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Big Whole Foods Unit Bound for Sugar Land, Texas

AUSTIN, Texas -- What sounds sweet for Whole Foods Market here may turn out sour for traditional supermarkets in the competitive Houston market. Whole Foods plans to open a 55,000-square-foot store in Lake Pointe Town Center, Sugar Land's premier mixed-use planned development, in the fall of 2007, according to Planned Community Developers (PCD).

Executives at Whole Foods have signed a lease to occupy space in the new retail center to be constructed at the intersection of State Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 59.

PCD said it conducted a grassroots survey in 2005 to find out how much Sugar Land residents wanted a Whole Foods Market location in the area. The survey yielded an unprecedented 18.2 percent response rate. In the history of Sugar Land development, the most successful stores yielded only half that response rate in similar surveys, according to the company.

Scheduled to open in fall 2007, the Sugar Land location will represent one of the largest natural and organic foods supermarkets in the Houston area. Currently, Whole Foods has more than 180 stores nationwide and internationally, including four locations throughout Houston.

"With its urban design, and the high number of our shoppers living in the area, Lake Pointe Town Center is a great fit for a new location," said Mark Dixon, Southwest regional president of Whole Foods."

Lake Pointe Town Center is a 190-acre, urban-style village that will be located in the heart of an emerging town center. Anchored by the existing 1.2 million-square-foot headquarters for Fluor Corp., Lake Pointe Town Center will include more than 1 million square feet of office and medical employers, 140 townhomes and brownstones, 150 patio homes, 100 mid-rise condos, and 225,000 square feet of retail space. It also features significant water frontage, including the 37-acre Brooks Lake and 1.5 miles of frontage on Oyster Creek.
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