SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — It’s only about two years overdue, but it looks like Whole Foods could be up and running by this summer at The Kenwood Collection.
That’s the word from Sycamore Township officials, who also told WCPO the Amazon-owned grocery chain is planning the region's third Whole Foods Market at that location instead of the previously planned 365 by Whole Foods, a discount-store concept that Amazon is phasing out.
“They have all the permits they need,” said Sycamore Township Trustee Jim LaBarbara. “They’re putting the fixtures in and getting it ready."
Whole Foods declined to comment. A representative for the building's owner, Prep Realty Group, confirmed that a summer opening is in the works.
Sycamore Township planning records indicate Whole Foods will install signage on the Kenwood Collection storefront in late April. Renderings on the document show the Whole Foods Market logo, not 365 as originally planned.
There is no opening date on a March 5 Hamilton County sign permit, but signage is typically one of the last permits sought before a retail opening, according Cindy Reatherford, a customer service supervisor for the county's office of planning and development.
"It could be weeks away; could be months," she said.
Prep Realty Group announced in November 2015 that 365 by Whole Foods would open by early 2017 in a 30,000-square-foot corner of a vacant Kroger Marketplace store at the roughly $200 million office and retail complex east of Kenwood Towne Centre.
That announcement was followed by Amazon’s 2017 purchase of Whole Foods and a series of experiments on pricing that eventually led Whole Foods to abandon its smaller format concept that emphasized lower prices.
The Whole Foods opening would be part of a tenant reshuffling at Kenwood Collection. Envision Cinemas is gearing up for a May opening of its dine-in theater concept, which will include an upscale Italian restaurant called Olio Italian.
And the home-furnishing store Z Galerie is closing less than two years after it opened at Kenwood Collection. The Los Angeles -based company announced in March it would close 17 stores as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.