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Whole Foods to break ground Thursday

Whole Foods Market will break ground Thursday morning on its 30,000 square-foot store in Jackson’s Highland Village, the company said Tuesday.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be held under a tent in Highland Village’s east parking lot. The store will sit between existing buildings at the shopping center and Old Canton Road. It will be the first foray into Mississippi for the grocer specializing in natural and organic food. Overall, the Austin, Texas-based company has 400 stores in 40 states.

A Whole Foods spokesperson told the Mississippi Business Journal in October that the store would open sometime next fall. Company officials originally targeted Thanksgiving 2013 as the opening date, but a spokesperson would not commit to that last month.

This will be the second major event for Highland Village in the past couple weeks. Built in the early 1970s by late businessman Jimmy Fowler, the 220,000 square foot shopping center is now controlled by Massachusetts-based WS Development. Fowler’s family had owned and operated the center since its opening. WS officials promised then that the transaction would not hinder Whole Foods’ arrival.

Whole Foods’ announcement last spring that it was coming to Jackson was the culmination of several months of negotiations with Highland Village, and was met with no small amount of enthusiasm. Two studies done within the past six years – one conducted by Realtors, another by Citigroup – have found that commercial and residential real estate in the area of a Whole Foods experienced a bump in value that ranged from 10 to 20 percent.

  1. Johnnye Denman
    November 6th, 2012 at 16:27 | #1

    Thank goodness! Although Whole Foods is by no means perfect, consumers will find more healthy foods and consistency there than at any Kroger store. It’s a shame that Kroger forced other food stores out of the local market. Customer service is non-existent at Kroger, if you find something you like, count on it disappearing from stock, and Kroger Corporate’s boast more than a year ago that they were going to change packaging for ALL Kroger brands to BPA-free packaging was obviously a lie to get (false) publicity. They need competition, and Whole Foods will provide that. I shopped Whole Foods when I lived in Dallas, and can hardly wait for the store to open.

    There is one good alternative in the area: Fresh Market, as Renaissance, in Ridgeland. The only downside is their lack of non-food items, but they have a good selection of organic foods. I like shopping there because every employee in that store gives excellent quality customer service. They are always helpful and very courteous–something that can never be said of Kroger employees.

  2. Nichole
    November 6th, 2012 at 20:59 | #2

    SOOOOOOOOO excited about this!!!

  3. Chiquila
    November 6th, 2012 at 21:01 | #3

    If the prices are great, Rainbow might be in for some competition!

  4. Kathryn
    November 7th, 2012 at 03:46 | #4

    This is what I have been waiting for; hurry up and open the store!

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