By ianmac47 on Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 at 8:13 am
Ever since luxury residential development began in downtown Jersey City, rumors of the imminent Whole Foods opening followed.
The grocery retailer rolled out stores in Manhattan first, and this only fueled speculation of Jersey City’s arrival of the then status grocery chain. The 50,000-square foot Union Square store opened in March of 2005. Crowds flocked to the store, and there are some people who have been waiting on line there ever since.
In 2008, a store opened in Tribeca with 69,000-square feet, and the proximity to the World Trade Center PATH made this one of the closest options.
During that time, Jersey City had a dearth of decent grocery stores.
In 2007, with the development of a new tower complex in Newport, many speculated this would finally be the long awaited Whole Foods market. The Shore did end up with a grocery store, but it was a Morton Williams rather than the mythical Whole Foods.
At about the same time, the first foundations for the ever growing Liberty Harbor development were being laid with the promise of a grocery store in that new neighborhood. Once again, Whole Foods was rumored to be taking a corner retail location at Jersey Avenue and Grand Street. For many years this served as the developments sales office.
The 2008 recession slowed development in Jersey City, and ended hopes of a new space big enough for a Whole Foods. That didn’t stop real estate agents from speculating on local blogs. Many of the planned developments where the retailer was supposed close to signing a lease simply didn’t meet the store’s size requirements.
It’s not surprising then that when Whole Foods finally did arrive, it is in an existing building with plenty of parking.
The purchase of the grocer by Amazon probably also aided in bringing the market to Jersey City. Amazon isn’t about exclusivity but instead market saturation. There was also a discussion about the parent company leasing office space on this side of the Hudson, but that fell through last month.