The Miami Beach Planning Board has approved a new 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods to be built a mile away from an existing store in South Beach.
The new store at 1901 Alton Rd. will be more in line with the average size of a Whole Foods, more than twice the size of the current 18,000-square-foot Whole Foods at 10th Street and Alton. Developer Crescent Heights brought in architect Chad Oppenheim to redesign the building after the board rejected an initial design earlier this year.
Wells Fargo owns the site and has a branch there. The new four-story, 50,000-square-foot building will also house a new bank branch.
Marisa Galbut, retail development manager for Crescent Heights, told the planning board that the new store will better serve the neighborhood by offering more products in a bigger space.
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“Currently in the 18,000-square-foot store, we’re only getting pieces of what Whole Foods delivers to their communities,” she said.
Traffic concerns in an already-congested South Beach led to Crescent Heights offering to fund and construct a roundabout at the intersection of Dade Boulevard, 19th Street and Michigan Avenue. The city’s transportation officials say this will help. But according to a staff report on the project, traffic at Dade Boulevard and Alton Road will inevitably worsen with projected growth in the area, including the Whole Foods.
The building will have 272 parking spaces and a café that seats 198. Trash pickup and deliveries will be restricted to early mornings and late evenings.
The project will go before the Beach’s Design Review Board next week.