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Whole Foods' second area store will be in McCandless

| Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009

Whole Foods Markets Inc. is planning to open a second store in the Pittsburgh region, and Wexford Plaza strip center in McCandless is the apparent site.

The Austin, Texas-based company, which already operates a popular store in East Liberty, said in an earnings report that the Pittsburgh region was one of three areas where leases have been signed to receive a new store.

The others are Columbus, Ohio, and Huntington Beach, Calif.

Whole Foods said the three stores would each average 33,000 square feet in size.

Bruce G. Betty, land use administrator for McClandless, said he has been talking with Kimco Realty Corp., owner of Wexford Plaza, regarding its plan to demolish and reconstruct part of the plaza. That's where he expects the new Whole Foods may be located.

"We are talking about a largely vacant store area between the Rite Aid and Starbucks," he said.

This would be Whole Foods' second attempt to expand in the Pittsburgh region. It previously had explored a site at the proposed Collier Crossing development in Collier, but that project never was built.

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