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Now that we have a pretty good idea that Whole Foods is coming to Harlem, it's time to hypothesize as to where. DNAinfo spoke with a handful of real estate and development experts, all of whom were more than happy to weigh in. Below is the current list of possibilities.
1. Near Columbia University's Manhattanville campus
Who better to line up single-file at Whole Food's registers than hungry college students? Columbia is currently in the midst of a 17-acre expansion of its Manhattanville location, making West Harlem a pretty likely spot for the market. Curtis Archer of the Harlem Community Development Corporation says, "I could see them building closer to the west side in the Manhattanville area. You'll have the students and the faculty and the residents who already live there."
2. The vacant lot on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue
Once upon a time, NFL player Emitt Smith had plans for putting a hotel and a supermarket on the southwest corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue. However, according to the WSJ, Smith missed the deadline for federally backed tax-exempt financing, and Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens told DNAinfo that "the project is dead due to the difficulty in obtaining financing." So, the hotel is dunzo—but what about that supermarket?
3. 125th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard
File this one under probably not: Recently, the city's Economic Development Corporation announced it was interested in redeveloping an "underutilized" parking garage on Lenox Avenue to include retail and commercial properties, though "there's no indication Whole Foods is interested in the space."
4. Between 132nd to 135th Streets and Fifth and Lenox Avenues
And here's another option that probably won't happen either. "The Olnick Organization has been trying to drum up support for a plan that could double the size of the [Lenox Terrace development] and include new retail."
· Whole Foods Has Pick of the Harlem Real Estate Crop [DNAinfo]
· Whole Foods Is Probably Going to Open in Harlem [Racked NY]