Whole Foods expands, adds new 40,000 square foot lease downtown

Claudia Grisales and Shonda Novak |

Whole Foods is expanding their presence in Austin, leasing an additional 40,000 square feet of office space in a new development near the organic food giant’s downtown area headquarters.

The Austin-based retailer confirmed plans Wednesday to lease the space at a new tower development near West 5th and Bowie streets and says workers will move into the new office space next year.

“As we look to support our company’s long-term growth, we have secured approximately 40,000 square feet of future office space, in addition to the offices we currently have in Austin,” said spokeswoman Kate Lowery. “We plan to begin to occupying a portion of this new lease sometime in 2015, further committing Whole Foods Market to our strong downtown presence.”

Whole Foods is one of Austin’s highest-profile companies, with about 2,800 employees in Central Texas, 84,000 companywide and 386 stores in North America and Europe. The retailer has big expansion plans ahead, with projections it will hit 500 stores by 2017 and 1,200 stores long term.

Whole Foods will be moving into the Bowie, a project led by Austin-based Endeavor Real Estate Group and San Antonio-based Lynd Co., which is developing a 36-story apartment tower on Bowie Street that will add 358 apartments downtown along with the office space.

Lowery said it’s too early to know what teams from the company or how many workers will occupy the space over time.

Currently, Whole Foods has about 280,000 square feet in Austin office space spread across locations on Bowie Street, Las Cimas Parkway in West Austin and their Southwest regional office. Locally, the grocer has five stores.

The retailer also has a distribution center in East Austin totaling 143,000 square feet, Lowery said.