Town Square Grocery Lease Signed

Federal Realty: The store will open in spring and will be called Dawson's Market.

The long wait for a grocery store in Rockville Town Square should be over in early spring.

Federal Realty Investment Trust announced Monday that it had finalized a lease with the owners of to bring an organic market to the commercial and residential district in Rockville Town Center.

The new market will be named Dawson’s Market. The name is a nod to the family that owned in what is now the Hungerford neighborhood of Rockville. Another family home, the , is on West Montgomery Avenue near Town Center. It is the home of the .

"We look forward to partnering with local vendors, farmers and artisans, and working with Federal Realty to bring our local market concept to Rockville Town Square,” Ellwood Thompson’s owner Rick Hood said in a news release on Monday. “We have chosen the name 'Dawson's Market' because of the heritage of the Dawson family and farm in the area. Like the Dawson's [sic] did, we will be supporting the local Rockville community while providing healthy and local products to our customers.”

Hood said last month that . Federal Realty confirmed a spring opening in the release announcing the finalized lease.

, another Town Center business, recently dropped .

The lease marks a milestone after years of fits and stops in the effort to open a grocery at . The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, Inc., of Montvale, NJ, better known as A&P, signed a 20-year lease in 2007. But in March 2010, amid financial difficulties that eventually led A&P to declare bankruptcy, the company announced that it would not open a store in Town Square.

The 15,000-square-foot Dawson's Market will offer local and organic produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods and baked goods, according to the release.

Like its Richmond predecessor the market plans to work with local farmers and continue a tradition of community support “through its fiscal and in-kind donations, sustainable business choices, animal welfare and environmental consciousness,” the release said.

“Dawson’s Market’s unique concept is a perfect fit for Rockville Town Square,” said Robin McBride, vice president and Mid-Atlantic region chief operating officer for Federal Realty. “We are excited to bring such a tremendous amenity to the Rockville community and would like to thank the City of Rockville for being a valuable partner in helping to make this happen.”

Peter Mork September 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Yes, kudos to the Mayor and Council.
Theresa Defino September 13, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Tim, it is my understanding that the mayor and Councilmember Bridget Newton had one meeting with Robin McBride of FRIT about a year ago and had no direct contact with the owner of the grocery store and that the lease was negotiated by FRIT. I do not believe she played any role beyond that in bringing the store to the city. All members of the council have been advocating for the grocery store for many years. As a frequent shopper to Whole Foods and MOM's I will be very happy when this store is a reality and definitely plan to shop there. I encourage everyone to do the same. Too many stores have left Town Center because they were not patronized.
amarynth September 13, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Tim, could you expand upon what it was that specifically the mayor did to bring the grocery store to RTS?
Tim Fahey September 13, 2011 at 05:00 PM
Theresa, Your Machiavellian approach seems only to marginalize good people rather than bring out the best that Rockville has to offer. On the contrary to your comment, Bridget talked about it in her speech on Friday. Bridget and Phyllis did forge good relationships and kept the momentum going. They did meet face-to-face with Robin McBride, Don Woods, and their attorney at Federal Realty. It didn't stop there. Even when the City Manager and Federal Realty stopped talking, they forged good relationships and kept encouraging everyone to work together. I do indeed believe Phyllis and Bridget were instrumental in helping to forge a relationship that produced results: Dawson's Market. I think we all owe them, as well as Federal Realty, some applause.
Theresa Defino September 13, 2011 at 08:50 PM
I was at Bridget's campaign event and I heard her speak, although it was somewhat difficult because of the music. I am not sure why you object to my question; it was simply an attempt to learn why you believed the mayor "gets much credit" for the grocery store. As best as I can tell from your comment, you didn't contradict what I said. I don't think it's accurate to leave the city staff or FRIT out of this, or any other members of the council, which you did initially. So I think we're in agreement that the credit should be shared. And as I said, those of us who patronize similar grocery stores are very appreciative! This could be another one of those times were the mayor might be the best person to explain her actions and perhaps comment for herself.


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