Is Whole Foods pursuing a location in Foggy Bottom?
Earlier this month, The West End Flyer reported that Whole Foods may be opening a location in Foggy Bottom. The report, which was based on an anonymous source, places the grocery store on the Square 54 development project across from George Washington University Hospital.
Boston Properties, the company developing the 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW property, said that site will include “an urban grocery store,” while Senior Project Manager Jake Stroman told the Flyer that negotiations between Boston Properties and a grocery company had reached “the final step.”
When Vox contacted Whole Foods to confirm the story, however, public relations representative Ivy Goldberg claimed, “At this time there is no plan for a new store opening in that location.”
Due to confidentiality agreements, it seems that all of the involved parties seem wary of confirming the news.
Although Stroman declined to identify the company, he did reveal that the lease will not be signed for at least two more weeks. Boston Properties expects to complete the Square 54 project in early 2011.
These rumors follow Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s rejection of a proposal that would have opened a Whole Foods within blocks of the 2200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW location. In March, the Washington Business Journal reported that Fenty had rejected a bid from Toll Brothers Inc. to develop the West End Library and Fire Station—a bid which included plans for a Whole Foods store, according to the Flyer.
To date, area residents’ requests for a local grocery store have largely been ignored. The Foggy Bottom Association, a neighborhood group, conducted a survey in 2009 to determine the retail needs of residents. 92 percent of respondents cited grocery as a service missing from the neighborhoods of Foggy Bottom and the West End, despite the presence of Trader Joe’s on 25h St. NW. Whole Foods was residents’ top choice to fill the void, followed by Giant Foods, Harris Teeter, and Safeway.
Photo from Flickr user “spiderpop” used under a Creative Commons license.