HARLEM—Could a Whole Foods be coming to Harlem?
According to the blog livingmaxwell.com, billed as a guide to organic food and drink, Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey let the news slip Tuesday that the organic foods retailer was considering coming uptown.
Mackey was answering a question during a talk at the chain's TriBeCa location about urban areas where Whole Foods was considering opening a store, according to Max Goldberg, founder of livingmaxwell.com.
"He said, 'We are going to be opening up in Harlem,' followed by 'I shouldn't have said that,'" Goldberg said of Mackey.
Whole Foods spokesman Michael Sinatra acknowledged that the chain was exploring its options in Harlem but that nothing had been finalized.
"We are currently exploring the area," said Sinatra. "Our construction and real estate teams are looking at a couple of options."
"It's ongoing and nothing is definitive," he added.
But Goldberg said Mackey sounded anything but tentative. "He kept talking about it," he said.
Whole Foods was considered a possible ground-floor tenant at a hotel project that NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith's development company was trying to build at 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.
But City Councilwoman Inez Dickens said her understanding was that Smith's project was "dead."
Goldberg said the idea of a Whole Foods in Harlem was exciting. Whole Foods already has several stores in New York and is opening one at East 57th Street between Second and Third avenues in August.
"Giving access to healthy organic food to more people is a win for everyone," said Goldberg.