Upscale grocery store looks to expand in certain Tennessee city

Whole Foods is looking to expand in the Memphis, Tenn., market.

The commercial grocery market in Memphis, Tenn., looks to become a bit more crowded.

Local development firm Cypress Realty Holdings Co. and Whole Foods Market are ready to put a new Whole Foods store in the area, according to The Daily News.

The suggested store, which would be the second Whole Foods in the market, would be located on the eastern part of Germantown at the intersection of Poplar Ave., and Pete Mitchell Road. The store is expected to employ 100 to 150 people and will be located across from Germantown's Central Business District, which could help drive traffic to the area.

"We welcome the opportunity to bring Whole Foods Market to Germantown and the eastern suburbs of Shelby County," Price Ford of Cypress Realty Holdings told The Daily News. "We hope the citizens of Germantown will voice their support for this project to city officials and turn out for the Germantown Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 3 to show their support."

The Germantown neighborhood looks like a prime spot for an upscale grocery store such as Whole Foods. Germantown has a large population density of people with high incomes, making the neighborhood an ideal location for other luxury retailers.

"We have been looking to add a second store in the Memphis metro area for some time," said Norah Smith, Whole Foods Market vice president of real estate. "We are excited about moving forward and bringing a beautiful Whole Foods Market to the Germantown community."

Expanding operations in Memphis
Whole Foods, which was founded in Austin, Texas, has shown serious commitment to the Memphis area. Along with the aforementioned Germantown facility, Whole Foods is expanding out of its existing East Memphis location into the space formerly occupied by Office Depot next store.

The expansion is already underway and should total about $3.1 million.

Whole Foods is also surveying the field for a potential move into Midtown Memphis.

Plans for the neighborhood
Germantown designed a smart-growth redevelopment plan called "Vision 2020" in 2005. The neighborhood aimed for the plan to promote mixed-use developmental buildings in its Central Business District, hoping the combined residential and commercial space ventures would become a pedestrian-friendly area to promote foot traffic.

"This is one of the first developments submitted under the city's smart growth development plan," said Joe Jarratt of Cypress Realty Holdings. "It is a high-end specialty retailer that caters to the Germantown residents. Whole Foods Market will keep sale tax revenue in the city as well as attract additional revenue from outside the city."

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