Months after it was slated to open, the future of a planned Whole Foods 365 store in Bloomington remains uncertain.
The grocery store was originally supposed to open in August. But Whole Foods representatives later said there is no definitive opening date. Since then, city officials say there’s been no communication about the future of the project.
James Roach is the development and services manager for the city of Bloomington planning and transportation department. He says he hasn’t heard from Whole Foods, Simon Property Group or a different potential tenant for the building.
“It’s somewhat unusual for a building to be built for a specific tenant and for that tenant not to finish the build out but it’s not unheard of,” Roach says.
Simon Property Group demolished Sears to make way for a 59,000-square foot addition to College Mall, which includes space for Whole Foods 365. Other stores and restaurants included in the expansion opened earlier this year. But, Roach says the building that’s supposed to house Whole Foods remains empty.
“Our enforcement inspection staff, they’re working with Simon to finalize some site issues, but the interior of the building has not received permitting to complete the building and turn it into the grocery,” Roach says.
Another grocery store, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, announced in June plans to open a second Bloomington location at College Mall. But a spokesperson did not indicate where the store will be located.
A spokesperson for Simon Property Group says there is no update on the status of the building. Whole Foods representatives did not respond to a request for comment.