Construction begins at site of new Whole Foods store
A cluster of heavy equipment is already in place to begin work on the new Canyon Corners project, which will include a Whole Food store as the anchor tenant.
The parking lot that once occupied the parcel, located north of Ruby Tuesday’s and Hampton Inn, has already been removed and an official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place Tuesday, March 29 at 4 p.m. Representatives of the developer, CenterCal Properties, and Whole Foods are scheduled to join Summit County officials for the ceremony.
"We’re excited to be able to get going after a long process of defining the project with the county and putting together a bunch of benefits that are associated with it," said Alec Paddock, a development manager with CenterCal Properties.
The project will include a 43,000-square-foot Whole Foods store, 20 affordable housing units and nearly 20,000 square feet of commercial space comprised of up to 10 retail stores and/or restaurants on the 8.5-acre site. The two buildings will be built concurrently.
Summit County Officials approved the project in September after several meetings with the developer and county planning staff. Last year, CenterCal Properties requested a change in uses for the Canyon Corners development agreement to allow Whole Foods to relocate to the site.
One of the biggest issues for County Council members and staffers concerned the traffic impact the development could have on Landmark Drive. The two-lane road it sits on snakes around Walmart and Tanger Outlet, eventually leading past Ecker Hill Middle School.
Ray Milliner, a Summit County planner, acknowledged there will be some traffic impacts to Landmark Drive during construction, but emphasized that no full-lane closures are anticipated.
"There will be partial closures when they are installing the crosswalk and curb stuff," Milliner said in an email to The Park Record. "But they (engineering department) are going to work with the applicant to try and have those done during the summer months when school is out. "
As part of the agreement, the developer agreed to contribute funds to jumpstart a new Kimball Junction bus route and bike-sharing program. The developer will install a bus shelter outside at Whole Foods and has agreed to several improvements to Landmark Drive, such as an elevated crosswalk and additional turn lanes.
The project is slated to be complete sometime this summer or fall.
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The Tech Center development proposal seems to have entered a new phase, after county councilors indicated their receptiveness to the more ambitious proposals offered by the developers in their original application, including a new transit center.