A couple of items of interest on the grocery front:
* WHOLE FOODS: The store, currently at Rodney Parham and I-430, has an application on file with the city for something of a lateral geographic move, to the space adjoining Best Buy at Bowman and Chenal. That space, once occupied by a linens and kitchen supply chain, has been used recently by a church. The proposal is set for Planning Commission consideration Aug. 2, along with a master street plan change to cut the median on Chenal between Autumn and Bowman to allow another means of access to the Best Buy shopping center. Local Whole foods officials said they were unaware of the proposed move. I have a message in to the corporate office for more. UPDATE: Documents show the planning also includes discussion of another traffic light on Bowman, at the Best Buy shopping center entrance.
* WALMART: D-hour is 7:30 a.m. Wednesday for the new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Riverdale. It's supposed to be a bigger-than-normal market, with some general merchandise. Its arrival seems a likely market changer with impact on competitors from Hillcrest to the Heights and west.
* MIDTOWNE LITTLE ROCK: Speaking of groceries: I had always wished they'd move Whole Foods, or put a Fresh Market or similar, in the big open space in Midtowne Little Rock. Alas, the developer's efforts to get a grocery there just didn't work out, I think because space wasn't quite sufficient. But Mike Brooks, general manager for UCR, which is operating Midtowne, tells me there is news for his current openings. Coming by October in the vacant space just north of Cantina Laredo are two new retailers:
* ULTA: It sells makeup, fragrances, hair care products and similar and includes a salon.
* VERSONA: A woman's fashion accessories retailer.
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