LAKEVIEW — Whole Foods Market will move its West Lakeview store a quarter-mile south to a location more than twice the size, the company announced Wednesday.
The 31,500-square-foot store at 3300 N. Ashland Ave. will close to make way for a 75,000-square-foot supermarket at the Ashland, Lincoln and Belmont intersection, which will be the second-largest Whole Foods in the Chicago area.
The current store will remain open until the new store opens. Employees at that time will transfer to the new store, said Midwest spokeswoman Allison Phelps.
Chicago-based Novak Construction will head the project, which is expected to be completed by spring 2017.
The 19-year-old Ashland Avenue store is one of the city's oldest, the company said. The first Chicago Whole Foods opened in 1993 in Lincoln Park, moving to a 79,000-square-foot location in 2009. The Lakeview store followed three years later.
"The Lakeview community has steadily grown since we first opened our doors in 1996, but our store has remained the same size," said Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Midwest regional president. "When the opportunity to build a larger, updated location, worthy of this great community, arose just down the street from our Lakeview store, we were very excited."
There is a second Lakeview Whole Foods at Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue.
The natural and organic food market chain recently opened its 20th store in the Chicago area in Streeterville, 255 E. Grand Ave. The Whole Foods replaced a Dominick's Finer Foods that closed in 2013.
At least eight more locations are planned for this year and 2016, including one opening Feb. 25 at 959 W. Fullerton Ave. near DePaul University.
The Lakeview store's move was part of a larger announcement that the company would open 11 new Whole Foods stores, including three in Canada. New U.S. stores include locations in Charlotte, N.C., and Toledo, Ohio, as well as Washington, New Jersey, Louisiana and Florida.
There are 408 Whole Foods locations, including 389 in the United States.
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