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Study: Additional Retail Space at Tall Oaks Not Viable

  • 11 May 2016
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Study: Additional Retail Space at Tall Oaks Not Viable

A retail marketing analysis done on behalf of Tall Oaks Village Center developer, the Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), concluded that a grocery store anchor is not a viable option to include in the redevelopment project. The report by JAG’s real estate consultant, Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO), was presented at a community meeting Tuesday night and stated the following in its conclusion about the viability of retail stores at Tall Oaks: 

- A grocery store anchor (full-size, specialty or Trader Joe’s) is not supportable at Tall Oaks. Even if there were no site challenges, site would have to capture 55%-75% of total PMA demand to support a full-size grocery anchor. This high rate of capture is not possible given the competition in the area. Specialty grocers would perform more poorly than full-size due to lower capture rates and higher sale per SF needs.

- Without a grocery anchor, demand for other stores and services will be limited.

- Approximately 7,500 square feet of restaurants and services is supportable on the site.

Some opponents of the current version of the mixed-use plan believe more retail/service space and fewer residential units should be incorporated into the revitalization project. Several community meetings, which have included residents, developers, and officials from Fairfax County and Reston Association, have been held since the property was purchased by JAG in 2014. The developer has revised the plan to address some of residents’ suggestions. However, because the RCLCO report and an independent review of the findings do not support broadening the retail component for Tall Oaks, the developer’s plan does not call for adding significant retail/commercial space to the 14,080 square feet currently planned for the project.

Several grocery stores and other retail shops have come and gone from Tall Oaks over the last decade. The center, located off Wiehle Avenue and North Shore Drive, has been without an anchor store for five years. Tuesday’s meeting was held in the empty grocery store space at the village center. Given the results of the marketing analysis, the developers said they are hoping to transform Tall Oaks into a village center that is successful and supported by the local community.

JAG has addressed requests to create more open space in its proposal. The plan calls for lawn areas, pathways and outdoor amenities for children and seniors, including a water feature. Click here to take a video tour of the project, which includes 156 residential condominium and townhouse units.

The latest proposal for Tall Oaks will be presented to the Fairfax County Planning Commission scheduled July 14. The Reston Planning & Zoning Board will review the plan Monday, May 16, and the RA Design Review Board will meet about the project Tuesday, May 17 at 7 p.m. at 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive.

Click here for more information on the Tall Oaks project and to download the RCLCO retail market analysis.

 

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