After three long years of waiting, Encinitas residents will finally get a Whole Foods store this summer. In late 2007, the popular organic grocer announced it would join the Pacific Station project in downtown Encinitas—but it was only recently the company obtained its building permit.
Pacific Station , but still has some construction to complete.
According to Kerry Kusiak, a senior planner for Encinitas Planning and Building, Whole Foods applied for a building permit last June. It was approved about a month ago, and the store is now set to open this June. The company had not applied for any permits before then, according to Kusiak.
“Whole Foods got involved as the project moved along,” he said. “They wanted the store to be at a certain stage of completion.”
Before breaking ground, Whole Foods wanted a shell building to be completed before signing onto Pacific Station. Kusiak said the company wouldn’t buy any of the fixtures until a permit was completed, which could explain some of the delay.
Pacific Station has been a project five years in the making. The original tentative date for completion was summer 2009, but the project had some delays. Kusiak said one of the reasons for the holdup might have been the amount of people working the construction.
Heather Gordon, who manages the Whole Foods account for The Rogers Group, provided information about the store’s opening date but did not give a reason for the delays.
In the meantime, Encinitas residents have been anxiously waiting for the organic grocery store’s arrival. There are only two Whole Foods locations in San Diego County: one in Hillcrest and another at the University Town Center in La Jolla. Encinitas will have the first North County location, though a store is in the works for Del Mar with no set completion date.
Despite the delay, the is excited about Whole Foods' arrival. Executive assistant Dody Crawford said with the new store there, it will encourage more residents to visit the downtown area.
“The residents around here are eagerly awaiting the Whole Foods, and I know that they’re going to be whole-heartedly welcomed,” she said. “It’s going to be a nice impact for the businesses.”