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Whole Foods Location: Plans Are Moving Forward, Countryside Mall Says

Plans are moving forward to bring the natural foods grocery chain to Clearwater, officials with Westfield Countryside Mall said recently.

Plans are moving forward to bring Pinellas County's first Whole Foods Market to Westfield Countryside Mall, officials with the mall confirmed recently.

“From what we have seen and are allowed to speak about, Sears is working directly with (Whole Foods),” said Lauren Clark, spokeswoman with Westfield Countryside Mall. “We don’t have a date on exactly but we do know they are looking to move forward.”

Whole Foods officials said they do not have a specific location in mind yet but are planning to open a store in Clearwater sometime in 2014.

An architecture firm, which does not represent Whole Foods but has completed similar projects for Sears throughout the country, presented plans on subdividing 37,000 square feet for the grocery store to city officials last week. They could submit official plans before Dec. 25 with the first plan review 21 business days after it is submitted.

The idea of the natural foods grocer coming the Westfield Countryside Mall sits well with officials who have worked to create a town hall appeal for the retail mecca through a $12 million renovation, including the addition of a movie theater and destination restaurants.

“It will fill a great need in this area,” Clark said. “It will be a great addition to the center as well.”

Earlier this month Largo shoppers learned about plans for two new Okey-Dokey "value-focused" grocery stores in the Largo area.

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