Developer In Negotiations to Bring Whole Foods to Pentagon City

by ARLnow.com November 21, 2012 at 11:35 am 10,205 65 Comments


Developer Vornado is in negotiations to bring a new Whole Foods grocery store to Pentagon City.

The store would located on the ground floor of Vornado’s planned Metropolitan Park apartment building at the corner of S. Eads Street and 12th Street. The building, currently in the Site Plan Review stage, will replace a dilapidated warehouse and is part of a larger effort to turn 12th Street into a mixed-use commercial corridor.

Vornado’s Metropolitan Park building will the fourth in the overall Metropolitan Park development. The development will also result in an extension of 12th Street between Eads Street and Fern Street. Vornado’s planned, 2 million square foot PenPlace office and hotel development will be located across the future 12th Street, which is now a pedestrian path.

Met Park 4-5, as the Vornado apartment building is being called in planning documents, is expected be up to 22 stories tall, with two connected towers, and will contain just shy of 699 apartments. A 37,000 square foot grocery store space on the ground floor is being incorporated into the building with the express purpose of attracting Whole Foods, though no lease or letter of intent has been signed yet, we’re told.

An official with the Crystal City Business Improvement District told us the organization is “thrilled” with the prospect of bringing Whole Foods to the area. Currently, Whole Foods’ only location is the perpetually-crowded Clarendon store at 2700 Wilson Boulevard.

Developers hope the building plan will go before the County Board at some point mid-2013. No word yet on how long construction would take.

Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

  • Bender

    So they want to give a de facto monopoly to a grocer that is, while good for what they do, hardly a “whole” grocery store, offering a more limited selection at higher “upscale” prices.

    • Novanglus

      Monopoly? there’s a Harris Teeter 3 blocks away, and two others plus Giant and Shoppers within a short drive.

      • NIMBY The Chicken

        I think Bender meant monopoly in the sense that they wouldn’t entertain an offer from Giant/Safeway..

        • Buster

          So not a monopoly at all, then.

        • South Awwlington

          Some people that comment here will $itch no matter what the topic. She is one such person.

        • 7-11-bum

          More like “lets put a Whole Foods in so we can justify ripping off potential renters”

    • tootall

      ” is expected be up to 22 stories tall” did you all miss this little point. this is against code height restrictions are should not be permitted to be that high.

  • Cletus Van Damme

    Just what they need. Another grocery store…

    • Malaka

      Well judging by the lines at WF Clarendon recently I’d venture to say it would be needed

      • Josh S

        I will make a $10 Long Bet that if and when this store opens, we will have two locations with long lines and that the constant swarm around the Clarendon location will not noticeably decrease. Induced demand.

        • Charles

          Whole Foods is for people who wish to congratulate themselves.

          It certainly won’t pull any business away from Harris Tittie or the Giant on Glebe or Columbia Pike. If they build a new Whole Paycheck, I hope they put in a decent salad bar area – the foods bar in the Clarendon store really sucks.

  • Rebecky

    This would be a boon for the neighborhood – I really hope it happens.

  • Obama Groupie, “word, yo”

    Good, competition is a good thing!

  • Jackie

    We need a Wegmans, NOT Whole Foods. Besides their too expensive.

    • 7-11-bum


    • confused

      are there any wegmans that dont have huge parking lots?

      • South Awwlington

        Yes, there are. Check out some of their formats in operation and in development in New England/Boston.

    • grammar!
      • grammar?

        OK wegmen then

        • grammare

          “Besides their too expensive.” Their? Their?! How about “They’re” as in the conjunction of “They are!”?

          • grahamheir

            they’re they’re now, take it easy.

          • gramaire

            They’re there.

          • Captain_Obvious

            enough with grammar police, get a life.

          • 7-11-bum

            If it weren’t for the grammar police, we’d be one step closer to Idiocracy and drinking Brawndo.

          • Charlie Heston

            And eating Soylent Green.

    • Captain_Obvious

      Their organic produce is actually cheaper than giant and safeway. In fact, I’ve seen many other items that are cheaper at WF. Now the meat department is a different story.

    • Jaimee


  • Novanglus

    This is great news! Fewer people driving to the Clarendon one.

  • Right of Center

    Another place for me to park when I go shopping at Costco! I don’t expect any backups on Eads.

    • Arlington Cat

      Costco wont be there much longer. When the lease is up, Costco is gone. The air rights are just too valuable for the landlord.

      • John Fontain

        Odd that Kimco is currently marketing space at Pentagon Centre (in the former bookstore location) if they are also planning on kicking out all of the tenants. Have you talked to the leasing representative or the property manager (Kevin or Kris) to confirm that Costco is going to get the boot?

        • Artie Fufkin

          I’ve been hearing the rumor of Costco leaving for at least 2 years.

        • confused

          what lease terms? How long? I don’t think anyone expects Costco to be gone within 12 months say, and thats a long time to leave a space empty.

      • ArlRes

        Costco is not going anywhere. They will build on top of the existing building.

    • Douglas Parker

      Good Point. Fern St. has fast become somewhat of a mess. The Costco entrance on Fern St. continues to be the best access to that parking lot and has always been super busy.

      With the recent addition of the adjacent condo buildings it has gotten far more active. This latest addition will most certainly aggravate the situation further.

      I hope the ‘planners’ factor this in and adjust accordingly.

  • Andy

    This is outstanding news!!!! What a great development for an area that has nothing on that side of the street.

  • Alex

    Once Whole Foods significantly reduced the organic content of their produce section without lowering prices accordingly, my willingness to patronize them decreased quite a lot.

  • Mary-Austin

    I’m a fan of the Metropolitan Park development even though I’m sure it’s ridiculously expensive.
    It seems like it flows well together with open space and architectural style.
    Too bad these people weren’t in charge of the founder’s square project in Ballston.

    • 7-11-bum

      If I see one more conservative 90’s style brick building go up in this city I’m going to puke. Metropolitan Park is nothing but overpriced apartments with cheapo finishes. It will remain predominately vacant except for the “affordable” units – none of whose occupants will shop at Whole Foods.

  • d

    This, along with the aquatics center, sounds like part of the development company’s plan to bribe us, because it will be “good for the community”:


    Here’s a hint: developers do what’s good for developers.

    “Hey Arlington, we heard you liked Whole Foods, so…”

    • d

      And I notice that most of the commenters here are looking at the “shiny thing” instead of the issues presented in the Examiner article.

      • confused

        what was in the article other than the standard NIMBYIST “its too big!” and “Gah! Traffic!”

        This in a location practically on top of a metro station and the mall, walking distance to Crystal City, with bike lanes and close to the MVT, etc.

        And now with a grocery store on the main floor – so yes, the shiny thing is quite relevant to the concerns expressed.

    • drax

      How dare they try to make money by offering something in exchange.

  • DW

    Okay, seriously, this will be incredibly painful without some massive re-configuration of the traffic patterns in the neighborhood. I live next door to the Costco, and traffic along 15th/Fern/Army Navy is already a complete nightmare on weekends. Add in a Whole Foods and it’s going to be at least twice as bad. I don’t mind the idea of having a grocery store per se, but unless they widen the roads around the neighborhood there is just no way the current infrastructure can handle it, *especially* after adding 699 apartments. Arlington County, I’m looking at you here…

    • 7-11-bum

      Wow! Someone who actually lives near Costco. I thought half the apartments in that area were empty.

      • Oz

        I live there, too, FWIW. My building’s 90%+ occupied, and it’s one of the older ones. I’d say you’re pretty far off the mark, 7-11. Oh, and I’m not bothered by the traffic around Costco, because I walk there. I’d walk to the WF, too.

        • Michael H.

          + 1

          There are thousands of people who live within a block or two of Costco. I don’t know what 7-11 is talking about. His comments are kind of bizarre.

        • Michelle

          Are you one of the thousands of people who leaves the grocery cart on the side of the road?

      • Matt

        You’re living in 2008. Here’s some actual data as of April 2011: Gramercy is 95% leased; Millennium is 94% leased. Third building, slated next to the Millennium (where they razed a warehouse earlier this year) is scheduled to begin leasing in early 2014.


  • Douglas Parker

    Hey Arlington…

  • NIMBY The Chicken

    Would have looked better as a baseball stadium…

  • Rim Shot

    I guess Whole Foods never has half off?

    • Slam Dunk

      Half of yo’ paycheck.

  • South Awwlington

    Since we’re talking grocery stores…it has now been 7 months since Harris Teeter on Jefferson Davis Highway closed due to a sewage back-up at the waste water treatment plant. Any word what the County is doing to assist with rent costs for HT considering the closure was due to negligence on the part of Arlington? I have heard it may up to one year from the original closure date till they re-open. Also, what about lost sales due to damage reputation?

    • Throw me a none

      I sure do miss the weekly $10 off coupons.

    • Oz

      We already call it “The Poopy Teeter” – they’ll never be able to open back up there.

  • S

    I was hoping for Trader Joe’s.

  • NIMBY The Chicken
    • Tall Boy

      I didn’t know Arlington had a height limit.

      • The idea of a developer getting extra height (density) for a project in Arlington is commonplace, and the county doesn’t have one set height limit like DC, so this article seems a bit misinformed.

    • ARL-VA

      ARLnow covered the PenPlace story a couple days ago.

  • Skeptical Neighbor

    But Whole Foods has not even commented on this rumor! Fat chance they will locate at this awful place.

    • Michael H.

      Why wouldn’t Whole Foods or a similar grocer want to locate in a neighborhood densely populated with middle to upper-income residents? Competition from the Harris Teeter in Pentagon Row might be a consideration. But there are no large grocery stores in Crystal City, not since the old Safeway closed a couple years ago.

      • Matt

        And access to the HT is complicated by having to traverse through the PC mall as a pedestrian. I’d say it’s a prime location for a new grocery store. I’d certainly shop there instead of HT just for the added convenience, particularly if it meant I could abandon Zipcar for groceries entirely.

  • Fliipped Shopping Cart

    Will there be parking and shopping cart reciprocity between Costco and WF? Or will each store begin installing those little devices onto the shopping carts that will auto-lock the wheels when you cross some arbitrary property line?


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