Upscale Vancouver-baserd grocery retailer Urban Fare will open a store near Downtown Calgary. According to First Capital Realty, Urban Fare will anchor a 110,000 square foot retail/commercial building adjacent to Mount Royal Village. This will be Urban Fare's only existing store outside of British Columbia, though not the first time it has opened a store in Alberta.
Urban Fare is owned by Overwaitea Food Group which belongs to Vancouver-based Jim Pattison Group. Jim Pattison was recently declared to be the wealthiest person in Canada. Urban Fare currently has five store locations in British Columbia: four in central Vancouver, and one in Kelowna.
Urban Fare's first store opened in 1999 at the base of an upscale condominium complex named Aquarius in Vancouver's Yaletown neighbourhood. The 25,000 square foot store was immediately popular. A second location opened in Edmonton's upscale Crestwood neighbourhood in 2001, only to close in 2004 because of poor sales. A 21,500 square foot store opened in 2007 at the base of the Cielo condominium tower in Downtown Vancouver's wealthy Coal Harbour neighbourhood. In November 2008, a third Downtown Vancouver store of 22,000 square feet opened at the base of the Shangri-La Hotel and Residences (Vancouver's tallest building) on West Georgia Street, mere blocks from the Coal Harbour store. A fourth Vancouver store of about 23,000 square feet opened in the summer of 2012 at the city's Olympic Village, and a 31,000 square foot Kelowna store also opened in 2012.
Given the arrival of a Calgary store as well as recent openings in Vancouver and Kelowna, Urban Fare may be on a nation-wide (or at least a Western Canadian) store expansion. We'll update you when we learn more about Calgary's new Urban Fare, and also when we have details on Whole Foods' likely entry into the Calgary market.