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Jul 12, 2007 02:42 PM

New Whole Foods soon in Darien...

Opening up soon according to their website...

Good news methinks...:)

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  1. Hmmmm. That's odd, because the last two things I heard about Whole Foods in CT were that the Town of Darien had said no to the proposed store at the old Hojo's site, and that a store was proposed in Stamford on part of the Lord & Taylor property (which made my heart sing--Whole Foods a mere ten minutes from my house!--though not a lick of work is being done on the site yet, so it may not be completed till a date well beyond my reasonable life expectancy). Wonder if the website is out of date or the facts have changed.

    22 Replies
    1. re: MommaJ

      I think that's great news....WF in Greenwich has, IMHO, the best produce available in this area. Now I won't have to fight rush hour traffic to G-wich once this is open :)

      1. re: MommaJ

        Yes WFM is working on a site in Darien CT for the past two years. I work for WFM and we are hoping to have all the necessary town approvals by the fall so we can start working on building a new store. Look forward to seeing you in Darien.

        1. re: 1realfoodie

          when are you going to open one in the Newtown area??

          1. re: mom2

            I'm sorry but I'm not sure where Newtown is?

            1. re: 1realfoodie

              Connecticut. Fairfield County...

              1. re: 1realfoodie

                Upper fairfield county off route 84 east of Danbury and halfway between Danbury and Waterbury.

                1. re: jfood

                  We currently don't have any stores planned for the Danbury and Waterbury area. Right now our signed and announced stores are Darien, Fairfield, and Glastonbury CT.

            2. re: 1realfoodie

              Hello: I live right here in Darien, walking distance to the old hj site where they want to put a WFM. I think it would be great! Is it still true? I heard recently that it was not coming. This message is for 1realfoodie who works for WFM. Everyone talks about the traffic it cannot get anyworse than it is now, besides it has been an eyesaw since HJ closed up.

            3. re: MommaJ

              The Darien store was turned down under zoning regs, but the P&Z is in the process of trrying to modify the regs to allow them in.

              In the meantime, a firend who works at Lord and Taylor confirmed they will be building a new building in the lower lot at L&T, with a WF on the lower level, and a new L&T on the upper.

              The question in my mind is if the L&T location is approved in Stamford, do they really intend to go ahead with another store so close by in Darien, or are they just proceeding with the Darien plans as a fallback should something unwind in Stamford.

              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                I think the two communities could easily support both stores, especially since the Darien store would draw customers from Norwalk, and the Stamford store would pull in folks from communities over the northern border in New York State. I live in North Stamford, and both the current Greenwich Whole Foods (which is small and in a very congested area) and the proposed Darien location are too far away to justify more than an occasional visit.

                1. re: MommaJ

                  Do you mean the North East westchester border? I highly doubt people in NY will go to a Whole Foods in Stamford, we already have one in White Plains. The "northern border in New York State" is up by Canada, now I KNOW they aren't coming to a whole foods in Stamford.

                  1. re: SweetPea914

                    Nope, not Canada! Meant over Stamford's northern border into Westchester County----Bedford, Pound Ridge, etc. Many people commute along Long Ridge and High Ridge Roads and Bulls Head would be a convenient stop. Love, love, love the White Plains Whole Foods (it must be twice as big as the Greenwich one), but it's a pain to park in that garage and it's really too far from Stamford to go there on a regular basis. Maybe I'm spoiled, but I shop several times a week and don't want to drive more than 10 or 12 minutes to do so. In any case, given the size of the property, I'm guessing the prospective Darien store will be on the smaller side, too, and I can't even wrap my mind around what they've described for the Bull's Head locale (Lord and Taylor expanded and the Whole Foods under it???), so this will all be interesting as it plays out over the next few years. Given the pace of city approvals and construction (the sign for the new CVS at Bulls Head has been up for a year and they just broke ground a month ago), I'm not planning any meals yet.

                    1. re: MommaJ

                      never thought it meant watertown or montreal. you are quite kind in clearing this up for those who thought it might have.

              2. re: MommaJ

                You may want to stay tuned on the proposed Whole Foods in Stamford. It's meeting resistance from folks in the Bull's Head neighborhood because it will be part of a large-scale mall with a monstrous 5-story parking garage. The developers want to demolish Lord & Taylor, replace it with a larger store, a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods, *and* 50,000 square feet of additional retail space. Apparently, the project doesn't conform to zoning regulations because it is too large in scope for the site. Residents in the neighborhood don't like the idea of a mall in their back yard.

                1. re: allergic to malls

                  sure a whole lot of digging for a project that is on hold.

                  1. re: jfood

                    Isn't all that digging for a new CVS or Walgreens?

                    1. re: Zobot

                      yes, the digging there now is for the CVS. I think the proposed WF would be replacing the L&T.

                      Since this is all walking distance from my place... I'm not sure how I feel about all of it... I can't afford Whole Foods anyhow.

                      I would prefer just getting that old Greenwich Produce place to open up in Stamford...

                  2. re: allergic to malls

                    A Mall? I was under the impression that L&T was staying and a whole foods was going next door. The constuction technically isn't even (directly) adjacent to L&T. haven't heard anything about L&T getting demolished and not sure what you mean about the "bull's head neighborhood" that isn't even a residential neighborhood.

                    1. re: SweetPea914

                      I think the "allergic to malls" post is pretty accurate in its description. The site would have several retailers, though the term "mall" is a little excessive, and the existing Lord & Taylor building would be replaced. (BTW, the current construction you see is for a CVS and is unrelated to the Whole Foods proposal.) Unfortunately, this very appealing proposal (appealing to those of us who want to be able to shop in our very retail-deprived city) is being opposed by the usual NIMBY's. While traffic concerns are legitimate and should be dealt with properly in the final version, the area is definitely not "residential"--it's always been commercial. (In fact, the large office building that sits at the base of Bulls Head was previously the site of, you guessed it, a mall! Yup, I go back a long way.) True, there is a residential area adjacent to Bulls Head, but anyone who moved there with the expectation that there would be no commercial modernization in Bulls Head was fooling himself. In fact, the neighborhood has actually gotten quieter in recent years with the decimation of the large corporate headquarters on Long Ridge, and the traffic situation has been much improved since turning lanes were added to Cold Spring Road, so the Whole Foods project will not be as menacing as many portray. (Can you tell how badly I want my Whole Foods????)

                      1. re: MommaJ

                        Thanks guy and "jfood's bad." Saw the construction over the weekend.

                        And jfood agees with the traffic after having an office at 3001 for years. jfood thinks the area could use a good Whole Foods and is hoping it goes ahead, similar to the Darienlocation. And jfood very much agrees with MommaJ on the outcry from people. He could not believe when he lived in NJ and people buying houses overlooking I-78 complaining years later that it was noisy. Hello, that's an intrstate over there.

                        1. re: jfood

                          We're not picking on you jfood, just popping in to remind everyone that mall construction and speculation about what will be available there someday, is off topic.Please talk about chow that's actually available. Thanks, everybody.

                    1. re: jfood

                      Yikes! 2009??? Do I have to wait that long??? I hope the Darientown hall approves the application this time around. If it is true that another Whole Foods will open in Stamford, then the one in Darien will be for locals only and the issue about traffic jams will be moot. Please open!!! I am getting tired of driving to the one in Greenwich, esp with the summer traffic jamming up the I-95 in both directions all weekend long.

                      1. re: jfood

                        I must say, I'm shocked (yet happy) they're looking to open a store in Stamford as well....however, I'm wondering exactly how long that will take to open since the word is that it will be 2009 if/when Darien opens a store.

                        1. re: amanda3571

                          I haven't heard any timelines for Stamford, but I think it's safe to assume it's going to be many years before its done. The plan of building a new WF involves major changes to the existing Lord & Taylor and the entire property...

                          1. re: Zobot

                            Sorry, can't understand all the fuss about WF. As far as their produce, it's overpriced and overrated, IMHO. Very little local stuff.

                            For terrific produce this time of year, Norwalk and Darien Farmers markets on Wednesdays, and Greenwich and Stamford on Saturdays have terrific local stuff. All local and reasonable.

                            For stores of WF's ilk, I miss Wild Oats in Greenwich, I thought it was far superior to WF.

                            1. re: menton1

                              WF may not be prefect, but it is better than the other options that exist, or are likely to. And while I agree whole-heartedly with you about the quality of local, farmer's market produce, there are 9 other months in the year, and frankly, Palmers, Shaws, Stop & Shop, etc all pale in comparision to WF. Darien prodcue can be good, Balducci's (formerly Hay Day) is so-so, and pricey. An none of the offer the range of products, from dairy to meat to canned goods, etc, that a WF offers. I'm dying to have this option avaialbe locally, with whatever warts it may have.

                              PS, I never knew there was a Wild Oats in Greenwich? I know of the one on the Post Road by the Norwalk/Westport border, but where were they in Greenwich?

                              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                As much as I loved Hay Day/Bald. when I lived in CT, even they weren't perfect. A few times I returned produce the next day that was already going bad. The prepared foods best. Meat and chicken practically non existent.