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The Giant at Lyon Village Shopping Center has closed, raising questions about plaza’s future

Workers lowered signage today (Friday) from the now-former Giant supermarket in the Lyon Village Shopping Center.

Several passersby watched with interest as the team unscrewed the letters G-I-A-N-T from the storefront at 3115 Langston Blvd. One visitor, apparently a would-be customer, walked up to the grocery store’s closed entrance and peered inside before returning to her car and driving away.

“Can you believe it?” another pedestrian asked in disbelief.

Thursday was the last day in business for the 60-year-old supermarket. One person who emailed ARLnow described a tearful affair.

“My husband was at the Starbucks there and he said people were crying,” the tipster said.

The closure, announced last month, casts uncertainty over the future of the shopping center at the busy intersection of Langston Blvd and Spout Run Parkway. Even the work crew’s foreman was curious about the strip mall’s fate, asking a reporter what will replace the anchor store.

A brief statement from the owner of the plaza — which is home to The Italian Store, Big Wheel Bikes, a CVS and a Starbucks, among other retail tenants — yielded few answers.

“We are exploring a number of options but have nothing to share at this time,” BMC Property Group President Christopher Jones said.

The county, however, has a long-term vision for the shopping center as an “activity hub” that could support a mixed-use redevelopment with 12-15 story apartment buildings. A rendering from the Langston Boulevard Area Plan, adopted by the Arlington County Board in November, depicts an apartment building rising over a grocery store near the busy intersection.

In the more immediate future, a Cold Stone Creamery is expected to open in a standalone building in the shopping center sometime after May.

Signs outside the Giant today encouraged customers to visit another of the company’s stores about a mile away, at 3450 Washington Blvd in Virginia Square.

An earlier statement from Giant said store employees were given the chance to transfer to other locations.

“In the normal course of evaluating our business and local trade areas, we determined that we can adequately serve this community through several other nearby Giant Food locations as well as our online services Giant Pickup and delivery,” the company said. “While closing this location, we remain committed to meeting the needs of our customers and providing them the best service.”

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