Vienna Walmart opened their first urban-style location in the country in Tysons Corner Wednesday, Aug. 14. The store, which is one of their "supercenters," will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and serves as the anchor of the JBG Rosenfeld Retail-owned Tysons West.
"This is the first urban style Walmart in the region, and it’s going to pave the road for a lot of different things we want to do," said Marty Reighard, store manager. "When Walmart opens a new store, we have a blueprint that we go by, but for this project it was a lot different. The ability to have a stacked retail is something we haven’t done before in this area, it was new to us. We went into this with a lot of questions, but what we have now is a result of getting together with a developer and the local community to give them what they want and what they need."
PARTS OF THE BUILDING where Tysons West and the new Walmart is located was formerly a Moore Hummer dealership. The 16-acre lot, which also includes the Sheraton Hotel, was purchased by JBG in 2006.
The development features about 200 parking spots outside of the building along Leesburg Pike, and a parking garage that serves Tysons West has approximately 500 spaces.
The Walmart store itself is 79,000 square feet, and will staff more than 200 full and part-time employees. During construction, builders were able to recycle or re-purpose at least 85 percent of the old building’s materials.
"This store has been in the works for about four years," said Alex Barron, regional general manager. "We would drive around Tysons Corner in one of our Walmart vans to search real estate sites, and then we came to this one, an abandoned car dealership and a parking garage. The vision that many folks on our team had to bring this store to reality is amazing to me."
Jackie Ngo, pharmacy manager at the new store, says she is excited about the location’s ability to give access to affordable medication.
"We have more than 300 generic drugs that are available for $4 for a month’s supply, $10 for a three month’s supply, which will reduce health care costs for the insured and uninsured," she said.
Walmart presented grants to Jill’s House, Westbriar Elementary School, Graham Road Elementary School, the Westgate Elementary School PTA, Kids R First, the Capital Area Food Bank and the Leukemia and Lymphoma society the day before the opening.
AFTER THE RIBBON WAS CUT, customers streamed in and toured the store, wandering from the grocery section, to clothing, electronics and more.
"It’s interesting to be one of the first customers because I’ve never seen shelves that are completely full of every single item," said Al Pechi of Vienna, who stopped by on his way to work. "I know Walmarts aren’t exactly a popular thing to welcome into a neighborhood these days, but I think it’s something that will serve more people than a car dealer ever could have."
JoAnne Hardy of McLean said she thinks the store is a step in the right direction when it comes to Tysons Corner development.
"I like that it’s open 24-7, and right next to one of the Metro stops, I think that’s going to he a very good thing for residents and regular Metro travelers," she said. "Instead of dark, empty buildings you’ll have this nice complex that is always open and not an eyesore, and I think it makes the entrance to Tysons Corner coming from Route 7 a little more welcoming."
Reighard said he looks forward to Tysons West becoming one of Tysons Corner’s new signature locations.
"There’s going to be a lot of residential, some high rises, a very exciting place to dine, shop, play, relax, things like that," he said. "That’s going to be the theme of this area, and within the next five to 10 years, this location is going to be a central hub of what Tysons is."