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Opening Date Set for New Columbia Pike Giant

by ARLnow.com May 13, 2011 at 10:56 am 7,028 79 Comments

An opening date has been set for the new Giant supermarket in the Penrose Square development.

The 60,000 square foot store, located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Adams Street, is planning to hold its public grand opening on Friday, June 24.

“The return of the Giant grocery store to the now significantly and visibly more attractive, inviting and walkable Pike Town Center is a momentous step ahead in the Pike’s revitalization,” said Takis Karantonis, Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization.

  • Chris Slatt

    Woohoo! I’m looking forward to finally being able to walk to the grocery store again!

    • ACG

      ME TOO!! Finally!!!

    • NPGMBR

      Yeah, I second that. Harris Teeter is my favorite store now but I sure have missed the convenience of being able to walk two blocks and get what I need, when I want it and not be concerned about driving. Since this is a completely new store I’m expecting it to have many of the features I find in Harris Teeter Stores. If so, I’ll be making far fewer trips to Harris Teeter.

    • Val


  • G

    What will the parking situation be like here?

  • charlie

    there is plenty of park. however you will bang your car up trying to get to it. access to it was by the same genius who made it so hard to get in an out of the Sam Becketts garage in Shirlington.
    Good luck.
    I plan to park in the neighborhood and walk over.
    Giant always has great sales for new stores.
    Oh yeah, when is this all going to become Stop ‘n’ Shop?

    • AllenB

      Congratulations, I think you’re now officially the Debbie Downer of Arlnow.com.

      • charlie

        AllenB, don’t worry, someday Lyon Village Giant Food will be a Stop n’ Shop too. You heard it here first.
        it is actually cool to watch how Giant logo, sign, colors have slowly disappeared. go look at the Stop n’ Shop website and you’ll see where it is headed.

        • John

          Or Stop n’ Shop could become “Giant.” Both stores are owned by the same parent company, who chose to keep the local names. This is not unusual. For example, Safeway operates under many names across the country.

          • NPGMBR

            Exactly. I can’t remember the name of the Parent but I do know its a dutch company. I think their name is Ahold.

          • (another) Greg

            You’re right. It’s Royal Ahold. …which is a great name.

          • FrenchyB

            Their name is probably a typo – ‘d’ and ‘e’ are awfully close to each other on the keyboard.

        • John Fontain

          Both stopnshop and giant changed their individual logos to the current/shared logo in 2008. Giant did not adopt stopnshop’s logo.

          • charlie

            i’m aware of the corporate ownership and I’m pretty certain that they plan to change Giant to Stop n’ Shop. Partly because Stop n’ Shop is bigger and also because their is long standing litigation of the use of the name Giant in the state of Pennsylvania.

            Personally I don’t care in that everything that was good about GIANT as a locally owned supermarket chain, is, well, gone.

          • Someone

            There’s no litigation now. Giant in PA is a Royal Ahold-owned chain too.

          • Josh S


    • Arl bug

      Do not park in the neighborhood please…exactly why neighbors did not want a super giant ….. We already have crowded streets…and traffic from HHS ….we LIVE here and deserve to be able to park near our homes without grocery store parkers.

      • Westover

        Typical attitude of the entitled Arlington renter.

        • NPGMBR

          I seriously doubt that comment is coming from a renter. Renters in that area typically have ample parking at their respective buildings. Besides, the neighborhood immediately behind Giant are single family homes.

        • dynaroo

          And Arl bug could say back “typical attitude of the entitled Arlington grocery shopper.”

      • OX4

        What an odd comment. So don’t park anywhere you don’t live?

        • (another) Greg

          No. It’s actually a plea to use the garage that was built for the express purpose of allowing Giant shoppers to have a place to park their car, rather than using space on residential streets.

          • Arl bug

            Correct! There was extensive conversation with builder about this point and it is upsetting that before it even opens someone is advocating to not use the garage the developer promised would be ample parking for shoppers!

          • Arl bug

            And, yes, I am an owner, neighborhood association member, and tax payer.

          • charlie

            As an Arlington taxpayer I am entitled to drive and park on any street that is public.
            But I do not discriminate as I’m more likely to park in Lyon Village when I shop at Whole Foods, when I have enough money to go there.
            there is ample parking in the garage, i’m certain, but it is hard to get in and out, i’m also certain of that.

          • AVer

            I agree that you should be able to park on any public street. Just remember that the front-in parking on S Barton in Arlington Village is not public.

          • Arl bug

            Feel free to park inthe garage built for the purpose of shopping when you are shopping. When visiting someone who lives in the neighborhood or visiting the park, feel free to park on the street. However if people park inthe neighborhood to shop, there will be no places for those who live in the neighborhood to park as many of our houses are without driveways or have relatively small lots in compaison to the larger lots in other parts of the county that can house multiple cars. And there are many children in our neighborhood…so be mindful of them when you roll down the streets searching for a spot tp park. Use the store…and the LARGE garage built to accommodate your car.

          • OX4

            It’s a public street. Unless your neighborhood requires residential permits to park, I don’t see what the problem is.

  • a

    Is the parking in that underground garage?

    Also, where’s the actual entrance to the store? I can never spot it when I drive by.

    • charlie

      cars are evil. you can only see the entrance if you are on a CAP BIKE or on the CAR FREE DIET. or on the trolley car.

    • FrenchyB

      The main entrance is along the pedestrian walkway that runs between the two wings of the building (right where Barton St. would run if it continued through the complex). There may be another entrance from the parking garage as well.

  • Arlwhenever

    Not so easy access is why the 7/11 is setting up shop across the street.

    • NPGMBR

      Ughhhhh, I’d managed to forget about that till now!

    • The Native

      Last I heard there was no signed commitment for a 7-11. It was just a rumor. Confirmed from various sources.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    How much to park in the underground garage? Will it be validated like Harris Teeter?

  • Rebecca Krafft

    I wonder if it will actually be open before June 24. They usually have a soft opening preceding the grand opening to start working the kinks out the day-to-day operations.

  • PikeHoo

    Booyah. I look forward to getting my Lucerne on. A great addition to the Pike.

    • Isn’t Lucerne a Safeway brand?

      • PikeHoo

        You’re right! My Lucerne bender will have to be postponed.

      • YaddaYadda


  • SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!

  • Chris Wiz

    So long Harris Teeter, it was nice knowing you.

    • SoCo Resident

      Comparing just the quality of the staff and management at Harris Teeter and Giant, I’ll take HT in a heartbeat. When available, HT cashiers are required to sand in front of registers to wave customers in. HT managers must stock shelves once in a while, even bag. I am glad Columbia Pike has a new grocery, I just wish that PG County-based Giant would look closely at customer service at other grocery stores. And, I am completely sold on the 24 hr. self check out at HT.

      • NomNom

        The quality of meats and selection of seafood is far better at HT. I will be pleasantly surprised if the new Giant is able to match the selection and quality. If not then I will use this Giant like I did before it was destroyed, as a convenient place to pick up essentials. I am happy that it is finally opening.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        “When available, HT cashiers are required to sand in front of registers to wave customers in. HT managers must stock shelves once in a while, even bag.”

        Exactly, SoCo Resident. HT isn’t perfect, but I’ve noticed the same things you have; I’ve never seen either at any Safeway or Giant in Northern VA. That’s one reason why I shop at HT whenever possible.

        • Rebecca Krafft

          The Cashiers at the Columbia Pike Giant were always the greatest. I’ve been getting news from one of them now at Virginia Square store. Can’t wait til at least some of them get shipped back home. I think Becky retired in the meantime.

          • Josh S

            Wow, not my recollection at all. Checkout was something to dread at the previous Giant – not enough checkers, incompetence, laziness, slow response from the manager when the inevitable problems arose, etc.
            Having peeked in the window at the new place, it appears there will likely be a lot more checkout lines, which is good. Hopefully at least some of them will be self-checkout. (And the comment below from Allan about no self-checkout at Giant is patently wrong, since the Giant on South Glebe has several self-checkout lanes.)

      • Allan

        Union – Giant – no self-checkout b/c job taken from Union member.

        Union – Giant – don’t have to do anything not in job description even it’s just the right thing to do

        • charlie

          Giant has self check out at Virginia Square, Bailey’s Crossraods, Falls Church Plaza…

        • PghBigDog

          More mindless union-bashing from someone who clearly has no valid concept of reality. Why don’t you blame overpopulation on the unions? Maybe the unions are behind all the recent earthquakes too?

          • Sam

            Not mindless – it’s the truth. Go check it out yourself – they fought the self-checkouts and are “Johnny come lately’s” to the option of self-checkout because of the union.

            They have clear job descriptions and many of those employees refuse to do anything other than what it is expressly written down in the description. “Thinking out of the box” or actually helping someone in an area of the store they don’t work in is part of the mentality and why so many people no longer shop in their stores over stores who have employees who value their jobs for reasons other than guaranteed job security.

          • dynaroo

            How dare people try to preserve jobs in this country. The last thing we need nowadays are jobs.

          • JohnB

            VA is a right to work state and employees are not required to join the union regardless of whether it’s a Giant, Harris Teeter, or Safeway. Why don’t you “go check it out yourself?”

  • KalashniKEV

    It looks like a weird cave. Was this designed in Minecraft?

  • CrystalMikey

    I’m stoked to check it out myself.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    “now significantly and visibly more attractive, inviting and walkable Pike Town Center” should have been now significantly more boring, overbearing and traffic overloading Pike Town Center that will only be viable with a huge taxpayer funded bailout trolley.

    • PikeHoo

      It’s value-add for the Pike. Don’t be such an Eeyore.

    • Josh S

      Huh? It’s privately owned. Guarantee they are not relying on something that isn’t there. I’d imagine the 2000+ rental units within three blocks might help ensure some profitability.

  • CW2

    Another “WOOHOO” from a South Arlingtonian!

  • Joe

    Typical Arlington BS.. Lousy parking. Ugly buildings. We were better off with a strip mall.

    • dynaroo

      By all means, move somewhere where you can have ample parking, ugly strip malls, lots of traffic, and an Applebee’s.

      • JohnB

        +1 I hear Manassas is accepting applications 😉

    • Attura


  • Take it down a notch

    I’m confused. If it’s not open yet, how do we know the parking is lousy and you’ll bang up your car if you park in the garage?

    • Gman

      I was thinking the same thing… The answer is he has no idea just running his mouth.

      • charlie

        i have seen the plans. the turning radii are inadequate. the entrance is going to be a three-point turn for most people. and all parking spots in Arlington garages are too small.

  • Joe

    Never seen a parking garage that wasn’t lousy. They all suck. Cramped. Concrete poles to bounce off of. Not to mention some garages charge fees. Typical Arlington crap.

    • dynaroo

      Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. You live in a city, get over it.

  • Pingback: Pike Wire | Soft Launch May Be Imminent for Neighborhood Grocery Store, Official Date Announced()

  • Bringmetheyuppies

    Great that it is opening….But if I can’t safely and conveniently park my car, shop, and load my goodies it’s back to Jefferson for me. H.T. may have good service but their prices are through the roof.

  • I’ve never really found urban grocery stores to be very user friendly for anyone who has to drive to get to it. So, it will be useful for those who live near by without a doubt. But, if you have to drive to get to it, and parking is a pain, it may be a better option to head up the road a bit to something more user friendly. Let’s see how the parking goes…..

  • Attura

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!! As a native new Yorker– it was a SIN not to have a Soopamarket within walking distance!! Glad to see the Giant’s renew business once again on the Pike– Do NOT miss the Safeway- at ALL.

  • Deb McGraw

    Will there be parking for bikes there – somewhere?

  • barb

    i will be returning to my favorite giant

  • YTK

    For the past 2+ yrs I had to go 3 miles out of my way to shop at the Jefferson St Giant becuz HT’s prices were in some cases waaay too high. no big deal if the bus was on time and it wasn’t Sunday.

    But then came the snow– I had to stand on top of the street-bergs during Snowzilla’s aftermath, with all my groceries, waiting for the bus to go back home…. What an adventure. Then when the bus came, I had to step/slide./jump off the berg (the sidewalks were under 3 ft of snow) to the “street” and then go UP into the bus. Fun- NOT. Glad the new Giant is about to open.

    So — Will this be a 24 hr Giant?

  • Ethan

    In response to the people stating that it’s their right to park wherever they want (as long as it’s not a space marked “private”), I would say that just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean you should do it.

    That particular resident was requesting that people driving to the store do others in the neighborhood the COURTESY of not taking up their parking spaces, and instead use the garage provided by the store.

    So many people nowadays have this selfish, entitlement attitude that as long as they aren’t breaking the law, there’s nothing wrong with anything they choose to do and no one should try and stop them or even complain about their behavior.

    “Treat others as you would like to be treated”…

  • DaveBro

    The parking garage is open for exploration. At first it was kinda confusing but after you have driven around and through it once its not too bad. The entrance to the garage isn’t too bad unless you’re driving a suburban/huge SUV or a caddy. When you are entering the garage, the lane to the right is the lane that takes you too the main parking level that is the biggest area of parking in the garage and is serviced to the Giant by elevators (which is also how you get your grocery cart from the store down to your car, and they big enough to handle the carts no problem) and stairs. BUT the secret/surprise of the garage is to go to the back corner area of the garage parking (you will end up here as long as you dont take any turns have entering the garage). SO you proceed up the ramp that is there and you are lead up to the same level as the store (across the breezeway from the front entrance of the store) to find about 20 extra parking spots and a parcel pick up/loading area. Its pretty tight turning up there but there is an exit on this level as well. Not earth shattering news but definitely was a interesting surprise when i was exploring the site a few days ago.

    There does seem to be stairs on each side of the building if you are on foot going to the store which is not the coolest thing if you don’t like stairs, but i think it will help cut down on the amount of carts that could or would end up in the surrounding neighborhoods and streets.

    Any rumors if any other eateries or businesses that are planned to go into the shopping center?

    • izzy

      how’s the area overall by the new giant? I am considering moving into the Penrose Sq Apts or somewhere around there. But am concerned with the heavy volume of traffic I hear about on the Pike. Is it really bad? I would commuting from there to King Street for work. What would that commute look like via public transpo or private car?

      • Josh S

        You shouldn’t concern yourself with chatter here about traffic on the Pike. It’s no worse than any other place in the county. Besides, if you are commuting to Old Town, you won’t be on the Pike. I just went down there this past Monday morning, it wasn’t bad – maybe fifteen minutes. Of course, it was closer to 10 AM when I went. I don’t have the sense that there is a great flow that direction from Penrose, though. For example, the southbound Walter Reed traffic is by far the thinnest of the four directions going through Walter Reed and Columbia Pike in the morning.
        I don’t know what public options would be. ANy of the numerous 16 buses down to Pentagon or Pentagon City and then blue line to King Street station?


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