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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, May 4, 202205:00 AM EST

Whole Foods Market confirms Riverside store in development

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The natural and organics grocer could open its third location by summer 2024 at the former Florida Times-Union campus.

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 planned in the Brooklyn area of the Downtown Northbank.

“I can confirm that a Jacksonville store is in development,” the spokesperson said, adding that details will be shared when available.

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

Fuqua Development principal Jeff Fuqua

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.

The site plan for One Riverside includes Whole Foods Market in the grocer spot, apartments, retail and a restuarant.

Fuqua Development principal Jeff 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 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 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' Northeast Florida moves

Whole Foods 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.  

The chain 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 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 it in 2017.

Whole Foods stores vary in size.

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

The Whole Foods Market in Avon, Connecticut, is a 44,760-square-foot store, about the same size at the store planned at One Riverside.

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

 • Organic, conventional, local and Sourced for Good certified produce.

 • 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 Maine. 

 • 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. There also are local selections.

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

Whole Foods says its food must meet standards that prohibit hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup and more than 100 flavors, colors, sweeteners and other ingredients.

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

Amazon Prime members have access to weekly discounts and an additional 10% off hundreds of in-store sale items. 

Curbside pickup is available at all locations.

The former Florida Times-Union site is near the Acosta Bridge on the Northbank of the St. Johns River.

The market for Whole Foods

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

This is the third grocery store on Riverside Avenue that Jeff Fuqua will be part of developing, and it’s the largest of the three.

He was president of Sembler Co. 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.

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 opened in 2014 at 150 Riverside Ave. across the street from One Riverside. 

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

The One Riverside development includes 270 multifamily units in its first phase.

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.

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 said in a news release the 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.

The former Florida Times-Union campus before the demolition. (Google)
The production building will be the next to be demolished at the former Florida Times-Union campus. (Photos by Scott Simpson)

 

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