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Deal to bring Wegmans to Tysons falls apart

The Wegmans store in Fairfax will have to suffice for now. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

For more than a year officials from Wegmans and one of the largest property owners in Tysons Corner have gone back and forth discussing a deal to build an urban format store next to an apartment-and-retail development near the McLean Metro station in Tysons.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Talks have ceased between representatives of the grocer and the developer, Cityline Partners, meaning that if Wegmans wants to open a store in Tysons it will have to find another location.

Donna P. Shafer, executive vice president at Cityline, confirmed Monday she was no longer considering a Wegmans for Scotts Run Station South, the project her company is building along the south side of Route 123, what is now a spread of parking lots and older office buildings. The store would have been on Colshire Drive, a short walk from the new McLean Metro station.

Shafer said the company will return to its original plan for retail, a mix of restaurants and entertainment. The project is still being designed and planned but is expected to have about 75,000 square feet of retail. In all, Scotts Run Station South will eventually have 6.7 million square feet of development.

“We’re going full steam ahead with our original plan which will have a very rich retail street with residential above,” Shafer said.

Jo Natale, director of media relations for Wegman Food Markets, declined to comment.

Shafer declined to say why the deal didn’t work out but it entailed far more complexities than the Rochester, N.Y. chain usually encounters in building its stores.

Wegmans traditionally builds stores of well over 100,000 square feet with large surface parking lots. In Tysons, it was considering one of its new “urban” stores of as few as 80,000 square feet, similar to one it opened in suburban Boston this spring. Roadside Development, based in D.C., would have developed the grocery space, with apartments upstairs.

New apartment buildings have cropped up near the new Metro stations in Tysons more quickly than new retail, with some exceptions. A complex anchored by Wal-Mart opened near the Tysons West stations and Macerich, owner of Tysons Corner Center, is opening up some new outward-facing stores in connection with its Tysons Tower project.

Grocery stores remain a particularly missing piece in the effort to turn Tysons from a sprawling mix of office parks into a series of urban neighborhoods. Despite the Fortune 500 companies and steak restaurants there are only two grocery stores in and around Tysons, although Whole Foods has been scouring the area for a site to build a store. The closest Wegmans is in Fairfax.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz