Wegmans to open in DC, anchor Fannie Mae redevelopment

By Jeff Clabaugh • May 21st, 2017

 

WASHINGTON — The District’s first Wegmans grocery store will anchor the redevelopment of the Fannie Mae headquarters on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest.

It will likely open sometime in 2022.

A joint venture between D.C.-based Roadside Development and North America Sekisui House LLC (NASH) acquired the Fannie Mae campus last fall for $89 million and plans a mixed-use “urban village” redevelopment of the property that may include residential, retail and office space.

NASH is a subsidiary of Japan’s largest home-building company, Sekisui House Ltd.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser made the official announcement Sunday evening at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas.

Wegmans has been actively looking for a location in the District for several years and has held numerous discussions and meetings with the city and developers in its search for a store location.

It will be a bit of an engineering feat for Roadside, which will preserve the 60-year-old main headquarters building but incorporate Wegmans into the structure in an unusual way.

“What we’re actually doing will be holding up the building with a steel structure and we’re going to cut underneath the building and slide Wegmans into the basement of this existing building, and then create a whole new street and retail presence in the back,” Roadside’s Richard Lake told WTOP.

The store will not be below grade. It will open to a new street behind the building that will be part of the village.

Roadside still has not settled on the reuse of the remainder of the Fannie Mae building that fronts Wisconsin Avenue Northwest.

“Our plan is to convert that into either cultural and art uses and maybe residential, or it could be a hospitality high-end hotel and spa,” Lake said.

Renderings also show several other new buildings on the site, though no decisions have been made about the mix of uses.

“We are excited to be part of the redevelopment of this distinct site,” said Ralph Uttaro, senior vice president of real estate for Wegmans. “The District of Columbia is an ideal market for us and we look forward to serving new customers and offering a unique shopping experience there,” he said.

Wegmans will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, according to Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh.

“Sometimes, my residents are hesitant to embrace new business, but not this time. Wegmans’ values are in strong alignment with those of this District, and I look forward to welcoming this new community partner to Ward 3,” she said.

Roadside’s acquisition of the Fannie Mae headquarters, at 3900 Wisconsin Ave. NW, includes 10 acres of land and the original buildings that were constructed by Equitable Life Company in 1958 and 1962.

Fannie Mae is moving to its new headquarters at 1100 15th St. NW in about two years. Roadside expects to begin the site’s redevelopment immediately after Fannie Mae relocates.

Roadside’s development team includes D.C. architect firm Shalom Baranes Associates and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects.

Roadside’s past projects include CityMarket at O in Shaw and CityLine at Tenley in Tenleytown.

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