The closure fits with Safeway’s strategy in the area recently, in which it has closed some of its older stores with fewer offerings and focused on updating its existing larger stores and building new ones, often as part of mixed-use developments. The Watergate Safeway, sometimes nicknamed the “Senior” Safeway based on some of its elderly clientele, is only 16,000 square feet.
Safeway’s lease is expiring and, as we reported in September, the infamous building is under contract to Penzance, in a deal expected to close later this year.
“Our lease was up, we ran out of options on it, and the ownership situation was pretty tenuous,” said Craig Muckle, Safeway manager of public affairs.
Watergate residents may now have to trek to the new Whole Foods in the area.
Safeway is moving ahead with other projects in which its stores will anchor new mixed-use developments. It is partnering with Patriot Realty and Foulger-Pratt to build a nearly 60,000-square-foot new Safeway with 486 apartments on top in Wheaton.