Monday, November 4, 2019

[EXCLUSIVE] Hugely Popular Regional Store Planning Georgia Debut

There is a store that, when it opens, thousands of people descend upon its doors.

There is a company that has appeared on Fortune's annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list every year since the list first appeared in 1998, and in 2018 was ranked No. 2  behind Salesforce.com.

There is a retailer that, despite the rise of internet shopping, still does incredibly well and continues to grow.

There is a store whose brand was used extensively in the popular NBC series "The Office."  

There is a store that was named "America's Favorite Grocery Store." 
Wegmans is that store... and they are coming to Atlanta!

ToNeTo Atlanta has learned that Wegmans has an LOI (letter of intent) in place for a new 80,000 square foot store in metro Atlanta. The store, which is slated for Perimeter Pointe in Sandy Springs, would be built in place of former anchors Stein Mart, Babies R Us and Michaels along Mount Vernon Highway.

Michaels relocated to the former Loehmann's in nearby Perimeter Place in 2015.  Babies R Us closed in 2018 as part of the chain's bankruptcy filing.  Last summer. the center's owner asked Stein Mart to terminate its lease early.  The early termination was due to what was described then as a planned "redevelopment."

In recent years, ToNeTo Atlanta had heard both Kroger and Whole Foods Market mentioned as having shown interest in the site.  Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that while Kroger made some headway in their plans to open in the center, the talks with Whole Foods "never went very far."

Perimeter Pointe shopping center 

Holiday pop-up "Santa's Fantastical" will open November 15 in the former Babies R Us and will remain in place until January 5.

If all goes well, Wegmans would open their new freestanding store in place of the three vacant anchors, a process that would, according to several real estate sources, take several months and is not yet scheduled.

For the uninitiated, Wegmans is a grocery store chain known for excellent prepared foods, a wide variety of traditional food products, extensive and high quality private label offerings, and in some locations, select hard-line goods and warehouse club sized products.  

Founded in 1916 and based in Rochester, New York, Wegmans on September 29 opened its 100th store in Raleigh, North Carolina, and on October 27 opened its 101st store in Brooklyn.  The Raleigh location is one of five stores that the company has planned for North Carolina in the coming years. Future stores are planned for West Cary, Cary, Chapel Hill and Wake Forest.  The North Carolina stores are among 14 upcoming locations that the company has listed on its website. North Carolina is the first of two new markets that the grocer plans to enter, and Delaware is the other.




Perimeter Pointe, owned by Beachwood, Ohio-based SITE Centers Corp (fka DDR), is listed in the company's "quarterly financial supplement for the period ending September 30, 2019" as an asset slated for a "Major Redevelopment," with an expected "initial occupancy" after Q4 2020.  If this timeline holds true, the new Wegmans could open as soon as the third quarter of 2021, but possibly not until early 2022, according to sources familiar with the development.   

Wegmans already operates one store in a SITE Centers project.  The grocer operates a roughly 117,500 square foot store in SITE's Nassau Park Pavilion in Princeton, New Jersey.  Typically, Wegmans stores are between 75,000 and 140,000 square feet.  

If the planned Wegmans does come to fruition, it would join existing anchors Regal Cinemas, HomeGoods, Dick's Sporting Goods, LA Fitness, and Roam, a co-working facility.  Galla's Pizza, Happy Sumo and Chick-fil-A, among other tenants, might all need to move or relocate within the project to accommodate the new grocer.  

The new Wegmans in Raleigh 

Real estate sources tell ToNeTo Atlanta that Wegmans may be joined in the project by office and or multifamily developments.  Interestingly, Perimeter Pointe is the unnamed featured property on the SITE Centers website that is shown as one scrolls down the homepage.  As you scroll, you begin to get a sense for what the property owner may ultimately envision for the well located center.

The Wegmans and the other potential developments are all examples of  "asset intensification," or the act of increasing the density of assets (centers/projects malls, etc.), making them more attractive to tenants and customers and at the same time, unlocking more value (rent/income) for property owners.  Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the country, has in recent years embarked on many similar projects including their redevelopment of the former Belk at Phipps Plaza into what will ultimately become One Phipps Plaza, home to a 12-story office tower, Life Time Fitness, Nobu Hotel and restaurant, and Pinstripes bowling venue.

The SITE Centers website proudly displays the Perimeter Pointe "10 minute drive time" trade area as featuring a population of 170,000, 77,000 households, and an average household income of $116,000.  These statistics were no doubt appealing to Wegmans. 

Wegmans would be the third new grocery store planned for the area.

ToNeTo Atlanta reported October 16 that a new Lidl will open in place of former Sprouts Farmers Market at the corner of Mount Vernon and Jett Ferry Roads in Dunwoody.  The anchor space, about three and a half miles from the planned Wegmans, was formerly a Harris Teeter.  Branch Properties is planning to redevelop a ten acre site it already owns along Ashford Dunwoody Road into a new mixed-use development that sources say could include a new Publix GreenWise grocery store. 

Branded merchandise we observed last week being offered at Wegmans in Columbia, MD
While Wegmans is no doubt not looking to be the dominant grocer in the market, they could easily have their eyes on several area stores.  It's also worth noting that Wegmans has shown a willingness to open in place of former mall anchors.  The grocer replaced a string of department stores when it opened a 126,000 square foot store at the Montgomery Mall in Pennsylvania in 2013, and last year opened a mammoth 146,500 square foot store at Natick Mall in Massachusetts, where JCPenney had previously closed.

Are you excited about the planned opening of Wegmans in metro Atlanta?  Have you ever been to a Wegmans?  If so, what was your favorite offering or product?  If Wegmans does expand further in metro Atlanta, where else would you like to see them open?

Please share your thoughts below.  

54 comments:

Lady in ATL said...

That's awesome! I've been to a couple of them and they remind me of Harris-Teeters back in the day but BETTER!! Hope they do well in SS and expand ITP!!

Irish Koi said...

Wegman’s can come to East Cobb! Love to have them. Never been to one, but have heard a lot of good things about them.

Unknown said...

Yes, please please please please come. No other grocery store is remotely as nice as Wegmans! I miss it, most notably their fresh produce!

Anonymous said...

OMG OMG OMG

Anonymous said...

Wow. Now I know what to ask Santa for.

Anonymous said...

For real? I had to check my calendar that today isn't April 1. This is huge news.

cafeej said...

Super interesting...Wegman's is moving south as Publix is moving north. Publix opened a store in Fredericksburg, VA which is a distant suburb of Washington, DC. Wegman's will certainly shake up the market here.

Great scoop Eli.

Carl said...

I thought you were going to announce Dunder-Miflin...

majordawg said...

YES!!! Wegman's!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Best news of the day. Wegman's is, by far, the best grocery store at which I have ever shopped. Their prepared foods section bests Whole Foods by far, their prices are much less than Whole Foods, their deli section is plentiful, and they offer kiosks at which special foods are prepared in front of shoppers for eating there or take out. They also often feature a huge walk in beer cooler in which you can bring your cart and load up on cases of ice cold beer. Their staff is always helpful and courteous. They will raise the bar for shopping in the Sandy Springs/Dunwoody area.

Anonymous said...

North Point Mall.
Cumberland Mall

kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Mihalko said...

Moved to ATL from upstate NY in ‘98 and have been patiently awaiting their arrival. Wegmans has been very cautious and calculating regarding expansion, so they must be confident that Atlanta will embrace them. That being said, they had better not break my heart like the Thrashers!

Anonymous said...

I'm excited! What a welcome surprise!

Unknown said...

This would be a dream come true! Love my hometown grocery!

yomamasinglemom28 said...

Wegmans was OUR store when we lived in Rochester area until late 70's. Wegmans had & still has the best of everything. I would love to have a Wegmans in my area.

Anonymous said...

North Point Mall.
Cumberland Mall.

Diane said...

Oh Hallelujah Thank you Lord... BEST. STORE.EVER... lived in Amherst NY for 30 years (60 miles from Rochester)and had access to 4 Wegmans... Atlanta you have no idea what’s coming to town! Better than Santa Claus... a true shopping experience..great for the economy and they love working with local farms and merchants! Please make it happen!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I just moved to the Cumming area from North Central PA. Wegmans was a presence in our area and is one of the best and most comprehensive grocery chains we have ever used.
They have everything imaginable, beautiful produce and a huge wellness area.
We have found the local chains here lacking in so many areas.
Wegmans would be a most welcomed addition!!

Lady from Roch said...

This is the best news ever! I’m from Rochester! And when ever I go back to visit family, Wegmans is always my first stop. People who have never been, just dont get it, but they will! Next, please come to Cherokee County.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte must be beside themselves as Wegmans is in the Triangle and is leapfrogging them to come here with no planned stores in the Queen City. Still, I thought I read that Wegmans was expanding into contiguous regions and figured it would be a decade before they opened a store here.

Anonymous said...

Great that they're coming, BAD LOCATION! Hard enough getting in there with Chik Fil A traffic, now add this to it. BAD LOCATION

Unknown said...

This is awesome news! I'm from Rochester NY & it's often the first place I go to when visiting back home. I love my hometown ZWEIGLES brand hot dogs made in Rochester, & GENESEE beer too.
I live in Newnan now & will gladly drive to Sandy Springs to regularly shop there. Woo Hoo!! Cant wait!!

Unknown said...

can't wait! my SO is from Natick, Mass where they just took over a huge spot in the local mall. last Winter I emailed Wegman's begging them to come South. they told me that they didn't have a distribution center close enough. guess that'll be changing too. :)

R.Jowers said...

Wegman’s is the best grocery store ever. I have been known to drive directly there from the Syracuse, NY airport when visiting family.
Bakery goods found only at a Wegman’s and all fresh, fresh, fresh. Can’t wait!

Skrybe said...

Ha! So did I for a second there! 😂

Unknown said...

Wegmans is THE BEST!! I could spend hours in there! I will lose my mind if Wegmans come to ATL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually that is a great location… I completely assume they will reconstruct the ingress and egress to that entire center the closely in the post it does talk to reconstruction.

Anonymous said...

Long over due! How about Gwinnett Place, Since it's for Sale? Peachtree City, East Cobb,Smyrna, Alpharetta. Please don't forget the sandwich shop.

Unknown said...

What a mistake to put it in Sandy Springs. Cobb County is a much better market. We have the Braves and Home Depot. Wegmans would give us a trifecta!

Unknown said...

Must say Wegmans is a top notch store. Would love to have one in Chamblee!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that that Chick-fil-A is one of the highest grossing locations in the US. They do an insane amount of business.

Anonymous said...

I can’t wait. Ever time I go to Northern Va or Richmond area I make a Wegmans run. Their prepared foods are delicious as is the sushi. Not always the cheapest but great quality and service.

Tlevy said...

I heard mixed things about this!! It’s definitely happening??

Unknown said...

Opening one in VA

Anonymous said...

Would be great in Chamblee/Brookhaven, we just have Ghetto Kroger (Georgetown), Old People Kroger (Cambridge) and Milf Publix (Five Points)

Anonymous said...


Wegmans says this rumor is not true.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is not true. Wegmans denies this.

Anonymous said...

I would be surprised if this did happen.The anti development zealots and NIMBY extremists that are in this area and nearby ( especially Brookhaven ) would not care for a establishment so " carcentric".These areas are exclusive for Home Owners Association arrogant and elite types.If Town Brookhaven were to be proposed today instead of being built before Brookhaven Incorporated the opposition would be deafening.All you would hear is there is already enough options and that too many trees would be torn down and there would be too many cars.HOW DARE YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

Wegmans is AWESOME! I found them while living in Northern VA and have missed them terribly since we moved back to GA. Big win for SS. Sad for me though we now live an hour and half north of ATL.

D said...

Wegmans grocery chain denies report of new Sandy Springs store
Posted by John Ruch | Nov 5, 2019

New York-based grocery chain Wegmans Food Markets is denying a local blog’s report that it is coming to Sandy Springs’ Perimeter Pointe shopping center.

The commercial development blog “Tomorrow’s News Today” reported Nov. 4 that Wegmans had signed a letter of intent for a new store in the shopping center on the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs border. The report, which did not name a source for its information, caused some local stir, including on the Sandy Springs Zoning Coalition, an influential Facebook group.

“There is no truth to that rumor,” said Jo Natale, Wegmans’ vice president of media relations, when asked about the reported letter of intent and the Perimeter Pointe store.

Natale noted Wegsman has published a list of upcoming stores on website. The list includes various sites in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. None of the sites are in Georgia; asked whether Wegmans is considering any other metro Atlanta store locations, Natale said, “No.”

SITE Centers Corp., the shopping center’s owner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Perimeter Pointe is a roughly 30.5-acre shopping center at Mount Vernon Highway and Perimeter Center West, directly adjacent to the Sandy Springs MARTA Station. SITE Centers Corp., formerly known as DDR Corp., has talked for years about redeveloping the shopping center into a mixed-use complex of some sort, but solid plans have yet to emerge.

TReneeEvents said...

This is the BEST news! I'm excited to see the world's BEST grocery store finally headed our way.

Unknown said...

The best part about Wegman's is their customer service, fresh products! They go above and beyond for their customers! Love it!

Unknown said...

Fake News!

Karen G said...

I've shopped at Wegmans in my hometown of Maryland. Literally got TEARS when I heard the news!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wegman's was by far my favorite grocery store before moving to Dunwoody last year. I share the excitement of my fellow northern transplants, but I remain very skeptical.

This blog post says "ToNeTo Atlanta has learned that Wegmans has an LOI (letter of intent) in place for a new 80,000 square foot store in metro Atlanta". You never mention how you learned this, or if you've seen a copy of the letter. There is no named or even unnamed source, no quote, no copy of the letter, or even specifics as to who from Wegmans signed it or what the date was.

The article on Reporter Newspapers has quoted the Wegmans VP of Media Relations as saying this rumor isn't true. Absent additional details, this seems much more credible.

Mrs Bird Flu said...

I called Wegmans headquarters just now. FAKE NEWS FAKE NEWS FAKE NEWS FAKE NEWS and FAKE NEWS. They are not opening a store in Atlanta.

Unknown said...

According to Wegman's Corporate office in Rochester NY this is FAKE news. They are NOT opening a store in Atlanta. Don't know where you get your information but you need to check things out.

Duchess of Chandlershire said...

Almost same! I moved here from Rochester in ‘96 and every time I’m anywhere near a Weggies I descent upon it lol

LynneNY said...

Spent 60 years living in New York State where Wegmans was very very well known for years. Then they began expanding outside of NYS ...moving slowly southward. Family owned for years ....pretty much beloved grocery store.
We moved here 9 years ago and have missed a Wegmans. This story doesn't make me sure they will enter Georgia.
Besides...we live In Paulding County ..quite a ways from Sandy Springs....so THAT doesn't make me happy at all.

Anonymous said...

This Is 100% Fake News. It's not happening folks. Wegmans is committed to development in NC and DE.

health4u.com said...

Well, Well, Well I can't wait, I was raised in Rochester New York. You are in for a treat. I have missed all the original Italian meat that I could not get here. The specialty food from around the world. I would love to have the locate here in Lawrencevill Georgia...Please

Mama Mia said...

LOVE Wegmans! Would love to see it in the area, particularly south of ATL near Newnan. They have so much to offer- it would be a great addition to the things we have here and there really isn’t anything like it currently in this area (Newnan).

Harry said...

I hope they don't open in Sandy springs and somebody talks him into coming Alpharetta. I'll go to Sandy springs if I have to but I'd really prefer in Alpharetta :)

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