1 of 3 New, Big Markets Coming To Falls Church
The mood of celebration was palpable at the Eden Center Tuesday morning, breaking the lazy, monotonous par for an August in Falls Church with some happy energy and pep attending the ground breaking for what will become the largest international-style super market in the entire D.C. region.
The ceremonial ground breaking, replete with hard hats and shovels, involved leaders of the City of Falls Church officialdom, Eden Center representatives, and those of the Vietnamese-American community, for whom Eden Center, with its over 130 family-owned businesses, is the major center of retail and commerce on the entire eastern seaboard of the U.S.
“After 13 years, we have finally found the long-term, stable tenant for this space we’ve been looking for,” said Alan Frank, the general manager of the Eden Center. Since Ames Department store left in 2000, all the leases in the space had been short term, but now that’s over.
The event Tuesday was held in recognition of the beginning of demolition work on the building, removing a portion of its front section to leave 44,000 square feet for the new Good Fortune supermarket, scheduled to be open for business in the first quarter of 2014. The demolition will both right-size the market and provide additional parking.
Present were Falls Church civic A-listers, led by Vice Mayor David Snyder, who made welcoming remarks, State Del. Jim Scott, City Council members Phil Duncan, Ira Kaylin and David Tarter, Planning Commissioner Lindy Hockenberry and Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester. From the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce were executive director Sally Cole and former chair Gary LaPorta, and from the City’s Economic Development Office were Richard Goff and Becky Witsman.
By launching this project, the business owners based out of New York are not only taking a risk, and the City not only awaits the tax revenues that will be generated, but “it must be recognized the Eden Center is one of the major historic and cultural sites in the D.C. region,” Snyder said.
While the initial lease is for 20 years, Frank said, “This shopping center has been around since 1962, and it will be the Eden Center for generations to come.” He said that the center’s owner, Norman Ebenstein, was unable to make it up from Florida for the event, he will likely be there for the official opening of the store next spring.
“We intend this store to dominate the international supermarket field,” Frank said. “In breaking ground on the Good Fortune project, Eden Center opens a new chapter in development of the largest shopping center of its kind in the U.S.”
The project’s architect, Li Ka Fu,said that the new configuration will be energy efficient with new landscaping and better parking.
Earlier Tuesday, Goff and Witsman released the City Economic Development Office (EDO) latest monthly newsletter, announcing that another new supermarket, the Fresh Market, has signed the lease to go into the Lincoln Properties’ new Reserve at Tinner Hill mixed use project on S. Maple (current site of the International Motors dealership).
The third major new supermarket for the City, Harris Teeter, is on board with the final resolution of residual details to complete the acquisition of the 300 W. Broad St. properties by the Rushmark Group. The groundbreaking for that project is expected by the end of the year, according to the EDO report.
A smaller market, the Troika-Gastronom grocery store, has opened in the Tower Square shopping center with Russian and Eastern European grocery selections along the lines of their other store in McLean.
Developer Bob Young’s renovated mini-strip of retail sites has been spruced up with another of his art nouveau motifs, and along with Meat in a Box, other tenants are Five Rings Fitness, Ayoub Carpet and Smashburger (with a projected November opening).
Other new retail openings include Dominion Jewelers in its new building on the site of the former El Zunzal, Stylish Patina (vintage home furnishings) in Pearson Square near Creative Cauldron, Zinga Frozen Yogurt near Giant, Subway at 101 Annandale Road and its Edible Arrangements neighbor and downstairs from the new Ameriwell Chiropractic Service.
Two other frozen yogurt options have opened, one at 230 W. Broad, site of the former Natalia’s, called Tutti Frutti, and the other at 1075 W. Broad, called Orange Monkey. Bambu Desserts and Drinks is now open at 6771-B Wilson, and Pita Poche, on the Staples end of the Falls Plaza is waiting to open offering steak and chicken shawarma, Mediterranean style sandwiches.
Two popular local restaurants have made plans to expand, as well. Clare and Don’s has been granted a variance for a 600 square foot upper deck level above its existing outdoor seating area, with construction to commence this fall and completion by the spring. Dogwood Tavern has begun construction of a mezzanine level on top of their existing back patio that will feature a 15-seat full service bar, due to be ready by early September.