“We’re looking forward to joining the Harlem community,” said Whole Foods spokesman Michael Sinatra, who said the project was moving forward as planned.
He said the upscale food store could be open as early as 2015, but it’s worth noting that the company’s first Brooklyn outpost, which is set to open Tuesday in Gowanus, took nearly eight years to complete.
Harlemites have been whispering about the project on 125th St., wondering whether it had stalled when the space remained barren so long.
Then, in recent weeks, a backhoe loader and other construction equipment appeared on the site, and workers began putting up barricades and plywood fence around the perimeter.
“It’s good to have something like this here,” said Donnell Cole, 24, who was worried the project was delayed. “The healthy food options are just minimum.”
The development of the 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods and a 75,000-square-foot Burlington Coat Factory on the lot is one of several large-scale projects in Harlem.