Reston, VA

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market will shutter its doors in Reston Town Center permanently on Sept. 20 following a lawsuit by Boston Properties over unpaid rent.

All employees will be relocated to nearby McLean, Bethesda and Alexandria stores, according to a company spokesperson.

“With their incredible fresh food selections, chef-prepared offerings, top-notch catering team, as well as award-winning wine, beer and cheese departments, these stores really showcase what Balducci’s does best,” said Judy Spires, CEO of Balducci’s Food Lover’s Markets.

The New-Jersey-based grocery store allegedly failed to pay more than $225,000 in rent since December, according to a lawsuit by Boston Properties filed in June.

The store opened on the ground floor of The Signature apartments in June 2018. The company declined to comment on the reason for the closure or the pending lawsuit.

Boston Properties says that it sent three default notices to the company, which signed a 19,930-square-foot-lease at 1871 Fountain Drive.

Photo via Balducci’s 

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Boston Properties has filed a lawsuit against Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market alleging that the New-Jersey based grocery has failed to pay more than $225,000 in rent since December.

The lawsuit, which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal, was filed last month against Balducci’s Virginia LLC, which signed a 19,930-square-foot lease at 1871 Foundrive Drive in April 2016.

The grocer opened in June 2018 on the ground floor of The Signature apartments.  According to WBJ, the lease was changed a few months later to “provide rent relief” to the business.

“Balducci’s VA has continued to operate its grocery store business through the Covid-19 emergency period, and, on information and belief, has taken significant revenue during the emergency period as business that was allowed to continue operating as an essential service,” according to the complaint.

Here’s more from WBJ on three default notices sent to the company:

On Feb. 25, the Boston Properties affiliate sent Balducci’s a written default notice, which the grocer received the following day, according to court documents. Boston Properties claims in the lawsuit that, at that point, Balducci’s had failed to pay $95,157.07 in past due rent, following that up with another default notice two months later.

In an April 7 notice sent to Balducci’s VA, and received April 8, per the lawsuit, Boston Properties notified Balducci’s it had applied $189,244.33 of the retailer’s security deposit to the outstanding rent balance and demanded Balducci’s replenish the security deposit within three days by paying that same amount. It did not, per court documents.

On April 28, according to court documents, Boston Properties sent a “Final Notice of Continuing Default and Notice of Termination of the Relief Period,” demanding payment of $226,703.15, which was not remitted, according to the lawsuit. “Balducci’s VA did not pay any amount to Block 4 for May 2020 charges that were due under the Lease on May 1, 2020,” the suit states.

As of June 3, Boston Properties was seeking $256,436.37 in damages and an additional $226,703.15 if that amount was not paid by June 29, on top of attorney’s fees, interest and all other payments not made throughout the legal process, according to its complaint.

Balducci’s has eight locations throughout the country, including one in Alexandria, McLean and Bethesda.

Photo via Balducci’s

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In response to the novel coronavirus, several local stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors and high-risk customers.

We’ve rounded up what we know so far about these hours, although some grocers have not defined the age minimum for being classified as a senior.

Here’s the latest update on specialized shopping hours for seniors and high-risk people:

  • Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market: First hour of shopping every day
  • Target: First hour of shopping on Wednesdays
  • Giant: Individuals who are age 60 or above and people with compromised immune systems between 6-7 a.m.
  • Safeway (Hunters Woods and South Lakes Village Centers): Between 7-9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, according to store representatives
  • Walgreens: Tuesdays from 8-9 a.m., also open to caregivers and immediate families
  • Trader Joe’s: Mondays from 9-10 a.m.
  • Whole Foods Market: The location at 11660 Plaza America Drive opens at 8 am., but guests age 60 and above can shop at 7 a.m.
  • Though MOM’s Organic Market in Herndon isn’t hosting specialized hours yet, a store staffer said that headquarters is considering options to keep shoppers safe.
  • Sprouts Farmers Market in Herndon does not have special hours, a customer service representative said.

We’ll update this list as we hear from more local businesses about next steps.

Ashley Hopko contributed reporting

Photo by cbreezy

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Alcorn Postpones Budget Town Hall — Hunter Mill District Supervisor has postponed an upcoming town hall on the 2021 budget “due to the uncertainty of the impacts of coronavirus on county operations and resources.” [Fairfax County Government]

Northam Pushes 10-person Limit at Gyms, Restaurants — “Restaurants, gyms, and theaters in Virginia will not serve more than 10 customers at a time under an order the governor issued Tuesday in response to the coronavirus. Gov. Ralph Northam also urged Virginians to comply with new federal guidelines not to gather in groups of more than 10 and for people older than 65 to self-quarantine.[U.S. News & World Report]

Juvenile Robbed in Herndon — A juvenile was robbed and assaulted by another juvenile on the 600 block of Dulles Park Court on March 11. The case is under investigation. [Herndon Police Department]

Department of Motor Vehicle Centers Close — All state DMV centers are closed until April 2. Driver and vehicle credentials have been extended for 60 days. [Virginia DMV]

Balducci’s Reserves First Hour of Shopping for Seniors — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market in Reston Town Center is reserving the first hour of shopping for elderly and high-risk customers. [Balducci’s]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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As summer draws to a close, the annual Dog Daze event is tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Community members are invited to bring their dogs to the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) and let their friendly four-legged friends take a dip in the community pool.

All ages are welcome to attend, though dog handlers must be 18 or older. This event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

A $10 d0nation is suggested for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. There will be prizes and treats for both people and their pets.

Saturday (Sept. 7) 

  • 2019 Craft Market Season (8 a.m.) — Local vendors can show off their arts while community members check out the nearby farmers market. This event is free and will be located at Lake Ann Plaza
  • Elephant and Piggy Day (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) — This free event will take place at the Reston Regional Library Branch and feature lifesize characters from Mo Willems’ “Elephant and Piggy” series. Families are welcome to stop by to meet the characters and take a selfie.
  • Wine Tasting at Balducci’s (2-5 p.m.) — The restaurant is having a wine tasting event with its new private stock from California. Participants can get 25% off when buying 12 or more bottles.
  •  Author Peter Kageyama (8 p.m.) — Author Peter Kageyama will speak at the Reston Community Center about how Reston fits into his version of an ideal city.  Tickets are $15, and his books are available for purchase before and after the presentation.

Sunday (Sept. 8) 

  • 18th Annual Herndon Rotary Car Show (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Sponsored by the Herndon Rotary International, this show will feature cars of various makes and models. The event is free for everyone, and there will be prizes offered for registered participants who bring their cars. Later in the day, there will be a panel discussion. It will be held at 777 Lynn Street.
  • Beehive: The 60’s Musical” (showings at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) — This 60s’ themed performance highlights six women and groups who made an impact on music including the Shirelles, Supremes, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin.
  • Healthy Kids Running Series (3:30 p.m.) — This fun-run event will feature 50- and 75-yard dashes, the quarter-mile, the half-mile and the one-mile run for kids ages 2-14. Top-performing kids in each category will receive a trophy. Registration is $10 on-site at YMCA Fairfax County Reston.
  • Lake House Open House (3-5 p.m.) — Community members are invited to the lake house for a social gathering with their neighbors. Light refreshments will be served and people can learn about how the space can serve them.
  • Country Dance (5:30-8:30 p.m.) — This event invites community members 18 years of age or older to join in a social dance session featuring line dancing, swing and two-step. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents. It will take place at the Reston Community Center.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Reston Town Center is celebrating National Picnic Day with a pop-up picnic today (Tuesday).

Several town center businesses will offer deals for the picnic, which will be located at 11900 Market Street. All are encouraged to bring lunch to the pavilion to “celebrate great weather” and a “fun picnic atmosphere,” according to event organizers.

Restaurants will offer the following specials:

  • Balducci’s (1871 Fountain Drive) — 10% off entire purchase all day
  • Le Pain Quotidien (11909 Democracy Drive) — Receive a free drink with purchase of the Tartine of the Day (Salmon & Ricotta)
  • Peet’s Coffee (11830 Freedom Drive) — Purchase one pound of coffee and receive $2 off and a free drip coffee
  • Ted’s Bulletin (11948 Market Street) — Receive a free Ted’s Tart with purchase of any take out meal

Photo via TAA PR

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After closing its location in The Spectrum in 2005, Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market has officially returned to Reston. The gourmet food retailed opened today on the ground floor of The Signature, a 508-unit apartment building.

Seventy spaces in a garage primarily for residents of The Signature are set aside for Balducci’s customers. The first two hours of parking is free and no app is required.

The grand opening celebration kicked off at 11 a.m. today with a champagne sabering, live music and a ceremony led by Judy Spires, CEO of Balducci’s. During the weeklong celebration from Friday (June 22) through July 1, there will be a 10 percent discount on all purchase. Tastings and demonstration will also be held throughout the week. Today, around 400 additional parking spaces will be available for customers.

“We’ve combed the globe for the most exciting specialty foods–and of course that includes the very best of what’s local. Here you’ll find an incredible array of offerings from the freshest, sweetest day-boat sea scallops sourced right here in the Chesapeake Bay to Japanese Miyazaki A5 Wagyu beef,” said Spires in a statement. “We like to think that if Marco Polo had his dream pantry, this would be it.”

The company, which is headquartered in Germantown, Md.,  has other locations in Alexandria and McLean. The store in Reston is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Photos via Samantha Emmerling

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A local ‘dream house’ – This millennial couple used eBay, Craigslist and Ikea to design their dream house in Reston. The 29-year-old photographer and her 30-year-old husband transitioned from a group house in Herndon to a modern house that one Washington writer says “looks like a million bucks.” [The Washingtonian]

Opening celebrations — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market officially opens on Friday. Special tastings and chef demonstrations will be offered this weekend. [Reston Town Center]

STRETCH for it — Five local artists have been selected to participate in the art invitational, which challenges selected artists to create new work based on the prompt, “If you could do anything, what would that be?” [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Burglary reported in garage — Someone entered a garage on the 9700 block of Lindsay Blake Lane on June 18 and stole a bike. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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