The largest Whole Foods in the East Coast is now open in Virginia.
It opened Wednesday morning, and it's is no ordinary grocery store. The store is part of a larger plan to change its neighborhood and cut down on congestion.
”I’ve been here 20 years, and basically all we’ve had is the mall,” said resident T.J. Fitzpatrick. He arrived about 30 minutes before the Whole Foods opened. He said there were 150 people ahead of him in a line that wrapped around the block.
Tysons as most know it is changing fast. In 1930, it was a pit stop with a corner store and a gas station. Thirty-eight years later, the Tysons Corner Center mall opened.
The area is a grand project planned by political leaders to capture tens of thousands of commuters by first running Metro through the area and then building around it.
The car has long been king in this commuter community. Now, the goal is to free up traffic-choked streets and get people to stay.
The Whole Foods store is a significant milestone in redeveloping the area as a community where people live and raise families.
Residents will now have a place to buy bread, milk and groceries — and extras including a full bar complete with pinball.
”I think it’s great, this neighborhood could really use some more activity," said Dianna Serenec.
If this vision is going to come together, developers and city planners must give people a sense of community and place.
And that place has a large footprint. The store, located at The Boro (1635 Boro Place), stretches 70,000 square feet. It features an in-store food hall, a bar and game room and more.