At a news conference held at the site of the store this morning, John Clougher, the company’s president for the Pacific Northwest region, told a crowd of reporters and other interested parties that Whole Foods has worked out its differences with the developer. The lawsuit filed last fall by TRF Pacific against Whole Foods has been dropped. Clougher called the problems ‘a little bit of a dust up.’
Whole Foods will now use 38,000 square feet for their store and will look for another retailer to sublease the remaining 22,000 square feet. The drawing below shows Whole Foods on the right and the available retail space is on the left in beige.
The Interbay Whole Foods will offer a salad bar, hot bar, chef’s case, all-natural sandwiches, coffee shop and other amenities, such as cooking classes and demonstrations. The high end grocery store will employ about 150 people. The store will focus on the company’s commitment to promoting healthy eating and simple foods.
“Each store is designed and operated for the needs of the specific community it serves. The Interbay Whole Foods Market will have an interactive healthy eating center with chefs, a new Whole Values section, an expanded bulk foods section and a new sandwich bar that is unlike anything we have in our other stores,” said Clougher. He said the store will feature lots of foods to go, citing the location on busy 15th Ave West.
As we reported back in September, construction stopped at the store site when Whole Foods wanted to lower the square footage of the store. TRF then filed a $68 million lawsuit against Whole Foods for violating the lease. Today, both sides are pleased with the new agreement and construction is set to resume right away.
“Our strong ongoing partnership helped us bring this agreement to fruition despite the challenging economy,” said Doug Exworthy, TRF Pacific managing member. “This is a win-win-win, not only for our two companies but for Interbay and the surrounding neighborhoods as well.”
In addition to Whole Foods Market, four other retail spaces have been leased at Interbay Center to Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Subway, Interbay Cleaners and Verizon Wireless. There are no dates set for opening those stores but Peet’s is expected to open before Whole Foods.