Whole Foods Market to open in Ward Village

Construction in Kakaako is ramping up with new condos and new businesses, including a store that once seriously considered moving in.

In December 2009, Whole Foods Market pulled out of building a store in the Ward Village area after numerous delays.

Now after more than four years, the company says it will open a store in the area.

A Whole Foods Market spokesperson told KHON2 that the official announcement is set for Tuesday when the company releases its quarterly earnings report.  But the spokesperson did confirm on Monday that their new store will be located in Ward Village with construction set to begin in 2015, and an opening date set for 2017.

On its website Ward Village is described being Honolulu’s newest contemporary village with exceptional residences, stores, and entertainment venues. Whole Foods will be added to that list soon.

“Whole Foods will be great for that area,” Real Estate Analyst Stephany Sofos said.

A source tells KHON2 that the new Whole Foods Market will be located where Nordstrom Rack used to be on Kamakee Street.

“It’s going to be fabulous because it’s going to be one of their larger stores because of the location.  And so it’s going to be great for all of the people who work in that area and live in that area and it’s going to create synergy for all of the stores around,” Sofos said.

“This would be convenient for the guys at the gym coming out — be a quick healthy food to grab,” said Michael Arrieta, who works out at a nearby gym.

The workers at Office Depot say their store is the about same size as the space next door, and their showroom is about 38,000 square feet plus there’s storage in the back.

Sofos says it’s no surprise that Whole Foods will be moving in to Ward Village considering that they were planning to move into a spot just down the road back in 2008.

“Whole Foods originally wanted to go into the old KHON studio location.  And because they found the iwi, it became difficult for all the development to happen,” Sofos said.  “And then they were looking at going into the Bloomingdale’s space (in Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa wing) and that would’ve created some synergy there. But where can you put your best tenant to grow around it.”

Ward Village is certainly undergoing a transformation.  Not to mention, the Kakaako rail transit station is going to be built nearby.

“It will be very very successful,” Sofos said.

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