Wegmans nears deal to open by Reston Town Center

A Wegmans is likely headed for Reston, albeit in a different spot than originally thought.

Two sources confirmed to the Washington Business Journal that the Rochester, New York-based grocery giant has a signed letter of intent with Brookfield Properties for a store in its proposed Reston Crescent development adjacent to the future Reston Town Center Metro station. The store would be an urban-format size of about 80,000 square feet, similar to what the retailer will open on Capital One’s Tysons headquarters campus.

A representative with Brookfield declined to comment.

In May, WBJ reported that Wegmans was eyeing a 23-acre office park on Association Drive in Reston as part of its D.C.-area expansion, with several nearby sites as backups. It apparently has moved on to one of the backups. Foulger-Pratt, developer of the Association Drive site, is still working to assemble the land by striking deals with roughly a dozen office property owners there, another source said.

Wegmans’ commitment to Brookfield likely means the 3.88 million-square-foot Reston Crescent will have to be redesigned. The current overall plan is for just shy of 64,000 square feet of retail, but that is spread out over five buildings in batches ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 square feet, according to the original proposal filed with Fairfax County in March of 2016. The county has not yet scheduled hearings on that application.

Brookfield said in its initial statement of justification that the retail will be scattered in “strategic locations throughout the property so as to meet tenants, residents and visitors’ needs without overwhelming the market with unneeded and underutilized retail space.” But it also said it wanted to reserve the right to double the retail space should the market call for it.

As it stands now, Reston Crescent is a 36-acre area that’s home to two six-story office buildings, a parking structure and two stormwater management ponds at what will be the south entrance to the Metro station, scheduled to open in 2020. In addition to the retail, Brookfield’s plan calls for 2,260 residential units in seven buildings, 1.1 million square feet of office (including the existing 385,000 square feet at 12000 and 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), and an option for a 160-room hotel.

The project is among several large redevelopments in the pipeline that will add thousands more residents and workers to the area between the Wiehle-Reston East and Reston Town Center Metro stops. Reston Crescent is an ambitious and unusual plan for Brookfield in the Washington area, where office dominates its 8.7 million-square-foot portfolio. Inside and out of D.C., Brookfield is advancing into larger mixed-use projects — partnering with Douglas Development Corp.on 655 New York Ave. NW in the District, and with the 7 million-square-foot Hudson Yards in New York.

Wegmans, which will open its first District location on the soon-to-be formerFannie Mae campus some time after 2021, is in big expansion mode across Northern Virginia. It has stores open in Dulles, Fairfax, Kingstowne, Leesburg, Woodbridge and Gainesville. A store is under construction in Chantilly, and the Capital One location is expected to deliver in late 2018. A smaller-format store may also be in the works for StonebridgeCarras’ mixed-use center at Alexandria’s Hoffman Town Center.