Wegmans has decided to not move forward with a much anticipated location in Annapolis, MD, citing issues with the Anne Arundel County planning department. The story was first reported by the community-based site Eye On Annapolis. The store was to occupy the former USinternetworking Inc. (USi) property on Riva Road across from the Annapolis Towne Centre and would have brought more than 100 permanent jobs to the area once complete.
Wegmans spokesperson Valerie Fox responded to an inquiry on the matter by Eye on Annapolis with the following statement: “We previously announced plans for a store on Riva Road in Annapolis, Maryland, that will no longer move forward. After more than a year of working with the Anne Arundel County planning department toward a mutually acceptable plan, we were unable to reach an agreement that made sense for this project in terms of visibility, traffic circulation, and cost. Therefore, we have decided to withdraw our application for this site.”
Steve Kaii-Ziegler, Anne Arundel County director of planning and zoning, also addressed the issue with the following statement:
On November 5th 2019 Wegmans informed county planners that it was withdrawing its application to build a 91,057 square foot store that would occupy the former USI property on Riva Road directly across the Annapolis Towne Center in the Parole Growth Management Area (PGMA).” Kaii-Ziegler continued, “The Office of Planning and Zoning has been in discussions with Wegmans for approximately a year, working with Wegmans to help it achieve its business plan while maintaining the integrity of the goals and standards of the PGMA. Unfortunately, Wegmans business plan called for a one story, big box design with a huge parking lot that was more suitable for a rural or suburban setting. The parking plan proposed a sea of surface parking (650 spaces) in the front of their building which is approximately 200 spaces more than the county requires.
Office of Planning and Zoning provided Wegmans with several alternative design options that would have better connected the store to the Riva Road corridor and been compatible with the adjacent town center. Wegmans was unwilling to adequately address those issues and, unfortunately, we were not able to reach a consensus on the design.
The Office of Planning and Zoning is disappointed that Wegmans has apparently made a decision to withdraw their application. Despite their decision, we remain committed to assisting Wegmans should they reconsider their current position.
The store has already been removed from the Wegmans list of future stores on its company website.