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Who's That Whole Foods Really For?

Pentagon City’s largest residential and retail high-rise has space for just two more lifestyle retail amenities. Who will Vornado find for its 699-unit, $250M The Bartlett? (May we suggest a Bartlett Pear Store? After all, Apple Stores seem to be doing so well.) Everything in the building and surrounding area suggests it's coveting a young demographic.

The REIT is targeting the unbored generation (read Millennials) by creating a hip, dynamic area where people hang out, says Vornado retail leasing director Wright Sigmund. “We want these submarkets of Crystal City and Pentagon City to start merging into a bigger, stronger, unified market, and a major part of this process is creating a really strong retail corridor.”

The Bartlett signed Whole Foods—rendered here, using organic pixels—to take 38k SF in 2013 (at the time Mitchell Schear called it a "game changer"). Other Millennial-centric retailers have followed. Within walking distance to the structure at 12th and S Eads: Good Stuff Eatery and We The Pizza (both by Spike Mendelsohn), and Jaleo (from Jose Andres). The Bartlett sits near the Pentagon City Metro station and will be even more hooked up when 12th Street is fully built out, connecting South Eads and South Fern streets.

The firm is also trying to appeal to the younger generation's desire for live/work/play communities. At Skyline in Falls Church, VA, for instance, Vornado just repositioned first-floor office space to retail to create a new centerpiece for the complex, Wright tells us. This meant new lighting, new parking, a new facade and space pre-leased to a new Buffalo Wild Wings. Also new: one of the region’s first Panera to-go concepts.

Speaking of eating, the firm recently leased some tasty DC restaurants: the Latin-influenced Claudia’s Steakhouse (1501 K St) and Soi 38 (2101 L St, pictured), an upscale, modern, Thai restaurant. Personally, Wright serves on the Georgetown BID, CREBA and Georgetown Heritage boards, where he's involved in raising money to revive the historic character of Georgetown. We are thrilled that Vornado will be joining us as a founding partner of our Bisnow Beltway Bash on May 18 at 5pm at Wynn’s Tryst nightclub during ICSC Recon. Please register here.