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Whole Foods has announced that it plans to close its south Evanston store, 1111 Chicago Ave., on March 19. Third Ward Alderman Melissa Wynne reported earlier this month in her newsletter that the 20-year lease on the property will end this spring and that she is in touch with the owner of the property “on options for the property. I am committed to working with the property owners to find the best next use for the site that is compatible with the neighborhood.”

Ald. Wynne said Whole Foods analyzed the costs of upgrading or replacing the existing store but “determined costs would be prohibitive. The site was once an auto dealership, and there are unresolved concerns about contamination on the property that would need to be further investigated and potentially remediated at an unknown cost.”

Several factors played into the decision to close the store, such as the existence of two other Whole Foods stores here, Ald. Wynne said, but she added, “The location of a Trader Joe’s nearby a few years ago was not a factor in the decision.”

At present, the plan is that the store will offer all items at 50% off on March 18 and close “when all goods are sold, but no later than the next day, March 19,” according to Ald. Wynne’s newsletter.

Calls to the Midwest Regional Office of Whole Foods, located in Chicago, were not returned.