Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whole Foods and HoCo

First things first; Whole Foods will never locate in a Columbia village center, not in any foreseeable future anyway. The reason is that there is simply not enough population density and corresponding demographics to support it.

It will likely be awhile before they will locate anywhere in HoCo too. The reason for that is Wegmans. About  a year ago I heard that either Whole Foods or Fresh Market was close to making a deal with GGP for the Gateway Overlook shopping center but when they caught wind of Wegmans impending arrival they demurred.

Wegmans is your basic category killer for high end grocers. Their stores are three times the size of a Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

So will Whole Foods or Fresh Market ever come to HoCo?

In my not so humble opinion, the greatest likelihood of that happening would be in Columbia Town Center, in five years or so, in the Crescent District behind Merriweather Post Pavilion. And that would have to be in conjunction with the development of a few high end condominium projects to support it.

And while I am on the subject of retail, kudos to the Columbia Association for hosting a retail seminar with Tom Moriarity this past Monday. If another entity like GGP or the Howard Hughes Corporation had hosted this event it would have been derided by the flat earth society members as self serving.  
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