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Report: Is the Clarksburg Harris Teeter a Change of Heart?

The Germantown Wegmans was once perceived as a threat, The Washington Business Journal reports.

Harris Teeter is coming to Clarksburg, several news outlets have reported. 

But two years ago, developers were ambivalent about building a Harris Teeter in Clarksburg, for fear that the Wegmans proposed for Germantown would siphon too many Clarksburg shoppers.

Citing comments from old newspaper accounts, The Washington Business Journal reported that in 2010 developers said they’d call off plans to build a Harris Teeter in Clarksburg if a Wegmans were allowed to anchor at The Shops at Seneca Medaows in Germantown. The article pointed to comments made by a Clarksburg developer two years ago in The Gazette:

“Kathryn Kubit of Elm Street Development in McLean, Va., project manager for the planned Clarksburg Village development, wrote to the County Council in May 2009 that a Wegmans in Germantown would be so popular it would prevent groceries from coming to Clarksburg, where there are no groceries.

"Harris Teeter seriously had been considering opening a grocery in Clarksburg for two years but told Elm Street shortly after the Wegmans project was announced that it would call off its plans if the store is built in Germantown, Kubit said in the letter.

"Harris Teeter executives also told the company other grocers would significantly delay plans to come to Clarksburg or avoid the community altogether, she said.”

It seems the grocers may now be able to co-exist seven miles apart.

The 53,000-square foot Harris Teeter will cost $15 million to build at Clarksburg Village Center. Wegmans is projected to open at the Shops at Seneca Meadows in Germantown next year.

The Wegmans, according to The Business Journal, would have a regional appeal, while Harris Teeter would serve as a neighborhood store.

 Last week, Clarksburg developer Jack Waghorn told The Gazette that there was “pent-up” demand for retail in Clarksburg:

“… I believe that when we announced the shopping center is going to happen, we got a tremendous amount of support from the local community,” Waghorn told The Gazette. “It is a good market, an affluent market. We have some excellent stores lined up to go in there.”

The Harris Teeter would anchor Clarksburg Village Center, according to NVRetail, which is developing Clarksburg Village Center. Other businesses slated for Clarksburg Village center include a Hair Cuttery, a county liquor store and a nail salon.

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