The first Whole Foods store in Prince George’s County will open April 12, the Texas-based chain announced this week.
The 40,000-square-foot store at 6621 Baltimore Ave. (Route 1) in Riverdale Park will expand the grocery shopping options for residents in the booming Route 1 corridor.
This is the latest development opening in the area near the University of Maryland’s College Park campus in recent years. Just two miles north, a four-star hotel and other retail and restaurants are set to open this summer.
The grocery store will feature a venue with a self-serve fresh brewed coffee and espresso services, and a “superfruit acai bowl bar and self-serve mochi.” Whole Foods officials said it is designed for self-service ease in all departments and will sell new and locally sourced and seasonal products.
“We’re excited to join Riverdale’s vibrant and growing community with the opening of our first Whole Foods Market in Prince George’s County,” said Pia DaSilva, the Riverdale store’s team leader said in a statement. “The store will be a great addition to Riverdale and a new gathering place for the community.”
The opening ends years of waiting for the upscale grocery, a project that officials say symbolizes the county’s progress and an opportunity to drive economic development in this portion of Prince George’s County. The Route 1 corridor is an area where the county is focusing revitalization efforts, and where it hopes to attract more upscale retail and dining options.
The Whole Foods store is part of a $250 million mixed-used development known as Riverdale Park Station, at a site north of East-West Highway. The project, planned by the Cafritz family, also includes a boutique hotel, other retail and residences. County officials said it will generate nearly $5 million a year in tax revenue for the county.
The high-end grocery was first proposed to open in January 2015, but the project was delayed for years in a contentious approval process that entailed legal battles, lengthy hearings and public outcry in Riverdale Park and in the adjacent communities of College Park and University Park.
After the project was approved, it faced major setbacks with the storm-water management plan, the relocation of utilities and construction of a required bridge crossing that will provide vehicular, bike and pedestrian access between the new development and M Square, the University of Maryland Research Park.
While some residents opposed the development because they believe it will exacerbate the area’s traffic problems, others said it was about time Whole Foods opens shop in Prince George’s.
This month, Whole Foods opened a store in the busy H Street NE corridor in the District. The company has also announced plans to open stores in the District’s Shaw and Nationals Park neighborhoods. Also this month, a Whole Foods in Northwest D.C. voluntarily closed for renovation after another visit from health code officials.