Just got off the phone with Jonathan Vinson at Jackson Walker, who is representing Whole Foods. The company wants to tear down the Minyard’s at Abrams and Gaston and build a one-story, 44,000 square foot store, about 2,000 square feet bigger than the current building.

The front will point toward Abrams and the bottom of the parking lot, while the back will be at the corner of Richmond and Gaston. There will be patio seating at the back. The loading dock will be toward the middle of Gaston, and will be screened off.

In this, the new store will be similar in shape, appearance, and design to the flagship Whole Foods in Austin. I should have pictures sometime tomorrow.

In addition:

• Vinson, one of Dallas’ most savvy zoning attorneys, says the planning process may take as long as five months. "We don’t want to rush any of this," he says. "Whole Foods recognizes they have to do it the right way." That almost certainly pushes the completion date to spring 2009.

• Even though the store will be bigger, there shouldn’t be any parking-related zoning problems. Vinson says the lot is big enough, if it’s used efficiently, to pick up the extra 10 or 20 spaces that the larger store will require.

• The new store won’t be as big as the refurbished Whole Foods at Preston and Forest, but closer in size to the Lomo Alto/Lemmon Avenue location.

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