Whole Foods Market publicly acknowledged plans to close the Bishops Corner store in West Hartford and move the operation to Avon.
By Ronni Newton
Rumors that Whole Foods will be closing the Bishops Corner store in West Hartford, and ongoing discussion about Whole Foods opening a store in Avon were both confirmed Tuesday with a statement from the corporate office.
“Whole Foods Market is pleased to confirm that our Bishops Corner location in West Hartford will be moving to Avon Village Center,” Heather W. McCready, principal corporate communications strategist for Whole Foods Market, said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to building a store that offers a more expansive and unique shopping and culinary experience.”
McCready was not able to provide a timeframe for the move, but said that all employees of the Bishops Corner store will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the Avon location.
In addition to the existing employees, approximately 50 more jobs will be added at the new Avon Village Center Whole Foods Market, McCready said Tuesday.
The Bishops Corner store will “close shortly before the new store opens,” she said, but although she did not elaborate on when that might be, it will likely be more than a year because ground has not yet been broken on the new building in Avon.
Avon Director of Planning and Community Development Hiram Peck III said Tuesday that the complex will be built on 97 acres of land that the developer, Rhode Island-based Carpionato Group, purchase from Ensign-Bickford. It is located behind the Avon Police Station, and abuts Route 44, he said.
“Right now there is nothing on the land,” Peck said, but the developer has started the process of clearing and grading.
Peck said that the development was approved in July 2018, and the architectural plans for the Whole Foods building and two other buildings that will be located behind it received approval at a May 21 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Renderings, provided by Peck, are included as PDFs below.
The overall complex, which will be anchored by Whole Foods, will also include residential, office, and other commercial occupancies, Peck said.
The Whole Foods Market will be more than 45,000 square feet, Peck said.
Construction of the first phase will begin this year, and is scheduled to take about a year.
Whole Foods has another location in West Hartford, at 50 Raymond Rd., which opened in 2006 and will remain open.
The Bishops Corner Whole Foods Market was formerly Wild Oats, but Whole Foods purchased Wild Oats in 2007 and decided to keep the two West Hartford stores open.
Ted Glanzer contributed to this story.
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