Whole Food Market Again Planning Location In Downtown San Diego

February 21, 2024

High-end supermarket chain Whole Foods Market is once again signed on to open a location in downtown San Diego. 

Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc., which is a subsidiary of Amazon, is leasing approximately 50,000 square-feet of ground-floor and second story space on the base of the Front & A 34-story residential high-rise building being developed by Washington-based Holland Partner Group. The 343 foot tall high rise, which will have 450 residential units and eight levels of parking, is not expected to be completed until mid-2026.

The former San Diego County Courthouse property was acquired by Holland Partner Group and Japanese developer North America Sekisui House in June 2019. The county sold the 3.9 acre property for $5 million and in exchange for the developers building an underground tunnel that connects the San Diego Central Courthouse to the Central Jail.

This isn't the first time Whole Foods Market has been signed on to open a location in downtown San Diego. The upscale grocer signed on in 2016 to open a branch as part of the once-conceived 7th & Market development, which was also set to house San Diego's first Ritz Carlton Hotel. Both Whole Foods and Ritz Carlton eventually backed out of the project. 

The 7th and Market property, which was supposed to be developed by San Diego-based Cisterra, is currently occupied by the LAZ parking lot and the city is planning to reopen negotiations for development. Cisterra Development also planned to open a 36,000-square-foot "urban" Target as part of the company's 22-story Radian high-rise apartment tower in San Diego's East Village, but the big-box retailer officially pulled out of the development last fall.

If a Whole Foods Market does indeed open at Front & A, it would be the fourth location in San Diego County, joining stores in La Jolla, Hillcrest and Del Mar. There was also once a location in Encinitas, but that branch closed in February 2017 after nearly six years in business. In addition to Whole Foods Market, a Sprouts Farmers Market is also in the planning stages to install within downtown San Diego's incoming Campus at Horton Plaza, which is expected to open as early as 2025. 

For more information about Whole Foods Market, visit wholefoodsmarket.com