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SPEAK OUT: Which Grocery Store Does Downtown Bethesda Need?

MOM's? Whole Foods? Dare we say...Wegman's? With a Harris Teeter and an as-yet-to-be-named market coming in to the Woodmont Triangle, we want to see what you think.

Grocery news is big news in Bethesda, and with a Harris Teeter now signed on at a new mixed-use development at 8300 Wisconsin Ave., we’re turning our attention to another market that’s planned for a new building just a few blocks south.

Developers JBG are planning a 444,000 square-foot residential building with 475 units and more than 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail at 7900 Wisconsin Avenue. The development will stretch from Wisconsin to Woodmont at St. Elmo avenues.

The modified development, formerly planned to be the site of the new Bethesda police station, will go before the Montgomery County Planning Board Feb. 14. The building will feature a through-block open space that will pass beneath a portion of the building, with retail lining Wisconsin, Woodmont and a portion of the open space.

Included in the retail concept? A 15,000-square-foot grocery store.

(Read more about the development at the Montgomery County Planning Board's website [PDF.]) You can also check out the renderings attached to this story.

After Patch broke the news that Harris Teeter will soon open in the nearby 8400 development, we heard from readers about what kind of market they’d like to see.

Patch commenter Phil McNeal wrote:

“Isn't another developer planning a grocery store just one bock south in the proposed 17-story 7900 Wisconsin Ave apartment building? We could use something a little more upscale like a Mom's Organics, Wegmans, or Whole Foods downtown."

We’d like to know what you think.

The northern portion of the Woodmont Triangle is certainly wanting for grocery stores, but what do you think about having two coming in so close together? Do you think Harris Teeter is a good choice for the 8300 Wisconsin development? Which grocery store would you like to see at 7900 Wisconsin? Does Bethesda need a more “upscale” grocery store downtown, like McNeal suggests? Tell us in the comments.

Laura L Thornton (Editor) February 07, 2013 at 06:58 PM
I would love for a MOM grocery store to open up in Bethesda. The closest one to me is in Rockville, but unless I'm up in Rockville already, it's a bit of a drive.
Erin Donaghue (Editor) February 07, 2013 at 07:31 PM
A Marvelous Market might be cool. They work well in small, urban spaces.
Diane Rowley February 07, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Wegmans! We had a marvelous market on Bethesda ave and it closed.
Eric S. February 07, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Realistically. . . I'd love to see a MOM's. Good food, fairly local, smaller chain. Or a Yes! market on that same note. Wegman's is too damned big for the area (awesome, but big). There's a Whole Foods on River Road, one in Friendship Heights, one in Tenleytown, and the one in Rockville moved closer. Seriously, we don't need another one, unless they move the River Road one (because it's the worst of the three for both parking and size). My other vote would be an H-Mart or similar sort of Asian market. I want to get my cheap produce and spices on already! Now, if you expand the question to all of Bethesda, I say bring Meijer out from the Great Lakes region already. Maybe toss it out by Montgomery Mall.
Erin Donaghue (Editor) February 07, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Wow! I didn't realize that. When did it close?
Erin Donaghue (Editor) February 07, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Good point on the Whole Foods. When I lived in Glen Echo Heights I could drive to those three all in ten minutes or under -- seems a bit excessive. Of course, my preference was Tenleytown because of the beer/wine selection!
Hillary February 07, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Wegmans! Definitely Wegmans! If it's too big for the space, maybe Trader Joes could move there and expand... their current location is way too confined- both in parking and in the actual store.
jag February 08, 2013 at 04:27 AM
This is a 15,000 sqft space - nowhere near a full-size grocery store. That severely limits the prospects. MOMs and Trader Joe's are already nearby - my money is on a Yes! Organic.
Jenn February 08, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Mom's is not nearly close enough and would work well - and what about the Dawson's Market that's up in Rockville? Would that be a good fit..
lele23 February 08, 2013 at 02:08 PM
MOM's, because it's locally owned, incredibly eco-friendly, and an amazing place. If, as jag says, there would not be enough space for MOM's, then Yes! Organic, because it's similar to MOM's but on a smaller scale.
Makduda February 08, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I would love to see Moms Organics or a Wegmans in Bethesda.
SUZANNE SPANIOL February 08, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Wegman's would be nice,but when I asked them about opening in Bethesda several years ago,they told me that they need a big footprint, and there was nothing large enough available. So if Bethedans really want a Wegman's, they need to put on their selling shoes and convince Wegman's that they can make a go of it in 15,000 sf.
Alan Bayles February 08, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Erin, We live in the Wildwood section of Bethesda but never see any news on the restaurants in our area or WJ HS for that matter. How about giving our area of the town some coverage. Thanks, Alan
Scott Orkin February 11, 2013 at 02:15 AM
So, most of you have probably never heard of it (I am originally from NY). But a Fairway would be just perfect for Bethesda. http://www.fairwaymarket.com/

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