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Today, Whole Foods Market joined with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to announce plans to build a new Whole Foods Market distribution center in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. Expected to open in early 2018, the new Whole Foods Market distribution center will take advantage of the Pullman neighborhood’s skilled workforce, close proximity to the interstate and diverse business climate to serve Whole Foods Market locations across the Midwest and Eastern Canada.
When opened, the new facility will add 150 jobs in Chicago and serve as many as 70 Whole Foods Market locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, and the Canadian province of Ontario. The new 140,000-square-foot facility replaces the current Whole Foods Market distribution center in Munster, Indiana.
“This distribution center is another example of Whole Foods doubling down on Chicago’s South Side and adds to the renaissance that is happening in Pullman,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Neighborhood investments like these – from stores in Hyde Park and Englewood to this distribution center in Pullman – will be vital community anchors and open up more avenues of opportunity for all Chicagoans. I want to thank Whole Foods for their continuing commitment to Chicago and our neighborhoods."
“Our new Pullman distribution center will not only let us more conveniently serve our 25 Chicagoland locations, it also gives us easy access to our stores all across the Midwest,” said Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President, Michael Bashaw. “We are incredibly proud of the opportunity to be a part of a neighborhood that’s so connected to Chicago’s past and also such an important part of Chicago’s future.”
"Building a new Whole Foods Market distribution center in the Pullman neighborhood is a smart decision and is the next logical step in our 23-year commitment to the city of Chicago," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. "More than just a smart business investment, this new distribution reinforces our company’s core mission. Whole Foods Market has always been dedicated to access to fresh, healthy foods; sustainability and supporting our local communities. This location lets us bring all of these things together in a brand new facility for real, long-term economic benefit for one of Chicago's most historically significant and dynamically changing neighborhoods."
The new distribution center will occupy previously empty land and allow Whole Foods Market to join two of its trusted suppliers, Method and Gotham Greens, in the Pullman neighborhood.
The Whole Foods Market distribution center builds on previously announced plans of the company to serve Chicago’s South Side including the opening of a new store in Hyde Park in the summer of 2016 followed by a location in Englewood in the fall.
The new center is among more than $225 million in public and private projects moving forward in Pullman, including: the community’s 2015 designation as a National Monument by the U.S. Park Service for its historic affiliation with industry, land use planning, and workers’ rights; the 2015 construction of Method Products first U.S. factory and Gotham Green’s rooftop greenhouse; the 2014 construction of the $135 million Pullman Park retail development; the current construction of a $15 million community center; and improvements to dozens of historic homes and other properties.
“A little over one year ago President Barack Obama designated the historic Pullman district as a National Monument. Today, Whole Foods is joining the robust group of manufacturing companies that call Pullman home,” said Alderman Anthony Beale (9th). “Today’s event is an investment in the future – the future of Chicago and the future of the Pullman/Roseland area.”
To ensure the site was competitive with the existing facility in Indiana, the City Council will consider approximately $7.4 million in Tax Increment Financing assistance for eligible development costs, such as site preparation work. The city support paves the way for the project to create jobs and business opportunities in the Pullman neighborhood and across Chicago.
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company's motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 85,000 team members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 19 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2015, the company had sales of more than $15 billion and currently has more than 439 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.