CHICAGO (WLS) --Whole Foods is expanding its reach in Chicago and the historic Pullman neighborhood is going to get a big boost from it.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel broke ground Tuesday on a new Whole Foods distribution facility that will be built off 111th Street.
Politicians and executives with the upscale grocery chain gathered at the 16.5 acre site to celebrate the groundbreaking as a victory for the Far South Side neighborhood.
The new distribution center is expected to employ about 150 people and will serve Whole Foods stores throughout the Midwest, including 25 grocery stores in the Chicago area and three new stores in Hyde Park, Englewood and Evergreen Park.
"It's fitting that we're bringing another industrial property here, because people see what I call 'the four T's' all coordinated: talent, transportation, technology and transparency," Emanuel said.
"I think there's more to come. I think having Whole Foods is going to add to more people wanting to be here. We're already talking to some other smaller suppliers that supply Whole Foods about coming to Pullman, so I think you're going to see this continue," Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives President David Doig said.
The city contributed $8 million of tax increment financing money to bring the facility to Pullman and lure it out of Indiana.
The distribution center will have two Whole Foods suppliers as neighbors: Method Soap Factory and vegetable grower Gotham Greens.
This new facility is expected to open in 2018.