Can Tysons Corner become the urban utopia some envision without a Whole Foods?
The organic grocer, which already has a store down Route 7 at the Idylwood Plaza Shopping Center in Falls Church, is looking to fill that gap. It has been scouring Tysons in search of a mixed-use development in which to open a store, according to some of the area’s most prominent developers.
“I think Whole Foods wants to be in Tysons but they haven’t landed yet,” said Stephen Cumbie, chief executive and principal of NV Commercial, which owns property near the Greensboro Metro station. “They’ve looked at our site and they’ve looked at some other sites. I sort of think it’s just a matter of finding the right fit.”
Whole Foods has been aggressively adding stores in growing parts of D.C., announcing last fall that it would open stores near the Nationals Park and on H Street Northeast and was interested in having a store at the former Walter Reed Army Hospital.
A spokeswoman for the grocer, Eleanor McManus, said in an e-mail that “Whole Foods is always looking to further its commitment to the area.” But she said the company did not comment on prospective stores if there were not signed leases.
“We get many requests to be in areas but it is our practice not to discuss anything until a lease is signed,” she said.
Other landowners, however, said it was likely just a matter of time.
“They want to be in Tysons. We’ve talked to them. They’ve talked to everybody else,” said Tom D. Fleury, executive vice president at Cityline Partners, which is developing the largest portfolio of properties in Tysons.
Aaron Georgelas, partner at the Georgelas Group, who is developing a project near the Spring Hill Metro station, also said he expected Whole Foods to move into the neighborhood.
“They’re definitely in the market,” he said.
Georgelas said he thought the most likely landing spot for Whole Foods was in the future redevelopment of the SAIC campus, now owned by Bethesda developer Meridian Group.
G. David Cheek, president of the Meridan Group, declined to comment.
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