Whole Foods Market Headed to Northdale
The health food store will be Tampa's second location when it opens in late 2012; the first is at 1548 N. Dale Mabry Highway
In less than a year, Northdale will be home to a popular business that will provide another food option for health-conscious north Tampa residents, bringing additional traffic on an already busy roadway.
Whole Foods Market is slated to open in late 2012 on Northdale Boulevard between the Northdale Executive Center and SunTrust Bank, not far from the intersection of Northdale Boulevard and North Dale Mabry Highway.
The store, which offers natural and organic items such as quinoa, flax seed and Greek yogurt, has locals talking. Some are unsure if the new store will hurt businesses on the other side of Northdale Boulevard, while others say it's a welcomed addition to the area.
Meanwhile, county officials say they are prepared for an additional "1,900 vehicle trips per day" from the west side of Northdale Boulevard to the store, according to Steve Valdez, a spokesman for Hillsborough County.
Valdez said a second median opening will be closed to keep traffic flowing smoothly on Northdale Boulevard.
"Traffic will influx from the west in Northdale," Valdez said, "but the roadway can easily handle that."
Frank Giordano, also a board member of the NCA, said he spoke with county officials about how to handle traffic in and out of Northdale Boulevard. He said that the opening of Whole Foods will most likely benefit residents and local business owners.
"I see it as an opportunity," he said. "I was concerned for businesses on the north side (of the road), but I think folks on that side will get more exposure. A few more jobs will be open there, so that's good, too."
The store will be 36,000 square feet, compared to Tampa's first Whole Foods store on North Dale Mabry Highway that's about 28,000 square feet, said Russ Benblatt, spokesman for Whole Foods.
Benblatt said the Northdale location was chosen based upon popular demand.
"We put a lot of decision-making authority in the hands of the regions," he said. "We listened to every voicemail, read every email and comment card at the store level, and a couple of times per year, we do a survey of customers to see where they are coming from.
"We had a lot of demand from the Carrollwood area."
Bill Castens, who is president of the Northdale O.W.L.S. and a board member of the Northdale Civic Association, said he thinks Whole Foods moving in is a good idea for the area, especially after the property where it's being built had been abandoned for awhile.
"I think it will be a good fit for the neighborhood," he said. "Why wouldn't we want that kind of addition to Northdale, and take the piece of property and turn it into a thriving thing? We believe new construction is good for Northdale."
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