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Walmart Out in Aspen Hill; What's Next?

Washington DC Retail

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Lee Development Group won't be bringing another Walmart to Montgomery County, but president Bruce Lee is forging ahead. After news yesterday that the mega-retailer backed out of opening a store at Lee's 4115 Aspen Hill Rd, Bruce (second from left, at the Fillmore groundbreaking in Silver Spring a few years back) tells us the firm will chase another large retail tenant, perhaps grocery. The site, where a vacant office building sits, is zoned for office, but the firm will aggressively seek to get it rezoned for retail. Montgomery County's lengthy rezoning process is what likely held Walmart back from moving forward, but Bruce says he isn't deterred: "We can't blame Walmart for pulling back. If you talk to any large retailer, they want certainty."

Aspen Hill, which sits on the northern end of Montgomery County, is poised to add another large-scale retailer, Bruce says: "It's already a diverse, extremely populated, well built-out market," and Lee Development's newly renovated Northgate Plaza shopping center (where Kohl's recently opened) across the street from 4115 Aspen Hill may further entice a tenant.