Whole Foods Market's stated intention to bring one of its organic foods groceries to Parsippany hasn't gone over well with a lot of the township's residents. But the company said its desire and excitement to set up a Par-Troy branch is ongoing.
“Since our announcement in July, Whole Foods Market remains excited to bring a store to the residents of Parsippany," spokesperson Michael Sinatra told Patch. "As our region is based in New Jersey, we’re thrilled at the opportunity to expand our offerings within the state as we’ve hoped to join the Parsippany community for a number of years."
The company's goal is to open its doors in 2015. The concept now being considered by the Parsippany Planning Board, is for RD Realty to develop 26 acres of Waterview Plaza for the market, other retailers and a townhouse residential community.
Many residents have complained and some have suggested that Whole Foods use an existing vacant commercial space for its new location. But Sinatra defended the market's choice in site.
"Certainly we consider go into existing spaces," he said, dismissing the notion that Whole Foods only starts from scratch when opening new stores. "In about two years, we're opening a location in Morristown on Washington Avenue in a building that was an A&P [supermarket]."
Sinatra said "customization" of the site is what makes it Whole Foods' own, whether a new store appears in a newly constructed building or in an existing structure. And he said the company studied the possibility of going into one of Parsippany's many vacant commercial buildings.
"We looked at many possibilities; we've been interested in getting into Parsippany for a long time," he insisted, noting that the Waterview Plaza property "makes the most sense for us."
"This site provides us with the best opportunity to support local communities, provide numerous career opportunities for local residents and perhaps most importantly, offer a wide variety of natural and organic foods for our neighbors," Sinatra said. "While we are aware that the community and property developer have been in continuous discussion, we remain committed to working with them and town officials on this project.
"We understand that this is a process."