After my initial rush of excitement upon hearing about the potential of Wegmans at the Walter Reed site, some uncomfortable realities started to set in. The Washington Post's Jonathan O'Connell is in Las Vegas for the next few days covering the RECon commercial real estate convention, where the meetings between Wegmans execs and DC pols (Mayor Gray is there, along with Harry Thomas Jr., Vincent Orange, and Michael A. Brown) will take place. O'Connell Tweeted yesterday that Wegmans "needs at least 120k square feet and mucho parking". We're not yet sure if Wegmans will be amenable to underground "mucho parking" rather than surface parking; if they're sticklers for surface parking then, as stated by the Post's Mike DeBonis, "Harriet (Tregoning) not gonna like". And then of course we still have the traffic issues on Georgia Avenue to contend with.
Mayor Gray, build that streetcar. Faster.
As far as I know, this is Wegmans' first entry inside an urban border, and though I can't believe I'm holding Walmart up as an example of anything good, I'll say that Wegmans might want to take a lesson from Walmart and its "urban format" models if it is to enter into urban markets successfully.
Gray's meeting with Wegmans execs is today at 11:30 PST. Those of you who want to keep up with the latest developments might be interested in following Jonathan O'Connell on Twitter.