Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wegmans considering Walter Reed site for its first store in the District

Last month, when I first heard that Mayor Gray was meeting with Wegmans to discuss possible DC locations, I wondered if the Walter Reed site would factor into the conversation. Freeman Klopott and Liz Farmer at the Examiner report that it is indeed under serious consideration. From the piece:

D.C. officials are hoping that the massive Walter Reed Army Medical Center's planned redevelopment in Northwest will finally give them the bait they need to lure the District's first Wegmans grocery store.

The highly sought-after grocer has two scheduled meetings this week with Mayor Vincent Gray and council members at a retail development conference in Las Vegas that historically has been the breeding ground for major real estate deals in the District.

Keith Sellars, senior vice president of development and retail for the Washington DC Economic Partnership, said city officials have been courting Wegmans "for years" but never had a site large enough.

Wegmans' senior vice president is scheduled to meet with the mayor while Councilmen Harry Thomas Jr., Vincent Orange and Michael Brown are meeting separately with the retailer. Analyst David Livingston of DJL Research said scheduling two meetings is significant, noting the grocer typically spends years researching a location before it commits.

Thomas, chairman of the council's Economic Development Committee, said, "Wegmans is absolutely a real prospect."

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