No sooner than it announced plans to open a store on H St., Northeast, Whole Foods Market is already eyeballing another location in DC. This time, the supermarket chain is looking at the redevelopment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and it has a good shot of landing there with Wegmans sliding out of the mix.
Scott Allhouse, the head of Whole Foods’s mid-Atlantic operations, says in a phone interview that the company has had its eye on Walter Reed for a while, it just didn’t partner up with any of the competing developers as the DC government awarded a contract for the site. Wegman’s had been banking on the city going with a bid by DC-based Roadside Development, but when the city awarded Walter Reed to a joint bid from Hines and Urban Atlantic, Wegman’s was quick to express its disappointment.
“We were leaving ourselves open,” Allhouse says. He also says Whole Foods has worked previously with Weingarten Realty, the firm picked by Hines and Urban Atlantic to develop Walter Reed’s retail space, and is starting to have conversations about the old hospital campus.
Allhouse says a Whole Foods at Walter Reed would ideally be between 50,000 and 55,000 square feet.