TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - More than two years ago, Whole Foods announced plans to open a new store in Toledo. There are indications the plan is about to become reality.
We first got confirmation that Whole Foods was planning to come to Toledo in February 2015. The timetable for the opening has shifted a few times since then, but there are fresh signs the store is finally close to opening.
We caught up with Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson today,"I know there has been a lot of movement over there, so I am hopeful it will happen soon."
The windows on the store are covered, but work appears to be well underway inside.Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski says there are other indicators that the opening of Whole Foods could be close, "The fact that they are making sure all the utilities are in order, scrubbing the floors, inspectors are lining up, and they've applied for a liquor license, surely means they are on the way."
Amazon announced it was purchasing Whole Foods earlier this year, something Waniewski sees as a benefit,"If anything, I interpret the Amazon purchase as a good thing for Toledo and for Whole Foods. It puts more financial base into the company."
The announcement of Whole Foods arrival in the Toledo market spurred lots of other development in the area.. Councilman Waniewski's hope is that there's more to come, "We still have a vacant building next to home depot that could be split up into several sections whole foods may certainly be able to help jump start those businesses."
Waniewski says with all this development some of his constituents have concerns about the added traffic in the area, "To me that's where the city needs to step up and show leadership. They still have not timed the lights in the area and that angers me. We need to get traffic moving."
All the traffic is certainly a driving force for retail development in the market, "The population is here so the retailers are coming to where the customers are and certainly Whole Foods is an important part of the region in terms of what they are trying to do retail wise. "
A spokeswoman for the developer of the plaza where the store will be located tells us as soon as there is a confirmed date for opening she will let us know. She went on to say, "That should be very, very soon."
Correction: 13abc originally reported that the spokeswoman worked with Whole Foods instead of the shopping plaza. 13abc regrets the error.