Whole Foods Distribution Center

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Closing Date: February 5, 2021

Project Description & Impact: Funding for construction of a new 140,000 square foot distribution facility in the Pullman neighborhood; expected to serve 70 Whole Foods stores in 7 states and Canada, with room for expansion. The Center is situated on a former Brownfield site and will initially employ 150 people, acting as a catalyst for much-needed additional residential and commercial development in the community.

Client: Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CDE) and Southside Community Optimal Redevelopment Enterprise (CDE)

Financing Tools Used: $28MM New Markets Tax Credit financing


The Story Behind this Project

On January 8th, 2018, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Whole Foods Market broke ground on a 140,000 square foot Whole Foods Market Midwest distribution facility in the Pullman neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. This distribution facility will serve many Whole Foods Market locations in the Midwest and the Canadian province of Ontario. Relocating from the current Whole Foods Market distribution center in Munster, Indiana, the new location offers a building double the size of the current facility.

“We are thrilled to begin construction of our new distribution center,” Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional Vice President, Bobby Turner said. “We’ve grown so much since opening our first Midwest store in Chicago in 1993 and as our growth continues, this distribution center helps us continue our mission of providing access to fresh, healthy foods and supporting the communities where we do business.”

Investing in additional space to grow as the company expands its reach in Chicago and beyond, this new facility is expected to bring real, long-term economic benefits to Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood.

“There is a renaissance happening in Pullman and this Whole Foods center will only make it stronger,” Mayor Emanual said. “By investing in our neighborhoods and supporting projects like this distribution center, we are creating economic opportunities for families throughout Chicago. I was to thank Whole Foods for their continuing commitment to Chicago and our neighborhoods.”

The Whole Foods distribution center is the latest milestone in the rebirth of Pullman and the latest New Market Tax Credit project coordinated by CNI, together with SCORE, with assistance from Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen. Prior to Whole Foods, CNI used New Market Tax Credits and leveraged public and private investment to develop Pullman Park anchored by Walmart and includes Ross Dress for Less, Planet Fitness, and Advocate Health Care. Immediately to the west is the Pullman Industrial Park where Whole Foods’ new neighbors, Method Products, established its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. and Gotham Greens built the largest commercial rooftop greenhouse in the world. In addition, CNI is preparing to break ground on 38 new live/work spaces for artists and is spearheading the restoration of the historic Clock Tower which once completed will become the new Visitor site at the Pullman National Monument Site where more than 300,000 visitors a year are expected.

Since 2013, CNI, The City of Chicago and local businesses have generated more than $250 million of investments in Pullman and been instrumental in the creation of more than 1,500 jobs. “From the start we’ve listed to what Pullman’s residents want and identified the community’s needs to create development opportunities built on community assets,” said David Doig, president, CNI. “I’m proud of the impact that CNI’s investments have had in helping build a strong, sustainable community that everyone wants and deserves.”

To learn more about the new Whole Foods Distribution Center and Pullman’s renaissance, visit the “Washington Monthly” for a feature exploring how the community, local businesses and CNI have worked together in Pullman to become a “national model for revitalization”.