MIDTOWN EAST — A hotly anticipated Whole Foods Market is opening Thursday on East 57th Street, in a neighborhood hungry for new food-shopping options.
After years of planning and construction, the 38,000-square-foot upscale grocery store will launch with a bread-breaking ceremony and also plans to announce a donation of 57 salad bars to schools throughout the city, funded by opening-day sales, the company said in a press release.
The natural and organic grocery chain, at 226 E. 57th St., will be part of a 1.5-acre campus that will house two public schools, P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design, both opening in September.
The complex's construction was financed through a public-private partnership between the Department of Education's Educational Construction Fund (ECF), which owns the land, and the World-Wide Group, a development company.
Under the agreement, the World-Wide Group paid for the construction and will lease the property from the Department of Education for 75 years.
The second phase of construction will add 78,000 additional square feet of retail space and 350 residential units to the site on the west side of Second Avenue.
P.S. 59 will have seats for 730 students, up from the 500 it currently serves at its temporary location at 250 E. 63rd St. The High School of Art and Design will house 1,400 students.