Whole Foods Coming to Vernon Hills!
If you’re close to Vernon Hills, you may be in luck. Whole Foods is moving there. And it’s hiring.
Not everyone’s happy. Officials for Lake Forest had made plans for the 40-acre site to move there. The city had spent months of negotiations with the megastore and had allocated an 8.5-acre development at Route 60 and Saunders Road for its use. Furthermore, the Whole Foods retreat has caused other developers to pull out too.
A miffed Lake Forest Communications Manager Susan Banks proclaimed: “Although the city is disappointed in Whole Foods’ decision, the city remains committed to working with the property owner of the Amberley Woods parcel to consider various development opportunities for the site.”
Lake Forest should considering forgiving Whole Foods, which has been flirting with the Lake Forest location since July 2013 and has disappointed residents in the process. (Whole Foods insisted that it was upfront at the start about it looking into multiple locations).
Meanwhile, Lake Forest’s loss is Vernon Hill’s gain. Says Vernon Hills Village Manager John Kalmar “I see Whole Foods as a great fit in Vernon Hills, and it would provide another aspect to the wide variety of shopping we offer to residents of this region.”
Kalmar has been trying to attract Whole Foods for ten years but was told that the store preferred Chicago and city-close suburbs such as Naperville, Orland Park, Schaumburg, Wheaton, Willowbrook and Hinsdale.
Paperwork is still not in place, the store has only expressed preliminary interest in moving to Vernon Hills. New neighbors are hoping for smoother negotiations than Lake Forest.
Whole Foods has run into controversy in the past over some of its moves. There was the controversy in West Seattle and in Beverly, Mass., in Sacramento, and in Jamaica Plains. Some folks fear that the ‘yuppie’ store will disrupt their economy.
No fear in this case. Vernon Hills is ‘an affluent northern suburb of Chicago’. Top employers in that city include Mitsubishi, Cole-Parmer, Experient, ZF, CDW, Zebra Technologies and Ameri-can Hotel Register.
Story by: Leah Zitter, dbfchicago.com Writer