The region’s newest supermarket is giving a whole new meaning to the term “rooftop garden.”
When Whole Foods opens next week in the new MarketStreet shopping center on the site of the former Colonial Country Club golf course, it will also boast a different kind of green: a 17,000-square-foot farm — about 2/5 of an acre — on its roof.
And if one developer’s prediction is correct, the 300,000-square-foot outdoor shopping center will “dramatically change” shopping on the North Shore.
“It’s great to finally be there when we have something to show,” said Ted Tye, managing partner for National Development during a tour on Thursday morning. “It’s a little bit of a preview of what we’ll see next week … It’s meant to feel like the Main Street of a small town like Lynnfield.”
Located off of Walnut Street near I-95, MarketStreet Lynnfield will partially open on Wednesday, when one of its anchor stores, Whole Foods, opens at 10 a.m. The 45,000 square foot store will be the chain’s 26th in Massachusetts and will feature a 56-seat area in what’s called “the container room,” which is a juice bar, coffee bar and frozen yogurt bar housed inside repurposed shipping containers.
The main store will also feature a beer and wine section, a cheese room with up to 100 varieties of cheese, a pasta bar, prepared foods and a bakery with two pizza ovens.
But what sets the Lynnfield Whole Foods apart from the rest is the garden on the roof. Jessie Banhazl, founder of Green City Growers, said it is expected to provide 10,000 pounds of produce a year.
“It is currently the largest rooftop farm in New England and the first supermarket farm in the country,” said Banhazl. “Green City Growers is here every day harvesting and we then bring it down to Whole Foods and they incorporate it into their operation.”
The garden has everything from tomatoes and peppers to peppers, eggplants and herbs.
“Right now we’re just kind of casting a wide net of what we grow,” said Banhazl. “We’re going to see what the public is interested in, what’s working well with the operation downstairs. This is the first operation of its kind, and we’re so excited to be partnered with Whole Foods.”
But Whole Foods is far from the only store at MarketStreet Lynnfield. The shopping center will open for business on Thursday with 20 retailers and another 20 opening over the next month.
Kings bowling serves as the second anchor for MarketStreet, and stores include traditional restaurants like Besito, Davio’s, Yard House and Otto Pizza and fast-service options like Boloco, Starbucks and J.P. Licks. There will also be more than 60 retail stores, such as J Crew, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma and Paper Source.
MarketStreet General Manager Nanci Horn said the first phase of the project will be completed by the end of November while the second phase will be opening late next summer. Additionally, 180 residential units, known as ArborPoint at MarketStreet, will be opening next month on Sept. 1, 2013.
“There are some very, very nice dining options with Davio’s and Yard House, Besito …,” said Horn.
The shopping center also features a sculpture park and a green turf field along with areas for live entertainment, outdoor seating and community events.
Michael McNaughton, senior vice president of asset management for WS Development, said MarketStreet Lynnfield will provide a unique shopping experience from traditional closed malls because it will serve as not just a shopping center, but as the “center of the community.”
“There are green spaces, places for kids to play …” said McNaughton. “It’s almost a return to the Main Street retail we all grew up with.”