Whole Foods wants to open store in downtown Denver

Whole Foods is scouting downtown Denver for a new location.

But finding a site that works economically and has ample parking is challenging, said Phil Hicks of David Hicks Lampert who is working with the company.

“Downtown is tough,” Hicks said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.”

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods plans open nearly 100 stores over the next three years. Over the long term, it plans to triple its store count to 1,000, according to its third-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It also is considering expanding in Canada and the United Kingdom.

There currently are no major grocery stores in Denver’s central business district. The closest is a King Soopers at 13th and Krameria streets.

Denver developer Randy Nichols recently reached an agreement with Kroger to open a King Soopers Fresh Fare store at the apartment project he is planning at Chestnut and 20th streets. He said he expects to break ground on the project in October.

“King Soopers Fresh Fare will come whether Whole Foods does or not,” Nichols said. “King Soopers is not particularly concerned about the presence of Whole Foods.”