New docs reveal plan for West Michigan’s first Whole Foods Market

Kent County

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — New documents recently submitted to Kentwood city officials reveal what West Michigan’s first Whole Foods Market will look like.

The 91-page site plan from Grand Rapids Associates LLC details the layout and electrical, mechanical, plumbing and air systems for the new store, located on Radcliffe Avenue SE just south of 28th Street, near Woodland Mall.

According to the plans News 8 obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the new store will cover 44,643 square feet with a capacity for 651 people. The detailed layout shows an outdoor patio with seating for 12 people, a 24-seat bar area looking out a large set of windows and an indoor dining area with electrical outlets and lower community table that can accommodate up to 48 people.

The store will also house all the typical Whole Foods features: fresh produce, frozen foods, meat, beer, wine, prepared meals and flowers. The facility will also contain a bakery, coffee counter, pizza station, kitchen, cold bar and salad bar, the site plan shows. The layout also shows self-checkout stations in addition to traditional checkout areas.

(A rendering included in documents submitted to the city of Kentwood shows the site plan for Whole Foods Market at 2891 Radcliffe Ave. SE.)

The signs are up and construction is underway on the store, which will be the first of its kind in West Michigan.

When News 8 reached out to Whole Foods Market for an update on the project, a spokesperson responded with a statement identical to what the company sent us in December 2020 and July:

“I can confirm that a Grand Rapids store is in development. At this time, I do not have additional information to share but have made a note to pass any additional details your way when available.”

Michigan is already home to seven Whole Foods Market stores, but the closest one to Grand Rapids is about 75 miles away in East Lansing. The other stores are in Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield, Rochester Hills, Birmingham and Detroit.

Whole Foods signed a 20-year lease agreement for the Kentwood store in August 2020, county records show. After the initial lease is up, Whole Foods may extend the agreement up to 35 years in five-year increments, documents state.

As part of the deal, the building owner is barred from developing the space for a variety of other businesses, including salons, specialty food stores, coffee bars, smoothie bars and businesses that sell ready-made meals.

(A rendering included in documents submitted to the city of Kentwood shows the proposed storefront for Whole Foods Market at 2891 Radcliffe Ave. SE.)

In 2017, Amazon announced it was purchasing Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. Since then, the behemoth online retailer has rolled out Whole Foods Market grocery delivery service to Prime customers living near Whole Foods stores.

Next year, Whole Foods Market will test Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” shopping concept at two new stores in Washington D.C. and California. The method allows customers to skip the checkout process by using Amazon One contactless payment.

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