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MOM’s Organic Market Coming to Bergmann’s Development?

by ARLnow.com April 19, 2012 at 9:54 am 10,807 70 Comments

The forthcoming development on the Bergmann’s Cleaning site on Lee Highway — still in the planning stages — may include a MOM’s Organic Market, according to an email obtained by ARLnow.com.

The project has been evolving as developer McCaffrey Interests responds to neighborhood input and objections to the project. Whereas just a couple of months ago the project was to include a specialty grocery and 13,500 square feet of other retail, it now includes just the grocery store, with the retail replaced by 15 row houses along N. Veitch and N. Uhle Streets. The change is expected to reduce traffic around the development.

The project still includes a 10-story, 166-unit, LEED Gold-certified, glass-covered apartment building, complete with a fitness center and swimming pool on the penthouse level. The current plan, which will be discussed at a Site Plan Review Committee meeting at 7:00 tonight, also includes 222 spaces of surface and underground parking for residents and grocery store customers.

In an email to its members, the local North Highlands Civic Association said McCaffrey expects that a MOM’s Organic Market will move into the grocery store space once the project is completed. The store may also have some sort of cafe component, to make up for the lack of other retail within the development. County staff have previously expressed skepticism about a specialty grocery store at the site, saying the area is already well-served by Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

MOM’s currently has a location in Alexandria and is expected to open a location in Falls Church, but the local chain does not have an Arlington presence yet.

As part of the development, McCaffrey has agreed to several community amenities, including improvements to nearby McCoy Park, a modification to the adjacent Custis Trail, and 8 on-site affordable apartments. McCaffrey Interests is responsible for a number of notable local developments, including Georgetown Centre in D.C. and Market Common Clarendon in Arlington.

  • good to have MOM’s in Arlington – good for competition for WF as well 🙂

  • nunya



  • JimPB

    TWo hands clapping for the prospect of MOMs.

  • novasteve

    What is Mom’s like? Is it just a whole foods type place?

    • Skeptical

      It is Whole Foods without the BS, sky high prices, Yuppie prepared foods and overpromotion. (Organic will always cost more than conventional but they keep it within reason.) Not nearly as large and confusing, but still everything on your list. Also, they always offer to carry my bags to my car and expressly do not accept tips. I haven’t seen that happen since I was a kid and let’s not talk about how long that was.

      • novasteve

        Not bad sounding. Must have a different clientele since you have to prepare/make food rather than just heat it up like with whole foods.

        • bored chef

          Damn! so i could have just heated up that whole leg of lamb I bought from WF isntead of roasting it with rosemary, garlic and olive oil?

          • nom de guerre

            I too learned something new today-I thought you had to cook raw meats until a minimum internal temperature was reached. I realize now that all I have to do is “heat it up.”

          • JBalls

            Be sure to tip the commenter for that info.

    • Ivy

      Actually, MOM carries things Whole Foods doesn’t. I’ve been going to MOM for over 20 years when it was a dinky hole in the wall in Rockville. I can’t get over how much it has grown. It is independently owned which is such a nice bonus!

  • G Clifford Prout

    Work near a MOM’s. A very nice addition to Arlington.

  • If that picture is accurate…

    …that design will definitely be changed.

    Those houses are absurd with the garage entrance directly behind them.

    Ever wanted to live at The Caves of Arlington?

  • Bemused bystander

    What justifies building a 10-story glass tower in an area where nothing else is that tall? Other than profit motives, of course.

    • not sure but

      who builds one story town houses in this location?

    • Daniel

      There is a 10 story building less than a block away… That slice land between Lee Hwy and 66 has a number of multi-story buildings.
      Quite an improvement over the decaying buildings there now (and I assure I probably see this location more than you since I live a block away and you seem unfamiliar with that strech).

    • nunya

      yeah, i think that Faulty Towers apt bldg is pretty much the highest in that immediate area. given the elevation of the terrain and location, etc, i’d be surprised if they let anything tall or taller in the area due to the flight path of planes.

    • LuvDusty

      Hey Bemused: Potomac Towers is just as tall and is less than 1/2 a block behind the proposed structure. And it’s not made of glass, it’s a 60s eyesore..so this new proposed building will actually be 10000x less obtrusive and ulgy than Potomac Towers.

      And I second and third the other comments…compared to most of the run-down 60s style time warp bldgs on Lee Hwy in that area, it’s a welcomed improvement.

      What I don’t get is the choice of townhomes versus more retail options. Once again, the local residents are WAY overzealous with their NIMBY attitudes. That area is not that close to the Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or Giant…I’m a walker and they are considerable hikes (with hills).

      It would be amazingly convenient for all those living in that section of Lee Hwy to have a quick and accesible (no car) starbucks, grocery store and CVS.

      • Josh S

        The three musts of urban living, no doubt. Why anyone would put up without that triumverite located less than, like, 1/4 of a mile is beyond me. Right? And if you can fit in a Gold’s and a chain Irish bar/restaurant, then – OMG would that be awesome.

      • Patrick

        You are 100% right. County staff couldn’t be more wrong about that area being well served by WF and TJ.

      • Sparky

        I’m a walker too and an older one at that and have no trouble walking from that area to Giant and Starbucks. A MOM’s we need but hold the Starbucks and CVS lest we upchuck on their overabundance. Besides, MOM’s will have coffee.

    • Eeeevil Developer

      You’re right! Profit is BAD. Making money is BAD. Down with people trying to succeed and better themselves. Everyone should give all of their stuff to somebody else, and every business should operate at a loss until it’s forced to close.

      Especially Eeeevil Developers. Converting a piece of land to a higher and better use should be ILLEGAL!!!!

      • drax

        It IS illegal, sometimes. And developers like that. It’s called zoning, and it makes it possible for developers to build stuff and sell/rent it with the knowledge that another developer won’t come along and ruin it by building something completely incompatible close by.

      • House Hunters Casting

        I’m not sure I follow you..what were you saying about the kitchen? There’s granite, right? Is this laminate flooring? Looks nice.

    • Henry F. Potter

      You’ve got to make room for all that affordable housing.

  • Becoming indifferent

    I’m curious how the county board will rule on their live entertainment/dancing permit, since this seems to be such a hot topic.

    • Josh S

      James Baldwin.

      • nom de guerre

        James Brown

        • guy fieri and walt whitman sharing a cab

          • Schrödinger

            Cat in a box

          • Dan

            Don’t look in the box !!

  • U Roy

    Yes! Finally Mom’s is coming to Arlington.

  • stevis23

    Will she also be selling her friendly robots?

  • LuvDusty

    Mom’s is ok…but I prefer Yes! Market. The one on 14th is wonderful, well stocked and inexpensive.

    One of those in that area would be great.

    It would also be cool if they built a new cinema multiplex with stadium seating. I’m sorry, but the old Courthouse AMC movie theatre is just horrible.

  • George

    What’s so great about a mom and pop store? Let me tell you something, if my mom and pop ran a store I wouldn’t shop there.

    • Organtic

      My experience with the Mom’s in Alexandria is that while it is less crowded and hectic than the Whole Foods at Clarendon, the prices are even higher, esp. since I tend to buy the 365 brand at Whole Foods, which is their lower-priced in-house brand. Plus Moms doesn’t have nearly the variety of stuff that Whole Foods does, so you can’t go there to shop your basic supply of grains, nuts & what-have-you commodity items and then luck into a bargain wine purchase, seafood, or some fruit/veggie that’s on sale. Since I’m not religious about buying organic, Mom’s may not be the right place for me to shop. I haven’t systematically compared Whole Foods organic offerings with mom’s, but I think there are even 365 products that are organic.

      • Skeptical

        We must be buying different products, because on the rare occasions I end up in a Whole Foods, that’s when I feel hosed.

        George: MOM stands for My Organic Market — I wish it were called something else, too.

      • FYI

        FYI, MOMs will match any price for the same item if you find it lower at Whole Foods or any other area grocery store. They’ve done that for me at least once.

    • Can’t Stand Ya

      Well, the Jerk Store called, and they’re running out of you.

  • Harry

    A lot of cyclists connect to the Custis trail to DC from Courthouse using Veitch, I know the article said they’re making improvements to the trail but I wonder if it’ll still be possible to ride the sidewalk down.

    • drax

      They would be smart to have ample bike racks too.

  • jslanger

    As someone who has lived at Potomac Towers (right next to this proposed development) it really isn’t an eyesore any more @LuvDusty (they’ve rennovated the outside a lot). I definitely wouldn’t mind the supermarket and other retail there…but that apt building will just end up raising rental rates even higher. I live in Potomac Towers because it IS affordable (I work as a surgical resident and I can’t afford to live any where else), and this new building won’t really help with that much. And wow! A whole 8 affordable units?!?! Don’t much of an effort McCaffrey! (Not that I’d ever qualify for that, of course).

    Eh, what should I care anyway, I’ll be done in 2 years.

  • Louise

    Ooh yes please! I like that store a lot more than Whole Foods. Well run, hires locals, uses wind power, etc.

  • Dave

    This part of Rosslyn/Courthouse is not well served by WF/TJ if that Safeway on Wilson is able to stay in business. Whole paycheck prices combined with food desert quality and selection.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      That Safeway is the most ghetto grocery in Arlington.

      • Sic ’em

        Careful—I’ll sic Barry on you for that comment.

      • nom de guerre

        I thought the Safeway on Wilson near North George Mason Drive was pretty bad. I think I have heard some refer to it as the Soviet Safeway. Is the one on Wilson in Rosslyn worse?

        • Dan

          Actually, neither one is really that bad.

          I think that the posters are just trying to seem more “refined” by belittling those stores.

          • Southeast Jerome

            Um No Dan. The Safeway in Rosslyn by Cafe Asia is pretty much the worst thing ever.

            I would take showers after going there. The lack of grocery options in Rosslyn is atrocious and part of the reason why nobody wants to live there.

          • Arlanon

            “…part of the reason why nobody wants to live there” – Except of course for the 10,000 + people who do live there…

  • janet

    Way too much density for this neighborhood. Put it in the County Manager’s neighborhood. Along with the parking for the thousands of single-occupant vehicle trips to-from the supermarket every day.

    • nom de guerre

      The current County manager lives in Clifton, VA which is in Fairfax County. Are you suggesting that the development be moved there?

    • Arlanon

      As someone who lives nearby I couldn’t agree less. The neighborhood needs some good walkable retail options.

  • Meredith

    This is such exciting news! Even though it is pricey, I really like that they are a local business and they have some hard-to-find products for people with special diets (things you can’t even get at Whole Foods). I hope that this really does pan out!!

  • Scott

    I am the founder of MOM’s Organic Market. Some clarifications:

    The company used to be called MOM’s- My Organic Market, but mass confusion even within our company ensued so we changed our name to MOM’s Organic Market a few years ago.

    MOM’s prices are cheaper than WF’s. In Checkbook Magazine’s most recent grocery analysis, they used a sampling of 152 organic grocery items and MOM’s was cheapest. With $100 being the median, MOM’s came in at $92, Wegman’s at $96, Whole Foods at $99, and Giant, Safeway, and Harris Teeter all above $102. Yes Organic Market doesn’t even come close to beating our prices, btw. They are probably more expensive than everyone.

    This deal is not done. We are “at lease’, though. I give it 80/20 favorable chance.

    For those of you familiar with our Alexandria store, that development is also getting redeveloped and we will have a new store there in 2-3 years.

    MOM’s carries 13,000 items. TJ’s carries fewer than 3000.

    Should this deal pan out, this location will likely have a cafe in the “line style” of ordering food. Similar to Chipotle bowls and Sweetgreen salad. All organic, very crunchy/healthy.

    We are the only retailer simply because of the small footprint of the non-residential part of this development.

    While MOM’s has good sales per square foot, we don’t bring in anywhere close to “thousands of single-occupant vehicles” every day. We’ll bring in a few hundred, but our smaller footprint (13,000sf vs. typical supermarket of 50,000) means fewer cars.

    This location would likely have plenty of bike racks, electric car charging stations, electronics recycling drives, ongoing battery recycling, CFL bulb recycling, shoe recycling, and hopefully solar panels on the roof.

    It’s great to see all of the folks on here supportive of MOM’s. Thanks!

    • Don

      Great to see a possible new store, especially where Mon’s plans on residing.

  • Ivy

    MOM will do very, very well in Arlington. I remember telling the owner years ago to move to Arlington. I was thrilled when they moved into Viriginia

  • MC

    MOM is great. Worry they may be too close to WF and TJ, both of which I use and want to see succeed in future. MOM woould be great at Perishing and Glebe where a dumpy Latino market is. That space was slated for a upgrade before the Board decided to stop the plans.

    • Mary-Austin

      That is a great idea! That area really needs something like a decent market to help it along.

  • Mary-Austin

    So will the new store be built to LEED standards? MOM’s should walk the walk (which they usually do) if they are going to go the new construction route.

    • Scott

      LEED gold.

    • spookiness

      LEED is a crock.

  • Rosslyn

    Uhm … county staff… if you read this… your opinion about Rosslyn being well-served by grocery stores of any kind is very, very ill-informed. As a long-time resident and fee simple property owner, it is beyond clear that the area is massively under-served in terms of grocery stores and, frankly, other residential services. As people have noted, this is why Courthouse and Clarendon are doing better on the residential side. Rosslyn should crush both of them, given its location, two metro lines, views, etc., but it does not. As others have noted, the Secret Safeway is in terrible condition and an embarrassment to Safeway. The Whole Foods in Clarendon is packed and no fun to go to. (Plus there are all those German cars backfiring…) Really look forward to MOMs opening.

    With respect to building a giant apartment building there, that seems like the continued Jerseying of Arlington. That location is far from metro and having the density there will continue to make the neighborhood more ugly. But that hasn’t stopped the county so far. Our design standards seem to have the county aspiring to be the Dulles Tech Corridor of architecture. As our cheap and boring architecture ages, the place will look worse and worse.

    • Sparky

      “That location is far from the metro…” You’ve got to be kidding; the Bergman site is only about 3 blocks from the metro, say a 5 minute walk.

      • Rosslyn

        .5 mile, up/down the hill on Veitch Street and across Lee Highway. It is really a suburban location–hence the lower real estate prices on that side of Lee Highway, vis-a-vis Courthouse or Rosslyn.

        • Sparky

          .3 miles/3 blocks. People at Court House or Rosslyn don’t have to cross a busy street, walk up a hill, or walk 3 blocks to the Metro? LOL And this suburban location will have a MOMs while urbanites living in Courthouse and Rosslyn will still be whining about having to get in their cars to drive to a store for groceries. But they’ll still be able to brag about overpriced real estate on their side of Lee Highway.

  • Aaron

    The Underground Safeway isn’t as bad as it was ~5 years ago, other than the dismantling/decimation of its deli about six months ago, and it’s still nowhere near as horrific as the Giant on Washington Blvd.

    I’ve actually found it quite reasonable to grab a Zipcar for an hour, dart to Whole Food’s, TJs, or Harris Teeter with grocery list in hand, and bring it all home for a net cost that’s no worse than Safeway without the Zipcar expense. If you live in Rosslyn and have a car, of course, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about.

    • Rosslyn

      That’s really the problem. Rosslyn itself is generic and mundane, when it has an amazing location and should be on par or better than Courthouse/Clarendon.

      For a fairly urban area, sitting on top of two metro lines, with the population it has, it is a bummer that one has to hop in the car and go somewhere else. I do the same thing.

  • replytothat

    YaY to this! I love MoMs. Just discovered the one in Alexandria.

  • travellerkernow

    So everyone talks about the grocery store. This, to me as a local resident, is amazing. The proposed 10-story tower apartment block is not only hideous but will add over 190 residents to the area (“Oooh, fellow Board members, let’s get more taxes….”). The developer is providing ONE car space for each dwelling unit in the development, so all the multi car families and visitors and guests will be fighting for street spaces among all the other parking on Veitch Street and 21st Road – good luck!

    There are already enough ugly, concrete and glass boxes in Arlington and the County seems to have no principles regarding architectural esthetics. While Potomac Towers may be unsightly in the 1960s fashion, this one is a monstrous blight of the 2010s variety.

    … and I’d hate to be a commuting driver coming down Lee Highway in the morning and being blinded by the sun’s reflection off that tower.

  • The highrise looks like the stuff that was torn down a few years ago in Ballston for better replacements. The proposed parking will be tight, no doubt.


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