Downtown Tempe will get its first new grocery store in more than a decade and Arizona’s first Whole Foods Market 365.
The popular grocery chain, which caters to buyers looking for organic and fresh foods, recently launched the 365 concept with smaller, more affordable markets.
“Our 365 stores deliver the same quality that our customers have come to expect but in a convenient and fun new format that provides exceptional value,” Whole Foods President of the Southern Pacific Region Patrick Bradley said in a written statement.
The Tempe project, dubbed The Local, will rise nine stories with the Whole Foods Market 365 on the ground floor and parking and luxury apartments above.
The project broke ground at University Drive and Ash Avenue on July 11. Residents are expected to begin moving in by early 2019.
A new take on Whole Foods
Tempe has a Whole Foods grocery store at Rural and Baseline roads, but the 365 version at The Local will be smaller, with a more streamlined design, and more budget-friendly options.
The downtown store is expected to include the “Friends of 365” program, which partners with independent businesses “who bring their special mojo,” according to the company’s website. That includes an Allegro Coffee Company at the Bellevue, Washington 365 store and a Canteen organic juice bar at the Lake Oswego, Oregon, store. Details on friends at the Tempe store have not been announced.
“Our residents have been asking for a major grocery store in downtown Tempe for more than a decade and Whole Foods Market 365 is a perfect fit for The Local,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said in a written statement.
The Local will include one floor of parking for 365 market shoppers and two floors of parking for residents. The upper five levels will include 286 apartments units.
Urban living with luxury perks
The apartments will have a mix of vintage and modern accents including exposed concrete and brick and distressed and rich wood tones.
Other amenities will include:
- Pools with a jet water table and hot tub.
- Cabanas with covered grilling and dining areas.
- An outdoor TV wall.
- An indoor/ outdoor bar.
- A sound-proof karaoke and entertainment lounge.
- A fitness studio.
- A yoga/ barre/ Zen studio with an outdoor terrace.
- A cantilevered, eighth-floor game and club room overlooking University Drive.
- A rooftop sky lounge with a fireplace and kitchen space for catering.
The Denver-based Forum Real Estate Group is the project’s developer.
Nod to Tempe history
Dignitaries at the July 11 groundbreaking ceremony buried a time capsule at the site.
The site at University and Ash has undergone its share of changes through the years, beginning as a Tempe South Methodist Church in 1890.
In 1917, the land was home to the Tempe Cotton Exchange. In 1976, Dr. Munchies Grocerys & G.P. opened there, followed by the Gentle Strength Natural Foods Co-op in 1990. The co-op, which closed more than 10 years ago, sold natural foods and other items.
The time capsule, which contains such items as an Arizona State University 2017 commencement program, a can of kilt lifter beer from Four Peaks Brewery and an Arizona Republic newspaper from July 11, will be unearthed in 20 years.