Wal-Mart is proposing an 80,000-square-foot store at the Pike Center on Rockville Pike, The Washington Post reported late Monday.
"The Rockville store would replace more than half a dozen shops, including Bagel City, Office Depot and CiCi’s Pizza, whose leases would not be renewed," The Post reported. "A T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant, new M&T Bank branch and Jared jewelry store would remain."
Chevy Chase-based JBG Rosenfeld also plans to request that the property, between Twinbrook Parkway and Randolph Road, be rezoned from commercial to mixed-use in 2013 to allow 200 to 250 apartments to be built there, according to reports in The Post and The Gazette.
The county has not tried to lure big box stores like Wal-Mart, Steven A. Silverman, director of the county's Department of Economic Development, told The Gazette.
Monday's news comes less than a month after Wal-Mart announced plans to open a store in Aspen Hill on the former BAE Systems site at Aspen Hill Road and Georgia Avenue, The Post reported on Sept. 26.
The Post published conceptual drawings and floor plans of the proposed 118,000-square-foot Aspen Hill store, which would open in 2013 and provide about 300 jobs.
“We've proven that there is not an office market in Aspen Hill,” Lee told The Gazette. “It is an I-270 office building that is obviously not on I-270. The point is that the master plan is not working.”
The county government employees union opposes the proposed Aspen Hill store and launched a campaign against County Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring over the proposal.
In an Oct. 2 editorial, Patch columnist Richard Parsons called out the union, writing that its "over-the-top rhetoric is becoming an embarrassment."
An Oct. 5 editorial in The Gazette said a Wal-Mart "is not entirely in conflict with the long-term vision" for Aspen Hill, but that the proposed store would require a master plan amendment—a process that could take up to three years to receive approval from the County Council. The Wal-Mart could threaten mom-and-pop stores, the editorial said.
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