Whole Foods is rolling out the first of its slimmed down, less expensive 365 By Whole Foods markets in 2016, beginning with one in LA's Silverlake neighborhood, and another now proposed for the former Lombardi's Sports store at Polk and Jackson. As the Chronicle confirms, Whole Foods intends to hold community meetings this month and next ahead of submitting an application to the Planning Department to take over the 19,000 square foot space.
The new, urban-oriented market concept, which will be five blocks away from the Whole Foods at California and Franklin, would sell Whole Foods' 365 brand of dry goods, as well as focus on “value-oriented, grab-and-go” products, without traditional counter service. This will be the only such store in Northern California for the time being, as part of an initial eight-city rollout.
As the Business Times notes, this is the third attempt by the developer who bought the site in 2014 to make a go of it, after already having scrapped a proposal for 62 units of housing, and having had a proposal for a Target Express store in the same space rejected by the community. At the time, neighbors expressed a desire for another grocery store despite there being both a Trader Joe's and a Whole Foods within a few blocks, but I guess not everyone wants to walk with groceries.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin has already encouraged Whole Foods to reach out to the community, which will have to give special approval to a conditional use permit because of formula retail rules.