot production building.

Fuqua said in February demolition and clearing should be completed in July.

Construction of the first phase of One Riverside could start in late summer.

Fuqua said in February the first phase of One Riverside should open in summer 2024. The second phase could start at the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Whole Foods is in the first phase.

A site brochure from leasing representative Colliers released before Fuqua Development’s announcement shows an unidentified grocer will lease about 43,000 square feet of space.

Fuqua Development sold some of the property to TriBridge Residential for apartment development and 4.95 acres to the city for park space and restoration of McCoys Creek.

Whole Foods in Jacksonville market

Whole Foods Market has shopped the area for more than 14 years.

It opened its initial Jacksonville store in the Mandarin Landing shopping center at 10601 San Jose Blvd. in 2008. It is the largest of its three local stores at 51,000 square feet.  

Whole Foods Market opened its 40,000-square-foot Jacksonville Beach store in October 2020 at 2050 S. Third St. in the Pablo Plaza shopping center

Whole Foods Market will be the grocery at One Riverside, a mixed-use development on the Downtown Northbank west of the Acosta Bridge.

Whole Foods Market says it has more than 500 retail and nonretail locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Amazon.com paid $13.7 billion in cash for Whole Foods in 2017.

The Whole Foods Market stores vary in size.

In September 2021, Whole Foods Market opened a 44,760-square-foot store in Avon, Connecticut.

Features at the Connecticut store, similar in size to the One Riverside location, include:

<Organic, conventional, local and Sourced for Good certified produce, plus apples and peaches grown on family farms.

<A full-service seafood counter featuring grilled shrimp charcuteries, salmon burgers and marinated and stuffed fillets, as well as local oysters and Smoked Atlantic Salmon from a Maine source. 

<A full-service butcher to cut steaks to order or debone poultry. The department includes housemade pork and chicken sausages, seasoned and marinated beef, kabobs, burgers and more, as well as local fresh pork cuts.

<A specialty department dedicated to cheesemakers, including local options, and foods like chocolate. 

<Grocery products that include local items.

<A selection of nearly 400 beers, including local options.

<A pizza counter offering classic and specialty options plus housemade strombolis and calzones.

<A prepared foods section with hot and cold food bars and ready-to-eat soups, charcuterie and rotisserie chickens.

<A bakery offering custom cakes, scratchmade breads and special diet options including vegan, gluten-free and nut-free products. There also are local selections.

<A wellness and beauty section featuring local artisan soaps and other products.

Whole Foods says all food at the market must meet standards that prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and more than 100 flavors, colors, sweeteners and other ingredients commonly found in food.

In addition, all beauty and body care products must meet the company’s body care standards, which ban more than 100 commonly used ingredients, including phthalates, parabens and microbeads.

Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods Market have access to year-round benefits such as weekly discounts and an additional 10% off hundreds of in-store sale items. 

Curbside pickup is available at all Whole Foods Market locations.

A growing area

Whole Foods Market joins a Brooklyn neighborhood that has been adding apartments, offices, headquarters buildings, hotels and other projects, especially over the past decade.

Riverside Avenue already has two grocery stores. The One Riverside Whole Foods Market will be the largest of the three.

Jeff Fuqua was part of developing the first two Riverside Avenue grocery stores.

He was president of Sembler Company when it developed the 28,857-square-foot Riverside Publix, which opened in 2002 at 2033 Riverside Ave., about 2 miles west of One Riverside Jacksonville.

He also partnered with Jacksonville-based Regency Centers Corp. to develop the Brooklyn Station on Riverside center anchored by The Fresh Market.

That 20,218-square-foot grocery store opened in 2014 at 150 Riverside Ave., across the street from One Riverside. 

The neighborhood is adding a market of prospective shoppers, as well.

Colliers’ One Riverside Jacksonville brochure says that about 83,000 people will live within 3 miles by 2025, along with 91,200 daytime employees.

The 2021 average household income is almost $71,000

According to Downtown Vision Inc., there are more than 3,600 units among 23 multifamily properties on the Northbank and Southbank and in LaVilla and Brooklyn.  

More are expected.

Among them,  north of Brooklyn Station on Riverside, Jacksonville Beach-based Trevato Development Group is working on a plan to redevelop four blocks with 1,350 apartments and about 40,000 square feet of commercial development.

One Riverside will bring shoppers as well.

Fuqua’s release said current plans for the first phase of One Riverside include 270 multifamily units, a riverfront restaurant, retail and structured parking. 

The second phase will include an additional 115 multifamily units, at least two riverfront or creekfront restaurants, 15,000 square feet of retail space and potentially a marina.

Colliers Senior Vice President Matthew Clark and associates Sam Middlekauff and Olivia Steinemann are leading the retail leasing efforts for Fuqua.

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