Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whole Foods unveils Mill Valley store plans

Now that Trader Joe's has started to fit out its new Larkspur store, the much-delayed development of the new Whole Foods store in Mill Valley is lurching another step forward with a public meeting to review the store's exterior design plans, at the Mill Valley Zoning Administrator (3pm Wednesday).

When it opens, the Whole Foods store will look very different to the Albertsons store it is replacing. According to the staff report, the plans for the exterior include a new brick facade and wooden pillars, with the intent to resemble a farmers market.
Green features will include a 400 sqft recycling/composting stucture at the rear of the store. The renovation will be designed to LEED Silver level, as required by the City.
The traffic study projects that the new Whole Foods will generate approximately twice the number of visits as the old Albertsons, with an estimated 5,890 average daily vehicle trips to the store, compared with 2,945 for Albertsons. However, the report claims that this will have a "less than significant" impact on traffic in the local area, and that the existing car parking and traffic intersections can adequately cope with the increase. Hmm... My guess is that anyone who regularly passes through the Blithedale/Camino Alto intersection might beg to differ.
After gaining approval for the exterior design, permits can then be issued for the building work to commence, with an opening date in early 2010.
UPDATE: additional reporting from the Mill Valley Herald, IJ and More Marin.

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