East Bay organic and health food lovers -- rejoice. Whole Foods will open a second store in Berkeley next year, replacing the Office Depot that currently occupies the building at 10th and Gilman streets, the company announced this week.

The new Whole Foods will be about 30,500 square feet and construction will begin late this year after Office Depot relocates across the street. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for this summer, with hiring announcements for about 200 new jobs to follow. Doors are slated to open in late 2014.

The new location will ease congestion at Berkeley's high-trafficked Whole Foods at Telegraph and Ashby avenues. That store has undergone extensive remodeling over the last year.

The Bay Area is one of the Austin, TX-based company's strongest markets. Whole Foods held a groundbreaking for a new store in Fremont last month, and the long-planned San Jose store is expected to open next year at Alameda and Stockton avenues.

Contact Heather Somerville at 925-977-8418. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.



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