Sketch of the proposed Cross Hill Market, which will be anchored by Whole Foods.
Edens & Avant released this map of the planned shopping center.
Whole Foods' future location in Columbia
The future Whole Foods in Columbia
Developers released a sketch of the facade of the planned shopping center.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Columbia is getting its own Whole Foods Market store soon.
Developer Edens & Avant announced Friday morning that the natural foods store would be locating on Cross Hill Road and Crowson Road, near the intersection of Devine Street and Fort Jackson Boulevard.
Until several years ago, the property where it will stand was a Kroger grocery store.
The new store represents a $23 million investment, bringing 180 permanent, 120 part-time, and 100 temporary construction jobs.
The store will serve as the anchor store for the new "Cross Hill Market" at the property. They plan to add 12 to 15 retail spaces which eventually will be filled by other national, regional, and local shops.
Construction will start in January, with a projected opening date of October 2012.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says the area could send a positive message to Washington D.C. and the U.S. Department of Defense.
"I also hope it does mean that the folks in Washington and the Department of Defense will be very impressed with this new gateway to Fort Jackson," said Benjamin. "I dare say there are few, if any, army bases in the country that have a Whole Foods at their front door."
Edens & Avant says it will remove some vacant buildings in the area, but plan to work with the former Kroger building to reduce the environmental impact.
"Over the next decade, over the next 20 years, I think this whole corridor will change dramatically, and I think this is just the beginning of a long evolution here," said Terry Brown, the company's CEO.
"We're very proud, and we think that the spinoff effect of this major investment by Whole Foods is gonna be significant on many levels," said Benjamin.
Whole Foods South Regional President Scott Allshouse says the store has committed to the location.
"When we come into communities and make these arrangements, we have a 20-year base lease, and then 20 years of options on top of that, so we're in it for the long haul," said Allshouse.
Whole Foods is a natural and organic foods store chain that began in Austin, Texas.
The closest locations to Columbia currently are in Greenville and Mt. Pleasant.