Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Whole Foods Still Being Pursued For Downtown Columbia's Fmr. Rouse HQ, Says Wordbones

Whole Foods is still being pursued by downtown Columbia's major developer, even after negotiations were announced as "stalled" in March, reports Wordbones on the Tales of Two Cities blog.

Wordbones says a source told him a month ago that negotiations were continuing between Whole Foods and the Howard Hughes Corporation for a store in the former Rouse Company headquarters near the Columbia Mall.

Today, Wordbones writes that an HHC executive gave a slide presentation to the Columbia Council last week that included pictures of the building with the Whole Food logo gracing the facade.  Wordbones reads that as confirmation that the parties are at least talking.

Wordbones teases that Whole Foods may be lukewarm on Howard County because we haven't given enough love to the upscale market.  He says that sounds like a job for HowChow.

Oh, no.  That's a job for Mrs. HowChow -- who shimmied before her coffee this morning on hearing the advance word of Wordbones' post.  Whole Foods sells many amazing things, and it's quite a different place than Wegmans so I think they could both thrive amid all the local places that I enjoy.  We'll work to gin up local enthusiasm.

I'm sure this story will continue.  Click here for all the news about Whole Foods in Columbia.


BJS said...

Whole Foods isn't bad stuff, but the marginally (if at all) higher quality doesn't live up to the significantly higher price. Seems to be a veritable Veblen market. I'd still welcome it, chiefly because I want the old Rouse building to be useful, and I'd love the economic boost for the area. But when it comes to buying things I can't get at Trader Joe's, Wegman's, or CostCo, I'm more inclined to look forward to the re-vamped David's at Wilde Lake VC.

Plus, compare the employee treatment at Whole Foods to TJ's, CostCo, or Wegman's, and Whole Foods becomes a pretty anti-progressive choice. I don't necessarily expect that everyone is going to agree with progressive employment and/or politics, but considering Whole Foods' target customer base, they're fooling and fleecing a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Bad time to be a grocer in the area. The "regular" stores are going to lose a bit business with Wegman's around. I wonder how bad the smaller guys like Trader Joes and MOM will do with both Wegman's and a possible Whole Foods around.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with BJS.

I'm not opposed to Whole Foods coming, but I don't see myself shopping there at all. With Wegmans my big 3 are Wegmans, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter. I go to Costco for big quantity items(TP, Papertowels, cooking oil, cleaning supplies)

Anonymous said...

A few years ago I was shopping in WF in VA. I asked the employee in the wine section for a recommendation to go with the special dinner I was preparing for my husband who was returning from Iraq. He suggested a bottle ($25+) I placed it in the cart and continued to shop for the rest of my ingredients. He tracked me down and handed me a slip of paper. He said we can't give the wine to you for free, but we will charge only $1. Thank your husband for his service. Needless to say, I am a WF fan.

Jen said...

That's impressive.

(in order of importance)- Giant, Wegman's, Trader Joes.

Whole Foods without wine or beer is less appealing than any of the above. Oh how I miss VA sometimes!

Nancy said...

I hope it's true! I love Whole Foods, but I have to drive all the way out to Mount Washington for the nearest one. The Whole Foods in Annapolis is amazing, but that is over an hour drive away.

BJS said...

That's another good point. Whole Foods isn't as food as TJ's when it comes to beer/wine value, but the ones where I lived in CA and TX were always good about customoer interactions, like wine and cheese pairings.

All those places lose a lot of value because of Maryland's absurd alcohol laws. It's nice that MD partially corrected the silly alcohol shipping laws, but the more significant issue, which still remains, is in-store alcohol sales laws. What's the justification for that? It can't be that it would drive liquor stores out of business, as those still exist on a good scale in every state I've seen that has sales in grocery and/or convenience stores.

BJS said...

*ahem* That should read "Whole Foods isn't as good..."


Sana said...

All of Columbia is obsessed with Wegmans! I wonder how Tj's will deal?

I like the WF hot bar.