Whole Foods To Open Location In One Of Chicago’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods
When you think of Whole Foods, the last thing you associate with it is a crime-ridden neighborhood. Whole Foods seems to be quite particular with its locations. Take New York, for example. We’ve got a huge Whole Foods smack in the middle of Union Square, with a floor-to-ceiling window view that’ll have even the most budget-conscious, busy individual stopping by to eat and take it in.
But now Whole Foods is claiming land in the not-so-popular Englewood area of Chicago. The neighborhood was rated as the 24th most dangerous area in the U.S in 2012, with a predicted rate of 2-3 violent crimes per week.
The goal of putting the store there is to provide residents with a full-service grocery store and healthy options as a part of Mayor Emanuel’s economic and food access plans.
I am completely committed to ensuring that all Chicagoans have access to fresh, quality and affordable food in their neighborhoods,” the mayor said in a statement. “This store will not only provide these important resources, but it will also create jobs and spur economic growth — a true win-win.”
But this isn’t the most questionable location-based decision the people over at Whole Foods have made. In fact, the Gowanus area of Brooklyn is slated to see a Whole Foods in the neighborhood later this year. And for those who aren’t familiar with Gowanus, it’s right next door to some toxic waterways and is a frequent flooding zone. But the company is firm on making it happen. The building is being constructed 8 feet above the 100-year flood plain, and its roof will feature a greenhouse that churns out natural produce.
The 18,000 square-foot store is set to open in 2016 as a part of a broader 13-acre development plan. The surrounding space is currently vacant, but it has strong retail potential. When the store opens, it expects to create at least 100 new jobs.
Bringing a Whole Foods to Englewood could also assist it in its efforts to shake off its “whole paycheck”—a name given to it for its costly food items—image. In May, Whole Foods began offering “Savvy Shopper” plans classes intended to educate people on the value of its products, as opposed to the costs.
I always like to keep $7000.00 on me in case I wanna stop at Whole Foods and get some fruit
— Illuminated Wonder (@illuminatedwndr) May 26, 2012
Whole Foods wants to be seen as a better value and not necessarily expensive, even though, well – it is,” Allen Adamson, a managing director at brand consultancy Landor Associates in New York, told BuzzFeed. “The key to unlocking Whole Foods in neighborhoods in places like Detroit is to make consumers and potential customers comfortable, and not make them feel like they shouldn’t be there.”
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