HITT Properties, which recently acquired 2.5 acres on the northeast corner of Falls Church’s main crossroads, Broad and Washington streets, unveiled plans behind closed doors to the Falls Church City Council last week that reportedly would include a huge 75,000 square foot “flagship” Whole Foods Market.
The world–class-sized store would anchor the company’s regional presence and transform Falls Church’s role as a destination location adjacent the Metro and interstate, developers say, according to News-Press sources.
But City of Falls Church officials emphasized to the News-Press yesterday that the report is unconfirmed and expressed concern that such an unconfirmed report is having a negative impact among potential parties involved. In this respect, City Manager Wyatt Shields stressed to the News-Press that there was no representative from HITT at Monday’s closed session.
Still, it has been noted that a Whole Foods Market that went into the 14th Street corridor in Washington D.C. anchored the transformation of that entire part of the nation’s capital, bringing new residents and businesses pouring in in a cascading effect that has not yet abated a decade later.
Observers have noted that HITT obviously feels that having a huge market within blocks of the Harris Teeter it is now constructing in the 300 block of W. Broad will not hurt Harris Teeter business, but is on the notion of the kind of “critical mass” that attracts massive amounts of new business and dollars to the City to the benefit of every business, including retail and restaurants.
Above the market, HITT wants to build 300 apartments, and adjacent it on land partially owned by it, and partially by the City of Falls Church, to work out a private-public partnership for a major parking garage that would serve the entire downtown Falls Church area, including the already-vibrant State Theatre live music venue there.
Whole Foods Markets have evolved into enormous multi-service destinations. A 64,000 square foot market in Fair Lakes, for example, that it describes as “an exciting and stimulating environment that makes food both a visual and sensory pleasure,” and adds, “In addition to the highest quality meats, seafood, fresh produce, cheese and prepared foods, the store offers five innovative restaurant venues plus a wine tasting room for a unique adventure in shopping, eating and exploring foods.”
Stressing “an exciting dining experience,” the Fair Lakes store features a seafood option that has fresh oysters, fish and chips, po-boys, ethnic and seasonal dishes and seafood soups. A smokehouse option offers pulled pork sandwiches, and Asian options include peking duck, noodle bowls, sushi and more. A Specialty eatery has artisan grilled cheeses and sandwiches, soups and cheese plates. All the eateries offer beer and wine, as well as kids’ menus. There are over 250 seats.
A sports bar with 18 TVs includes one with a 90 inch LED screen, and foods are prepared for on-site dining or takeout.
The Whole Foods organization is proud of being ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 to work for 14 years running, offering benefits, competitive wages, 20 percent discounts on store purchases and extensive training and opportunities for advancement.
The Falls Church Whole Foods proposal comes just a week after it was confirmed that the company has signed a lease for a 70,000 square-foot store at The Boro, a new Tysons development set to open sometime over the next few years. In addition, the Washington Business Journal reports that Whole Foods recently signed a lease for a 40,000 square-foot store in Northwest Washington, D.C.