Dirt turned Thursday morning on the Whole Foods Market in Jackson’s Highland Village.
Like the other 400 Whole Foods, the design of Jackson’s store will be unique.
“We’ve never built two stores that are alike,” said Omar Gaye, Whole Foods South Region president, just before he joined Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson and half the City Council in jabbing shovels in the ground. “We want to build a store that looks like the community.”
Whole Foods will sit to the east of the existing buildings that make up Highland Village. The store’s east side will run directly alongside and parallel to Old Canton Road. The front of the store will face north toward Northside Drive.
To go with the design, the construction site will also separate Jackson’s store from its counterparts. “Building a store on a parking lot will not be easy,” Gaye said. He added that the site plan went through “100s of different designs” before finding one that fit the space.
The parking lot to the north of the store will remain, and will be reconfigured to add parking spaces to make up at least some of those that will be lost, said Lou Masiello, vice president of development for WS Development. Chestnut Hill, Mass.-based WS acquired a controlling interest in Highland Village last month. The retail development company has Whole Foods stores in some of its Northeastern U.S. properties.
White Construction Co. of Jackson will build the 30,000 square-foot Jackson store, scheduled to open fall of next year. It will be the first Whole Foods in Mississippi.