Saturday, May 14, 2016
Giant to anchor new Westwood Shopping Center in Westbard redevelopment
Other additions to the new store will include a larger organic produce selection in a "market-style" produce department, a greater range of natural and organic foods, an expanded selection of ethnic and international foods, a large deli serving hot food, and 200 gourmet cheeses displayed on a "cheese island." In the bakery, Giant will add a muffin cart, bagel bin and bread bar.
Separately from the official Equity One announcement, a source told me that in its negotiations to return, Giant sought to avoid any closure of the current Westwood store prior to the new store being ready for occupancy. Whether they got that assurance is only known to Ahold and Equity One as of this writing.
Based on previous renderings, the new grocery store structure will be on the empty portion of the parking lot over near Westland Middle School. We'll have to wait for official word from Equity One on the staging schedule, however.
I think this particular announcement is a win for Equity One and the community. The current store is the best Giant in Bethesda. Only Wegmans would have been a step up; certain other chains could have been a step down. The new urban Wegmans design requires about 10000 more SF than Equity One had set aside for the grocery store footprint. And this being the most profitable Giant store in their chain, it's not surprising that Ahold would be interested in staying on in the new development.
The existing Giant lease expires in 2019; Equity One says the new agreement amends that 1959 lease.