Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Whole Foods in Clear Lake? FINALLY?!

The rumors have floated around for years, but they seem to be getting stronger these days.  I heard the most definite word on the street about two weeks ago (as definite as any word on the street could be), but thus far there doesn't seem to be any official announcement, and there has been no official press coverage (or even rumors in the press that I can find). 
As of this morning, the Facebook group had 3,521 likes.   Screengrabbed from Facebook. 
I can't reveal my rumor source because it came second-hand through semi-professional channels and also because it might be just a flat-out rumor and it's not proper to associate any given entity with rumors (not to mention it's a potential liability). 

The rumor says the store is going to be located "by Baybrook".  Searching the internet, I did indeed find historical references to a proposed Baybrook area location:
Screengrabbed from a Google search referencing this HAIF thread.  HAIF is often a good source of general community intelligence.  However, that particular thread dates back to 2007 and obviously nothing has happened since then. 
What gives extra credence to this Whole Foods rumor at this time is the undeniable fact that Clear Lake's abysmal grocery store situation is now at a tipping point.  On August 1, The Fresh Market announced a location to be developed in Webster; Houston Chronicle picked up on this press release just yesterday.  Often times what happens is that one gourmet grocer makes its move into a new area, and others begin following like lemmings.  To say the same thing in more technical terms, generally this indicates that the tide has finally turned and market studies are now suggesting that Clear Lake has, indeed, grown to the point where it can profitably support higher-end grocers. 

So fingers crossed, and I will report more news if it becomes available. 

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