Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Glebe and the Whole Foods Effect

Today on the Skyscraper Forum someone posted an article from a U.S. publication called SALON about the Whole Foods Effect. The title and subtitle are "Whole Foods is coming? Time to buy: Forget Starbucks: It's the gourmet grocer that lands just before neighborhoods really explode. Often these neighbourhoods are overlooked. This isn't by some fluke. Apparently Whole Foods does its research and is very astute at the real estate game.

The article lists a handful of U.S. cities and their neighbourhoods that have experienced the Whole Foods Effect and gives readers some insight into how they locate their stores.

According to the article, while a Whole Foods store doesn't lead to increased property values on its own, they tend to set in motion a series of events that leads to gentrification.

Here's something I found interesting:

"And one thing Whole Foods does is stay open later than a lot of the other shops around it, laying the groundwork for expanding the length of that neighborhood’s day.

'What something like a movie theater or a Whole Foods does is it creates an extended-hours district,' says Reid. 'Lots of downtowns close up shop at 6, but there are certain amenities that can make a downtown go from being a 10-hour thing to a 16-hour thing.'"

If the writer is right, it looks like the Glebe and Old Ottawa South, especially around Bank Street, can anticipate a lot of growth.

Check out the article and let me know what you think.

Kevin Bourne


  1. Interesting, but the Glebe and OOS are already effectively at 100% gentrification.

  2. With the spectre of Whole Foods and a movie theatre (one that will be very similar to the new Empire Theatres location in Orleans on Innes & Belcourt) coming to Lansdowne Park, I just can't tell you how much the Glebe will become an "extended hours district". It'll be interesting to see.