Now the much-anticipated opening of a new grocery store at Rockville Town Square has a month.
“October,” said Becky Lakin, Dawson’s Market marketing director, in an interview with Rockville Patch this week. “Now when in October, I can’t tell you.”
Rockville officials were updated on the progress of the store’s construction in a brief email from acting city manager Jennifer Kimball on Monday.
The email followed a conversation between Kimball and John Pezzulla, director of asset management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns and operates the Town Square retail district.
“[Pezzulla] reports that FRIT's original estimate of spring 2012 was not realistic,” Kimball wrote. “When [a] contractor came on board, he set them on a realistic schedule that had completion estimated in the summer. The additional delay to the fall is due to the complexity of the design and the fact that they are working with ‘raw’ space (or completely empty shell). John indicated that the construction and fit out is well underway and they are pushing hard for completion as soon as possible.”
Signs of construction include cinder blocks bricking-in the store’s front windows at 225 North Washington Street and a fleet of construction trucks in the nearby parking lot. The trucks are for contractors constructing the market and the nearby Bar Louie, which is being built adjacent the Dawson’s space.
Photos of the construction appeared Thursday on the Dawson’s Market page on Facebook, where Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio posted: “Looking good!”
Lakin confirmed the construction challenges that the market has faced transforming the 17,000-square-foot space.
“We’re in construction now,” she said. “So fall still stands [for the opening].”
Construction is expected to be complete at the beginning of August, followed by 60 to 90 days to get local vendors signed on, shelves stocked and employees trained, Lakin said.
Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market—the Richmond, Va.-based forerunner to Dawson’s—has 20,000 square feet and 130 employees, Lakin said. Dawson’s won’t have that many, at least initially, she said.
A hiring plan will be finalized in June, with hiring to follow, Lakin said.
In the meantime, Dawson’s Market will have an “informational and interactive” booth at Hometown Holidays in Rockville Town Center on Memorial Day weekend. Lakin and the store’s human resources manager plan to meet and greet the community.
If construction goes as planned, Rockville residents should be able to shop for their Thanksgiving dinner at Dawson’s, Lakin said.
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the size of the store. It will be 17,000 square feet. This version corrects the seventh paragraph from the bottom. A hiring plan will be finalized in June, with hiring to follow. This version provides clarification in the third paragraph from the bottom. Rockville Patch regrets the errors.