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South Evanston Whole Foods to close

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Whole Foods plans to close its south Evanston store at Chicago Avenue and Greenleaf Street in March.

Plans for shuttering the store — one of three Whole Foods markets in the city — were disclosed in an email newsletter sent by Alderman Melissa Wynne to 3rd Ward residents Friday evening.

Wynne says the 20-year lease on the property is running out and that the company “did extensive studies on costs associated with upgrading the existing store which has a series of structural challenges.”

She says the company also considered creating a new building with decked parking and determined the cost would be prohibitive.

She said that because the site once was an auto dealership, there are unresolved concerns about contamination on the property that would need to be further investigated and potentially remediated at an unknown cost.

“Whole Foods also looked at relocating the store and determined costs would be prohibitive,” Wynne says. “Two other Whole Foods stores in Evanston also played a factor, but the location of a Trader Joe’s nearby a few years ago was not a factor in the decision,” the alderman added.

The store is expected to close on or before Sunday, March 19.

Wynne says she’s in touch with the owners of the south Evanston store site and is committed to working with them “to find the best next use for the site that is compatible with the neighborhood.”

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