BERKELEY -- Whole Foods Market plans to open a store at 10th and Gilman streets in Berkeley at the end of next year, according to a company spokesman.

The 30,500-square-foot store will be in a building that currently houses Office Depot, according to building owner Foothill Pratt Ventures of El Dorado Hills.

The Office Depot will move across Gilman Street to a smaller location, also owned by Foothill, company spokesman Douglas Wiele said.

The announcement comes five months after Whole Foods withdrew plans for a nearby store and just north of the Office Depot site on San Pablo Avenue in Albany. Whole Foods had planned to open a store on UC Berkeley land near University Village but canceled after five years of planning under pressure from Albany residents who sued to stop the project.

Wiele said the development company bought all the buildings on both sides of Gilman Street between Ninth and 10th streets in late November.

The new Whole Foods will be opened without tearing down the building, a joint statement from Whole Foods and the developer said. The store plans to increase parking at the site.

The opening is expected to create 200 jobs in Berkeley.

Dave Fogarty, a project manager in the Berkeley office of economic development, said Whole Foods will need "very little city permitting" because it is a "retail-to-retail" move and does not involve a change in use that would trigger more city oversight.

Doug Oakley covers Berkeley. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.



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