Saturday, January 21, 2006

Whole Foods Committed and (Almost) Approved!

While there's still a fair amount of controversy swirling in NORA about development of the site at 86th and Keystone, the Star is reporting today that the city's Metropolitan Development Commission has approved development of the site. Developer Tom Kite's office is confirming that Whole Foods is committed!

NORA residents group and local neighbors have had no luck stopping the plan. Developers tried to work with them and respond to their concerns with multiple redesigns of the project including drastically reducing the number of condos they're proposing. But the grocery store has always been part of the project. Now residents are trying to use the press to go after Whole Foods and their environmentally conscious attitude.

At the end of the day, developing that space is progress. The Keystone/86th corridor has already grown out of control and while residents may say that the small wooded area is their only peace, the fact is that traffic will continue to increase whether that space is developed or not. (People, expensive condos and growth in your neighborhood will drive your property value *up* not down! Lots of urbanites in their BMW SUVs will *help* your neighborhood.) Whole Foods is an upscale, expensive grocery store. It will most likely be a boon for a neighborhood that often looks like it's seen better days.

The project is up for final approval Monday night at the City-County Council meeting. If all proceeds according to plan and is approved, the store could open in late 2006 or early 2007.

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