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Whole Foods Markets announces new store at Time Warner Center

WHOLE FOODS Markets (NASDAQ: WFMI), the world's largest natural and organic foods supermarket company, announces the opening of a new flagship store in the landmark Columbus Circle development. The 60,000 square foot store will be located on concourse level one within The Shops at Columbus Circle.

"WHOLE FOODS is clearly the nations' leader in quality food retailing. The store will be a wonderful compliment to the world class restaurants and shops that will be located at AOL Time Warner Center," said Stephen M. Ross, chairman and CEO of The Related Companies, one of the development partners.

The Columbus Circle store will offer a 250-seat eating area, highly unusual for a grocery store. In addition to the unusually large eat-in space for customers to enjoy the supermarket's fresh and extensive selection of chef-prepared meals, the store will also feature artisan baked goods made from scratch, a wine store, tempting meats free of added hormones and antibiotics, and fresh seafood shipped daily from the company's Pigeon Cove facility in Gloucester, MA. The store will appeal to a variety of customers ranging from health conscious households to serious gourmets at heart.

"We are excited that WHOLE FOODS will locate within The Shops at Columbus Circle. The natural and organic market will offer the upper West Side of Manhattan an unparalleled selection of quality foods and become the destination location for all New Yorkers who seek the freshest and finest food products," said Kenneth A. Himmel, president and CEO of Related Urban Development.

"We knew that a quality space was important to provide an atypical grocery shopping experience in Manhattan. The AOL Time Warner Center offers great space for Whole Foods Market to develop an innovative as well as comfortable shopping experience for New Yorkers on the West Side at this new landmark location," said John Mackay, CEO of Whole Foods Markets.

 

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About AOL Time Warner Center Scheduled for completion in Fall 2003, the 2.1-million square-foot mixed use complex currently under construction at Columbus Circle, will be New York City's new landmark for the 21st Century. The complex, designed by David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, is being developed by The Related Companies, L.P. and Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L.P. The project will feature the new world headquarters of AOL Time Warner, a Jazz at Lincoln Center performing arts facility with 3 main performance venues totaling 1,970 seats, rehearsal and recording studios and classrooms, The Shops at Columbus Circle featuring luxury and specialty retail shops and fine dining, the One Central Park residential condominiums containing 191 luxury apartments, a 251 room five-star Mandarin Oriental, New York , 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art Class A office space, and a 504 stall valet parking garage.

About Whole Foods Market Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market(r) (www.wholefoodsmarket.com) is the largest natural and organic foods supermarket retailer. In fiscal year 2001, the company had sales of $2.3 billion and currently has 139 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(tm) captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support, and environmental improvements. Whole Foods Market, Bread and Circus(r), and Harry's Farmer's Market(r) are all registered trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market. The company employs more than 24,000 team members and has been ranked for five consecutive years as one of the "Top 100 Companies to Work for" in America by Fortune magazine.

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