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Whole Foods Market announced Thursday that it will open a new $12 million store at Trolley Square in Salt Lake City.

The store, the first in Utah, will occupy about 53,000 square feet at the northeast corner of the block, at 500 South and 700 East. Construction is expected to start in late 2007 and will last 16 months.

The Salt Lake site was one of eight recently signed leases by the chain, which bills itself as the nation's largest health food chain. Other store locations announced by the company, based in Austin, Texas, Thursday include San Jose, Calif.; Boise; Kildeer, Ill.; Indianapolis; Nashua, N.H.; Cary, N.C.; and Dallas.

The new Whole Foods store is part of an $80 million renovation by Trolley Square owner ScanlanKemperBard Cos. The renovations are expected to begin in January and will encompass two levels of underground parking expected to hold roughly 250-300 vehicles at the Whole Foods location.

Mark Blancarte, vice president of Blake Hunt Ventures, a California-based retail developer that is overseeing the renovation work at Trolley Square, said this is the second Whole Foods store the company has developed.

Blancarte said the new store will increase the "vibrancy and energy" of Trolley Square.

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"Whole Foods Market is one of the most dynamic retailers in the country and anchors some of the finest retail projects currently in development," Blancarte said. "We are pleased to facilitate their entry into Utah."

On Thursday, Whole Foods announced its earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 24, reporting sales of $1.3 billion, a 16 percent increase compared to $1.1 billion in the same period in 2005. Net income for the fourth quarter was $39.8 million, or 28 cents a share, compared to $9.1 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier during the same quarter.

"Having opened six new stores over the last two months, we believe we are just beginning to execute on delivering an acceleration in store openings that will be a driver of strong sales and comps in the not-so-distant future," said John Mackey, chief executive, in a prepared statement. "We remain confident in our ability to achieve our goal of reaching $12 billion in sales in fiscal 2010."