Friday, September 15, 2006
It seems as though the off again – on again saga of the proposed downtown Balducci’s gourmet grocery store has finally sputtered out. This week, Balducci’s firmly announced it will not open its eagerly anticipated store in the ground-level retail space in The Jefferson on 7th Street NW between D and E Streets. The past few months have seen plenty of conflicting statements on the status of this project, with Balducci’s officials often stating the store was in doubt, yet never letting go of the company’s leasehold on this 21,000-sf space. The District was even in on this drama, offering to not only waive the store's real estate taxes for 10 years and the sales taxes on its construction, but to also throw in some additional incentives. But in the end, Balducci’s decided to instead focus on its existing holdings and not expand. JPI, the developer managing this retail space, intends to soon meet with Balducci’s to discuss termination of its lease, thus freeing the space up for another grocery chain, such as Magruder's or A&P Fresh Market, to step in and set up shop.