There has been a ton of buzz surrounding the new Whole Foods Market planned for Amherst but we are still 18 months away from the grocery store chain actually opening.
Construction on the building in the Northtown Plaza has not begun and a Whole Foods spokesperson tells 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Jeff Russo that "mid 2017" is now the goal for an opening date.
The construction schedule for the project has been shifted. Work on the parking lot at the Northtown Plaza has taken shape but construction on the building that will house Whole Foods won't begin until spring of 2016. The original hope was that construction would begin last fall.
Andrew Manning from WS Development, who is in charge of the $11 million project, tells 7 Eyewitness News that he has yet to file for a building permit in Amherst. He expects that to happen in January. Manning says the project is still a full go and that a decision to move the ground breaking was based on potential winter weather.
"There is always a concern if you start a building in the fall and all of a sudden the winter turns into more than you anticipated it's more time and effort to start and stop again. So a decision was made to make it one push," said Manning
Once work starts in the spring Manning says construction on the shell of the building will take up to six months. Whole Foods will then take over the building where its expected that another 9-11 months will be needed to complete the interior of the building.
As for the redevelopment of the Northtown Plaza as a whole, which is owned by WS Development. Manning says he is still working on a plan with Amherst officials. Any potential construction won't take place until Whole Foods opens in mid 2017.
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