Late last year, there was hope at Valley Bank that Whole Foods, an organic grocery store, would move into the old Ukrop’s building at Roanoke’s Ivy Market development.
The company sent a team to assess the Franklin Road site late last year and had been talking with the bank, which bought the property after it went into foreclosure.
But hope has faded.
“I would not be as optimistic about Whole Foods making a decision to move forward at this time,” said Valley Bank President and CEO Ellis Gutshall.
“It was a very good effort. As the bank and a property owner, we need to move forward.”
Roanoke-based Valley Bank is talking with several other interested potential tenants, which Gutshall would not name.
He said the bank would focus on grocer tenants until it had exhausted those options because the building was built for a grocery store.
Had Whole Foods decided to open at Ivy Market, the building would have had to be divided into two spaces, because it was too big for a Whole Foods in a market this size, Gutshall said.
The bank earlier this year demolished three vacant buildings on 5 acres near Ivy Market to prepare the land for phase two of the development. The activity has prompted calls from interested parties about those pad sites, Gutshall said.
Here’s a link to the Retail Roundup column, which also has updates on the cafe set to open soon at Sixteen West in downtown Roanoke, and vacancies at Valley View Mall.
What’s your reaction to the news that Whole Foods had been considering opening a store in Roanoke? Are you disappointed that the company appears to be looking elsewhere?