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Whole Foods eyes location in Frisco

Janice Kurbjun
Summit Daily News
Aspen, CO Colorado

FRISCO, Colo. – An empty lot the Town of Frisco has been looking to fill for years may see a new Whole Foods grocery store before long. The natural grocer’s look and reputation could step up Frisco’s Interstate 70 interchange, drawing more traffic off the highway and into the Summit Boulevard commercial district.

That’s what town officials hope, anyway.

They’ve been approached by developer David O’Neil, who says the Austin, Texas-based company may consider the town’s vacant, 9.4-acre interstate parcel west of Summit Stage’s Frisco Transit Center and near Meadow Creek Park for a new home.

Whole Foods also plans to open a store in Basalt, where construction of the building is now under construction in Willits Town Center.

“If the community is interested, I think we should go after it,” O’Neil said. “I think we have a good shot at it.”

Frisco Town Councilman Kent Willis said officials plan to take the news to the community to gauge interest.

“We need to see what the citizens think first,” Willis said, explaining that the public will have several chances to make their opinion known throughout the day on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Those who can’t attend can submit comments via the Town of Frisco website.

“This decision hasn’t been made yet,” Willis said. Referring to the former Home Depot proposal to develop the interstate parcel, Willis said the Whole Foods store would better fit with the town’s character than past suggestions.

“From Frisco’s perspective, it would be an incredible gateway,” O’Neil said.

Town representatives added that other retail operations that would want to build adjacent to Whole Foods also fit the town character.

“It’s not a big box. It’s the kind of thing people want to see,” Willis said.

Willis and Mayor Bill Pelham touted O’Neil’s role in the project. He’s been courting Whole Foods for roughly a year, they said. O’Neil said “they could be talked into looking seriously at Frisco.” The developer is known for the Wellington Neighborhood, a deed-restricted, locals’ neighborhood in Breckenridge, as well as the Peak One neighborhood in Frisco.

Pelham and Willis commended O’Neil’s work in fitting Peak One into Frisco’s definition of itself. They said they trust him to do the same, should Whole Foods put down roots in the interstate parcel.

O’Neil describes Whole Foods as the crown jewel of national retailers and “definitely worthy of the community’s serious consideration,” according to a Frisco press release.

“They would be a huge, year-round, sustainable revenue generator, which is very important to the resort economy,” he added.

Officials say the potential development could boost what Summit Boulevard offers overall – including attracting Vail and Breckenridge visitors who want to “get settled” with their provisions before arriving at their destination.

“It will make our other merchants step up and do a better job along Summit Boulevard,” Willis said.

Currently, there’s no timeline, no official square footage (though officials estimate it would be at least 25,000 square feet with room to grow), no estimate on jobs created, and no studies on impacts to surrounding businesses and the town’s sales tax bottom line.

“There’s a long way to go,” community development director Jocelyn Mills said.


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