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2/16/2015 4:25:00 PM
Whole Foods to replace Sears at Bloomington's College Mall in Simon plan
Simon Property Group rendering of new Whole Foods grocery planned to replace the current Sears site at College Mall in Bloomington.
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Simon Property Group rendering of new Whole Foods grocery planned to replace the current Sears site at College Mall in Bloomington.

Bill Strother, Herald-Times Features and Project Editor

Simon Property Group is meeting with city planners Tuesday morning to begin discussion of a plan that would replace the Sears building at College Mall with a Whole Foods grocery store.

In preliminary drawings and renderings submitted to planners, new construction would begin at the mall entry just north of Applebee's and continue north to replace the Sears building at the north end of the mall.

A new line of smaller shops would connect the mall and grocery store. The drawings show five shop fronts facing the mall parking lot, with a covered walkway extending from the front facade of Whole Foods to the mall entrance just south of Sears. The drawings show a redesigned entryway to the current mall at that location.   

Whole Foods, an upscale national grocery chain that offers a wide range of organic produce and specialty foods, announced last year it was planning to come to Bloomington in 2016, but did not announce a location. Rumors have swirled for months that it would replace Sears at the mall.

Lucky's, another organic and natural foods grocer, is set to open its own store in the former Marsh grocery in the Walnut Park development at South Walnut Street and Country Club Drive in the next two months.

The Simon plan shows two new outbuildings, one along College Mall Road and the other along East Third Street, that also would be part of the project.

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