The Washington Post

Crystal City builder wooing Whole Foods

Vornado Realty Trust, the real estate developer that owns most of Crystal City, is working to bring a Whole Foods Market grocery store to the corner of 12th and South Eads streets near the border of Crystal City and Pentagon City in Arlington.

The site is two blocks east of the Pentagon City Metro station, where Vornado plans two high-end apartment buildings.

Vornado has not announced that a deal is complete, but at last night’s meeting of the Arlington County Planning Commission, Vornado’s Toby Millman told commissioners that the company is negotiating with Whole Foods to open a store in one of the apartment buildings Vornado plans near Metropolitan Park, according to people at the meeting.

Millman and Vornado have not responded to requests for comment, but Angie Fox, president and chief executive of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, attended the meeting and wrote Tuesday evening that “Whole Foods is coming to Crystal City!” on Twitter.

In an interview Wednesday, Fox cautioned that she did not speak for Vornado and that no deal had been finalized, but said that the negotiations had been going on for months as Vornado works through the details of its plans for the property. “We could not be more excited about the possibility and hope the community review process for the project design will support this amazing effort,” Fox said.

A spokeswoman for Whole Foods, Defausha Hampton, also cautioned that no deal had been finalized. “At this time there are no firm plans to open in Crystal City, but we are always actively seeking new locations,” she said in an e-mail.

Grocery stores are aggressively adding new locations in the Washington area, with Whole Foods adding a new store in Foggy Bottom and briefly considering a new store in Southeast D.C. near Nationals Park, before that deal fell apart.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.



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