Hunt on Walking in Dallas, Barking Diners and That Whole Foods Fight
Angela Hunt must have had a day off -- really, three blog items today? Ladies and gents, meet your new Fingers of Fury, which'll make Schutze and Merten deeelighted. Among her subjects: a Friday luncheon during which The Brookings Institution's Christopher Leinberger pronounced Dallas "walkable" (she "found his conclusion that Dallas is on the cutting edge of pedestrianism curious") and the council's discussion on dogs and patio dining (the "point that gets lost in this issue is that it is ILLEGAL for restaurants to have pets on patios").
But chief among today's entries is an item titled "Whole Foods - The Real Story," in which she says, "I wanted to set the record straight." She does that after the jump. --Robert Wilonsky
I spoke with Whole Foods' Seth Stutzman two days before they publicly announced their decision, and he explained that after they got into the zoning case, they did a cost comparison of building a new store versus redoing the old Minyards store. They were shocked to see that the redo would cost $4.5M less than a new store. It would also allow for a more environmentally-friendly store.
I asked Seth, if the zoning change sailed through, would they consider constructing the new building? He said probably not, because of the significant cost savings.
I don't begrudge Whole Foods' business decision. What bothers me is their attributing their decision to the "onerous" zoning process when the real reason for their decision is financial.
Whole Foods tried to clarify their position, but never explained it to the media as clearly as Seth did to me. So I wanted everyone to have the benefit of this information.