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AUSTIN, Texas - Leading natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market on Friday released details of its new landmark store and world headquarters in downtown Austin, Texas. The 80,000-square-foot store, which will be Whole Foods Market's largest, is expected to be completed in early 2005.
The store will feature a community and education center suitable for meetings and cooking demonstrations, a 25,000-square-foot public roof garden and plaza area for eating and entertainment, and three levels of underground parking with escalators equipped to carry grocery carts from the parking garage to the store.
"Our store concept across America has evolved so much since our humble beginnings here over 23 years ago. With the breadth of food retailing knowledge and culinary experience we have today, we are no longer content just to be the best natural foods store, but instead aspire to be the finest food retailer in every community we serve," said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market.
"There is a paradox in American society that people love food and they love to shop, and yet the hate to shop for food. With its inviting atmosphere, this new store in Austin will aim to change that and will take the chore out of shopping and turn it in to a fun, pleasurable experience," added Mackey. "It will be interactive, educational and full of surprises."
The new building also will include Whole Foods Market's new world headquarters, a six-story, 200,000-square-foot office tower above the market that eventually will provide office space for as many as 700 Team Members. The new space will bring together the national offices and the Southwest Regional offices.
Schlosser Development Corporation's vision for the area, to be called The Market District, includes artistic, cultural and community elements. The Market District will become a four-block urban retail destination in the heart of Austin -- all centered around and named after Whole Foods Market, which will be the stand-alone development in its block.