Why Wegmans Will Never Open at Tall Oaks

wegmansThe Reston community continues to chime in on what to do with the largely empty Tall Oaks Village Center. One answer pops up often: “I’d love to see a Wegmans there.”

Ah, Wegmans. It’s a happy place. With 11 kinds of salmon, a coffee bar, cheese so rare it’s kept in a locked case and a chef custom-making your lunchtime stir-fry. Restonians are clearly fans — but must travel to Sterling or Fair Lakes to get an $18 artisan fruit tart.

Could it be that the mostly available space at Wiehle Avenue and North Shore Drive would make gourmet grocery dreams come true?

Sorry, no.

“We are not considering this location,” Jo Natale, Wegmans Director of Media Relations for the Rochester, N.Y., based chain wrote in an email.

Wegmans didn’t become Wegmans by squeezing the stores into any old space. The company has requirements of 150,000 square feet for the store alone, along with 800 surface parking spots, says a local land use attorney.

That means Wegmans needs about 15 acres to be Wegmans. The Tall Oaks site is about seven acres — and the anchor store, which used to house a Giant Food, is only about 38,000 square feet.

And that’s before the discussion would even begin on the traffic pattern and access from Wiehle Avenue.

So to review — Wegmans is not interested and the site is not appropriate.

You’re still going to have to head to Loudoun County or Fair Lakes for the hand-silced Nova lox or a wine selection curated by someone who knows a Syrah from a Cabernet.

Photo: Wegmans/Credit: Wegmans

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