Whole Foods Market® (NASDAQ: WFM) and the Irvine Company announced today that the companies have signed a lease for a new Whole Foods Market in Newport Beach, Calif.
The organic and natural grocer will occupy approximately 32,000 square feet of retail space in Fashion Island, a popular shopping destination located in Newport Center in the heart of Newport Beach. Construction at the existing space will begin this fall and is expected to be completed for a store opening next summer.
Whole Foods Market’s presence in Orange County, Calif., already includes stores in Tustin, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, with plans for an additional store opening in Laguna Niguel in early 2012. These new stores are part of a regional expansion, which includes additional store openings in Kailua, Hawaii and Del Mar, California in 2012.
“Fashion Island is a prime spot for us in Orange County,” said Patrick Bradley, president of Whole Foods Market’s Southern Pacific region. “Home to some of the biggest names in retail and central to the Newport area, we are excited to bring Whole Foods Market’s unique organic and natural offerings to this vibrant coastal community, and in a convenient destination. We are pleased to work with the Irvine Company and look forward to our upcoming partnerships with the neighborhood.”
Irvine Company recently completed its $100 million reinvestment of Fashion Island, including the addition of Nordstrom. More than 40 new exclusive stores and restaurants have opened in the past 12 months and/or will open before Holiday 2011, including Splendid, Vince, Ella Moss, Jack Spade, Roberto Coin, Jonathan Adler and Elie Tahari. The open-air center also boasts live entertainment, specialty food carts, beautiful new outdoor spaces with dramatic architecture and common area amenities, landscape, water fountains and expanded parking.
Irvine Company is also redeveloping the seven-screen Island Cinemas, which will bring to Fashion Island an upscale, state-of-the-art theater complex offering a premier movie-going experience. Island Cinemas will re-open in December offering spacious stadium seating, an enhanced food menu, crafted beer, champagne and wine service.
In another move to enhance customer service at Fashion Island, a complimentary trolley service will launch in August, which will transport guests from one destination to another throughout the center and in the surrounding parking lots. The design of the trolleys will be reminiscent of classic San Francisco cable cars. Two trolleys, each seating up to 12 people, will operate during most business hours.
Fashion Island’s design as an all-purpose center makes it an enjoyable place for Orange County’s coastal residents to visit frequently. Together, Whole Foods Market’s strong brand recognition and Fashion Island’s loyal customer base make this an ideal location for the grocer’s first Newport Beach store.
“Irvine Company is excited to welcome Whole Foods Market to Fashion Island,” said Keith Eyrich, president of Irvine Company Retail Properties. “We believe Whole Foods Market will enhance the Center’s mix of eclectic, one-of-a-kind merchants who want their customers to experience more than the typical regional mall experience offers. We are confident they will be a great addition to the community and to the success of Fashion Island as the Entertainment, Shopping and Dining Center of Newport Beach.”
Combining the great-tasting food with outstanding customer service, Whole Foods Market features a fresh and enticing selection of natural foods, free of artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives and hydrogenated fats. Whole Foods Market offers shoppers the highest quality, best-tasting and freshest foods in an inviting setting that is uniquely designed to meet the needs of the neighborhoods for a pleasantly atypical grocery shopping experience.
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 58,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 13 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2010, the company had sales of more than $9 billion and currently has more than 300 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
About Fashion Island
As Orange County’s premier coastal shopping and dining experience, Fashion Island features specialty boutiques, world-class department stores and a wide assortment of restaurants and cafes. Visited by more than 13 million people annually, Fashion Island offers a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere that is distinctively Southern California. Owned by Irvine Company, Fashion Island is home to Orange County’s only Neiman Marcus, as well as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Bloomingdale’s Home Store and Macy’s. For more information, please visit www.ShopFashionIsland.com.
About the Irvine Company
Founded in 1864, the Irvine Company is an internationally renowned real estate development company known for its award-winning master-planned communities, its vast portfolio of high-quality investment properties, and its leadership in conservation and natural resource management. The real estate portfolio encompasses office, apartment, retail and resort holdings located throughout California’s premier markets, including assets in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles Counties and Northern California. As a steward of some of America’s most beautiful and scientifically important open space and parklands, the company has donated to Orange County more than half of the historic 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch in Orange County — 50,000 acres — to permanently preserve lands. The U.S. Department of Interior and the State of California have designated these parklands as “Natural Landmarks,” one of the most prestigious land preservation designations.