It is official: Alexandria is getting a new Wegmans grocery store!
Transplants just don't understand the magic that is Wegmans. A friend who recently moved to the Commonwealth told me his favorite grocery store was Food Lion. I had to resist the urge to smack him. Instead, I decided to open his eyes to the wonder of Wegmans. Want to know what he said as soon as he walked in?
"I was so wrong."
On the surface, Wegmans is just a grocery store. However, Virginians and other East Coasters know that Wegmans is so much more than that. From beer and wine to pre-cooked dinners, from pizza to sushi, and, of course, groceries, Wegmans pretty much has it all.
Which is why the company has decided to build a new 84,000-square-foot grocery store in Alexandria, Virginia. The new grocery store will be built at Hoffman Town Center and took months to negotiate. The store will actually be on the second floor of the building being built at the corner of Stovall and Mandeville Streets. Putting a grocery store on the second story of a building required StonebridgeCarras to focus specifically on allowing for tractor trailers to make deliveries to the store.
We think grocery stores help make a neighborhood, so the challenge here was which grocery store, and would they go on the second floor. Without them going on the second floor, you can’t enliven the street," CEO Doug Firstenberg explained. "It took a lot of brain damage, but we got the loading on the second level."
From the very beginning, Wegmans insisted that the loading docks be on the same level as the store. Otherwise, workers would have to transport deliveries up an entire story. The solution they reached gives Wegmans a 4,000-square-foot area on the project's ground floor to process deliveries. It is not uncommon for a Wegmans grocery store to top 140,000 square feet, so the new Alexandria location will be noticeably smaller than the typical Wegmans.
As a part of the development's "mixed-use" project, a 700,000+ square-foot residential building will also go up, featuring at least 30 condos, 400 apartments, and 200 senior living units. So, if you are crazy about Wegmans, you could move to be a literal stone's throw away from their new location!
Construction will begin sometime in 2019 and will finish up a year or two after, so you'll have to wait a little bit longer before you get to enjoy a Wegmans sub sandwich in Alexandria. Until then, you will have to shop at Wegmans' other locations in Kingstowne, Fairfax, Sterling, Leesburg, Woodbridge, and Gainesville.
This isn't the only Wegmans expansion project in Northern Virginia. Another store is being built in Chantilly, which is expected to open to the public in mid-2018. The company is also working on plans to open a grocery store inside D.C. by the year 2022. For years, Safeway has had a covenant with the District of Columbia preventing other grocery stores from being built in certain areas of the city. However, this year has seen a jump in the number of proposed grocery store expansions in the District, with Trader Joe's and Whole Foods also planning new locations.
What's your favorite Northern Virginia grocery store? Let us know in the comments below!