Whole Foods Market first urban store in the St. Louis area was a build out of 29,000 square foot of a high-end grocery experience in the Mills Properties’ Orion Development in the Central West End. This build out presented several unique challenges to KWI and our specialty contractor team. The build out was split between the basement and street level inside a newly finished shell building. The construction of the shell building itself is post tension decks, making core drilling and anchoring into the slabs a precise operation insuring that no damage occurred to the landlord’s building. Logistics and coordination have been to the key to success on this project.
From mobilization through grand opening access to the store was limited to alley or street unloading of all material and equipment, thus requiring tight coordination on deliveries with all vendors and suppliers. As the general contractor KWI was the quarterback for WFM not only in the traditional sense with our own team but with the Landlord’s shell contractor, the WFM refrigeration direct prime contractor, and approximately two dozen other WFM direct primes for various specialty components including: décor, merchandizing, energy management systems, refuse, special equipment, water treatment systems, office furniture and finally store product. This store was an atypical space from the WFM 60,000 to 80,000 square foot big box stores with large storage areas and high deck-to-deck spacing. Extensive inter-subcontractor and subcontractor design team coordination was required to field fit all the MEP systems into the allotted spaces, work around existing shell building systems and preserve the layout, look and function of the store.