Whole Foods Market Opens in East Cobb County

Organic grocer's opening signals the completion of Edens & Avant's Major Redevelopment of Merchant's Walk

Jul 26, 2011

ATLANTA, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Signaling the completion of its major redevelopment of Merchant's Walk, Edens & Avant announces that Whole Foods Market will officially open for business in East Cobb County tomorrow. As the world's leading provider of natural and organic foods, Whole Foods is known for maintaining the strictest quality standards in the grocery industry with a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture. The 45,000 sq. ft. Merchant's Walk location is Whole Food Market's eighth store in Georgia and a highly anticipated addition to East Cobb. The opening will be marked by a "bread-breaking" ceremony to be held Wednesday, July 27 at 8:45 am, 1311 Johnson Ferry Road in NE Marietta, GA.

Wednesday's grand opening also ushers in the new era of a dramatically redesigned Merchant's Walk. With a redevelopment that began in August 2009, Merchant's Walk now includes major aesthetic and parking improvements; the expansion and renovation of Georgia Theatre Company's Merchant's Walk Stadium Cinemas; and the addition of regional and national restaurants and retailers that include Marlow's Tavern, The Cook's Warehouse, Seed Kitchen & Bar, ULTA Beauty, Mirko Pasta, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Pinkberry and Gigi's Cupcakes.

"Merchant's Walk is a terrific location for the South region's growing map of stores," said Scott Allshouse, regional president for Whole Foods Market. "The East Cobb community is ready for a new grocery option and a new place to celebrate good food and healthy eating.  We are especially thrilled to be partnering with our neighbor, The Cook's Warehouse, and we're pleased to work with Edens & Avant on this project."

"The opening of Whole Foods has been one of the most anticipated aspects of Merchant's Walk redevelopment and it helps complete our mission of delivering a community-focused development back to the community," said Lyle Darnall, Edens & Avant Managing Director. "Our goal of creating a central gathering place for East Cobb is now complete and we are very proud of our partnership with local municipalities, the patience of our existing retailers during the redevelopment, and the excitement generated by our new shops and restaurants."

Edens & Avant president Jodie McLean stated that, "Merchant's Walk is a vital part of our Southeast portfolio and a model for smart growth and community-focused, sustainable development." McLean also said that having Whole Foods Market as an anchor grocer symbolizes Edens & Avant's continued commitment to improving the food that local communities consume.

"As a retail real estate company, we put community at the forefront of all of our business decisions and are very mindful of the role we play in the food that communities eat," said McLean. "Whether it's choosing to do business with an organic grocer anchor like Whole Foods Market or helping launch a locally-sourced, chef driven restaurant like Seed Kitchen & Bar, we feel confident that Merchant's Walk will contribute to the health and wellness of the local community."

The new Whole Foods Market at Merchant's Walk is open 7:30am-10pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-9pm Sunday. Follow Whole Foods at Merchant's Walk online at www.facebook.com/wfmmerchantswalk. To learn about the other retailers and restaurants at Merchant's Walk, follow online at www.facebook.com/merchantswalk.

About Edens & Avant: Edens & Avant develops, owns and operates neighborhood shopping centers in primary markets throughout the East Coast. Focusing on innovative development and redevelopment together with key acquisitions in urban areas, the Company has built an institutional-quality portfolio of 124 retail centers. Edens & Avant has Regional Headquarters in Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Columbia, SC and Miami. For additional information about the Company and its retail real estate portfolio, please visit www.edensandavant.com.  Or follow on Twitter @EdensandAvant.

SOURCE Edens & Avant

For further information: Robbie Robertson, Communications Director, +1-803-744-2446, [email protected]