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Harris Teeter Eyeing New Bethesda Supermarket on Wisconsin Avenue

Is another grocery store needed in Bethesda?

Update, 5:45 p.m.: Responding to a request for comment for this story, Stonebridge principal Douglas Firstenberg told Patch in a voicemail message Wednesday afternoon, "In terms of 8300 Wisconsin, we do have plans for a grocery store at the project but we have not made any public comment on who that might be."

Original Post, 10 a.m.: Harris Teeter, rapidly-expanding in the Washington, D.C. metro area, may be opening a large grocery store on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda within the next two years.

The new 50,000-square-foot grocery store will be at the corner of Wisconsin and Battery Lane, part of the development being mapped by StonebridgeCarras at the site of the former Trillium project.

In a recent story, Bethesda Magazine reported that Stonebridge has Harris Teeter lined up as a tenant.

However, there maybe a few hurdles which remain to be cleared before the deal is finalized. A spokeswoman for Harris Teeter told Patch in an e-mail Tuesday that her company “has not signed a lease at that location.”

As previously reported by , the development on the northwest corner of Wisconsin and Battery Lane would include a high-rise apartment building (300-375 units) as well as the grocery store.

Right now there’s a large vacant lot enclosed by a fence at the proposed location for the store and apartment complex.

Harris Teeter already has a large store in North Bethesda off Rockville Pike. The North Carolina-based chain now has more than 200 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia.

By our unofficial count there are at least 12 supermarkets already operating in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. The Wisconsin-Battery Lane area however—where there are many homes—is generally under-served in terms of nearby supermarkets. So from that standpoint, the pending plans make sense.

Bethesda already has two large Giant Food stores (Arlington Road and Georgetown Square), two Safeway stores (the completely rebuilt store at Arlington Road and Bradley Blvd and another on Old Georgetown Road near Wisconsin), a Whole Foods Market on River Road and a Balducci’s in the Wildwood Center on Old Georgetown Road.

Chevy Chase has a refurbished Giant at Friendship Heights, two Safeways in Northwest DC, a brand new Whole Foods at Friendship Heights and a Trader Joe’s on Wisconsin Ave just above Bradley.

There are also independents Chevy Chase Supermarket in Chevy Chase Lakes and the Brookville Supermarket on Brookville Road as well as several smaller food outlets.

All of which leads to a logical question: Are there already too many supermarkets in Bethesda and Chevy Chase?  Or is increased competition for your food dollar welcome? Tell us in the comments.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed information to Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center director Ken Hartman. We regret the error.

judith doherty April 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM
I live on North Chelsea Lane, and yes, we need a supermarket at that end of Bethesda. It would help the community a lot. There are a lot of apartments in the surrounding area, as well as single family homes. Our corner of Bethesda seems forgotten and it's time to improve it.
Kika April 11, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Harris Teeter is a fabulous store and should be on Wisconsin and Battery, For all those in that area who do not have a vehicle and can not walk all the way to Safeway on Old Georgetown. In fact that store should be closed (its horrible) and just let the new Safeway on Bradley be the only one. We may have several supermarkets in Bethesda, but they are not all worth going to. Trish
Karla Gutierrez-Pugh April 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Harris Teeter is much better than Safeway & Giant. So yes, would welcome them in our area. Wish they would move in sooner.
Dona April 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I think we have enough grocery stores in this area, but I wouldn't mind a Wegmans nearby.
Cheryl April 14, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I live at the corner of Wisconsin and Bradley, and am in walking distance of Trader Joe's (across the street) the Safeway at Bradley (down the street), the Giant on Arlington (appx 20 min walk), and the Safeway on Old Georgetown (can walk it, but don't since the shuttle at Barnes&Noble will drop me at the front door). Harris Teeter would absolutely have to be a regular bus ride, but I would LOVE to add it to my list of options and have no doubt that I would patronize the store..
c haywood April 16, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I was involved in a food industry trade association for many years...as such...when I was in another city we generally would take a visit to a supermarket for various reasons...and then I would return home to a Giant and Safeway dominated market...the prices were high in comparison...the presentation and selection was sub par in comparison....a Harris Teeter in Bethesda would be a welcome addition as would a Wegmans......the new Safeway is certainly better than the old one...but compared to either of the two chains just mentioned...no comparison
Belle Young September 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Although Bethesda & surrounding areas are fairly saturated with supermarkets, a new Harris Teeter would be great...especially @ that location. It would attract many NIH & Walter Reed (NNMC) employees for lunch & shopping. My only concern (initially) is how would the parking be? Would Bethesda be able to sufficiently handle more parking/traffic? Just some...uh, food for thought!

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