Sprouts still looking to come to northeast Johnson County? Company not saying for now

Buzz among some Johnson Drive business owners suggests Sprouts may be interested in the former Wild Oats space in Mission.
Buzz among some Johnson Drive businesses suggests Sprouts may have looked at the former Wild Oats space in Mission.

The rumor mill has been churning in pockets of northeast Johnson County the past couple of weeks with word that Sprouts Farmers Market may have been making inquiries about spaces available to open a new store in the area.

Sprouts was one of the first tenants announced by the Cameron Group for the Mission Gateway project back in 2012. But after the project saw long delays and well-publicized financial stumbles, Sprouts pulled out of the deal and was absent from revamped plan Cameron lead Tom Valenti announced last fall.

Over the past several weeks, however, workers at businesses near south Prairie Village and along Johnson Drive in Mission have heard that the company is looking into potential spaces for a store somewhere in northeast Johnson County. One rumor has Sprouts looking at space near 95th Street and Nall Avenue; another has it looking at the vacant former Wild Oats Market on Johnson Drive — adjacent to the Mission Gateway project site.

Sprouts Corporate Communications Manager said the company had nothing to announce at this time, but that it would be revealing its 2016 plans for expansion in the Kansas City area sometime this fall.

Sometimes described as a cross between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, Sprouts currently has two Kansas City area locations, one in south Overland Park and one in Lenexa.

Two other natural grocery chains are set to enter the northeast Johnson County market: Natural Grocers is currently holding grand opening events at its new store in the Cornerstone Commons development on Johnson Drive in Mission; and GreenAcres Markets has been announced as part of the Woodside Village development in Westwood.