Visions For Vacancies: Anchor at Tall Oaks

This large space has been available for more than a year.

This week's Visions for Vacancies takes us to the granddaddy of Reston space for lease - the anchor spot at Tall Oaks Village Center.

The store has been empty since April of 2011, when Compare Foods - the second international grocery in two years- shut its doors.

Longtime anchor Giant Foods left Tall Oaks in 2007. In its place was international supermarket Fresh World, which closed in 2009 despite signing a 10-year lease. Compare Foods moved in in the fall of 2009 and was gone within 18 months.

Among them - so visibility from main roads, competition from other nearby shopping centers and a changing demographic close to the center. However, the demographic may be changing again with the 2013 opening of the Weihle Metrorail station and associated nearby development.

The grocery store space has new commercial real estate representation. Over the last several months, rumored new tenants have included a Dollar General and Gold's Gym, but Patch could not confirm any lease signings.

What do you want to see here? Tell us in the comments below.


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DGeorge July 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I too would cast my vote for a grocery store. Wholefoods or TJs would be good but a gourmet specialty store would be better. I wonder why Balduccis didn't make it in Reston? I liked the international markets, but I have to agree, they didn't make the groceries very appealing. The store just didn't seem clean.
DGeorge July 31, 2012 at 05:55 PM
One thing I hate about Wholefoods is the miserable parking lot at Plaza America. There are times of the day when it is just not worth the hassle of trying to park there. Tall Oaks would give them a parking lot to themselves.
Stella McEnearny July 31, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Aldi Foods. Reston could use a good, reliable discount grocer, and Aldi - I often go to the ones in Woodbridge and Manassas - is a real boon to the budget.
SRobinson July 31, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Yep, we need a bigger whole foods with a decent amount of parking. This would be a gereay spot!
Tammi Petrine July 31, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Magruders is the perfect fit; smaller, local produce and fantastic prices!
Jenn G July 31, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Aldi is owned by the same company as TJ’s. They require very low-rent locations. Magruder's or Balducci’s would be nice. But a total facelift to the center would help.
Alice T July 31, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I personally think Trader Joe's britches have grown too big for it: their quality seems to have gone down. Or maybe it's Virginia vs. California. Or maybe I've become too snobby. I would love to see a grocery store that specializes in ethnic foods and high-quality produce, at a reasonable price.
Sheila Barrows July 31, 2012 at 08:00 PM
How about Mom's? There's one in Herndon, but that's a distance.
Orlina Tucker July 31, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Ace Hardward; it would be nice to have an alternative to Home Depot! Rumor has it that a Gold's Gym is moving into that space. We've had 2 ethnic grocery store anchors, both failed. We've had a Giant anchor, that failed. There's way too much competition for yet another grocery store to make a go of it in that space. Also, for those of us who live right off the path between Tall Oaks VC and the affordable housing communities...having a vendor that sells alcohol w/i walking distance is a nightmare!! Trash, violet crime resulting from drinking parties in the woods....that's not what I, as a homeowner, really want in my cluster.
Karen Goff July 31, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Robin - you may be on to something. A bowling alley might do well there.
Deb's Pet Care July 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Josh, I think Wegmans is a great idea!! Golds Gym isnt bad either. I think the center needs to open onto Wiehle if it's a grocery store, though. Apparently, being tucked away isn't very well.
Karen Goff July 31, 2012 at 11:20 PM
As much as I love Wegman's (enough to want to move in there), that spot is too small for a Wegman's, unless they razed the whole shopping center and started over.
Alice T August 01, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Ace hardware would be nice. I hate Home Depot.
The Convict August 01, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Reston has enough grocery stores already. What Reston doesn't have is a gunsmith and shooting range. Maybe the NRA could open an annex of their Jermantown facility there.
Skip Endale August 01, 2012 at 01:33 PM
We need a bike co-op where you can bring your bike and have it serviced by young talent recruited from high school, college or volunteers. There are other bike co-ops elsewhere that are doing well. The bike shops here in town are good but they have a huge backlog and sometimes, perhaps for that reason do a bad job. Instead of selling new vehicles a typical bike co-op typically only refurbishes bikes which makes it possible for low income families to purchase their preferred method of transportation. Lastly, Tall Oaks is close to the new metro so a new bike co-op only makes sense.
Sandy Sklarew August 01, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Granto3 Tall Oaks Fellowship house is right there. Those folks need a supermarket as do residents in the area. Also, it's time for the Tall Oaks Shopping Center to be renovated like the Hunters Woods Shopping Center was--with an eye on visibility. Magruders would be a good choice as the supermarket. It offers affordable products. Balducci's and Whole Foods are too upscale and Trader Joe's doesn't offer enough products. I agree that Wegman's is too big for the area. I hope a good decision is made soon.
Connie Hartke August 01, 2012 at 10:02 PM
I talked with a couple who live off Ring Road. They shop at the Giant at North Point but would love not to have to cross Baron Cameron for their shopping. My neighbor and I live in South Reston but we are over that way several times a week and would definitely shop at a new Giant at Tall Oaks instead of the rundown, miserable 2 Safeways we have over here. My neighbor doesn't -- she goes to Wegmans, Whole Foods and the Giant at Fox Mill. I shop weekly at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Mom's Organic in Herndon, but I do have to go to a regular grocery for certain basic things once a week. The fact that Giant failed before is old history and they really should look again at coming back with a fresh face and good service.
Stella McEnearny August 02, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Well, Jenn, the shopping center where one of the two Aldis in Manassas is located is quite nice - Shops at Signal Hill, I think it's called. It's quite large, with a Starbucks, Shoppers, Panera, etc., so not really low-rent. There's a variety of income levels in Reston, and many would appreciate a discount grocer like Aldi. I'd also favor a Magruder's, though - great produce.
Stella McEnearny August 02, 2012 at 01:24 AM
That's a very important point, Sandy - the people at Tall Oaks Fellowship House really need, and deserve, a supermarket. Magruder's or an Aldi would be ideal for them - and for the people on both sides of North Shore going downhill from the center. I'm afraid another ethnic grocer might fail, as two in that spot already have.
Karen Goff August 02, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Just FYI - Tall Oaks is not a Fellowship House (those are at Lake anne and Hunters Wood). Tall Oaks is assisted living, which provides many meals.
DGeorge August 02, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Im not sure that the Giant "failed" financially at Tall Oaks. I think they found that they made more money somewhere else. Giant was sold to a company in Europe that has had a shaky financial picture. I believe, with the right tenant, that Tall Oaks would be a success.
Connie Hartke August 02, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Interesting item if true David (Giant did not fail financially)! I hope the new commercial real estate representation will look at this and go court some NORMAL grocery store. Where I can buy my Fancy Feast cat food (the only kind she'll eat), Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels . . .all the things that WF, TJ's don't sell. Because I will still go to them for fresh fish (WF), good deals on wine (TJ's).
Laura Beth Johansen Cohn August 02, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I will likely be flamed by fellow Restonians, but the new "Walmart Neighborhood Market" concept (about 1/4 the size of a regular Walmart) - just groceries and pharmacy, would do great in that location! http://www.walmartstores.com/pressroom/Photos/Gallery.aspx?id=442
Connie Hartke August 02, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Laura - you are a brave woman and I applaud you.
Uncle Smartypants August 02, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Aw, Laura Beth, we wouldn't flame you! As I mentioned in a previous thread on this subject, at this point we'll take any grocery we can get. If it is a mini-Walmart, so be it. I will personally quell any revolution amongst my Tall Oaks neighbors, who are typically Reston; initially resistant to new ideas but easily persuaded.
Laura Beth Johansen Cohn August 04, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Wow - I am pleasantly surprised that I did not trigger anti-Walmart rage! I actually sent a message to Walmart's corporate headquarters with my suggestion...no reply yet :o)
Stella McEnearny August 05, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Plenty of people here with no interest at all in tennis...
Stella McEnearny August 05, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I'd gladly welcome another TJ's! The one already here in Reston gets plenty of business; it's always crowded. We could use one in Tall Oaks.
Stella McEnearny August 05, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Not a bad idea at all, Laura Beth... Tall Oaks desperately needs those goods and services.
Kathrine August 15, 2012 at 07:57 PM
As a nearby resident I would like to see a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods and Starbucks or Panera.


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