News/DispForm.aspx?ID=854Anchor Tenant Wegmans is Officially Open for Business at the Natick MallNatick, Massachusetts2018-04-29T04:00:00Z<p>​<img src="/PublishingImages/News/Announcements/2018/News_Announcement_Natick%20Wegmans.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />April 29 marked an exciting milestone for Wegmans Food Market as they opened their doors at the Natick Mall. The new 146,500 sq. ft. multi-level store is the first of its kind in Massachusetts, with its entry into this high-end shopping center. This is an exciting milestone for Wegmans and General Growth Properties (GGP), one of the largest retail developers, who manages over 125 retail properties in 40 states. GGP and Wegmans relied on VHB’s deep local connections and experience at the Natick Mall to expedite permits, address traffic and safety issues, and design supporting infrastructure to move this development forward. </p><p>Wegmans is a long-awaited consumer destination in the Metro West area. When J.C. Penney announced that it was closing its doors in August 2015, GGP had an opportunity to evaluate the malls tenant mix as well as the changing needs of the community. Wegmans is strongly positioned to serve consumers, mall employees, and residents who reside in the Nouvelle apartments which are attached to the mall. This new anchor aligns with GGP's mission to own and operate best-in-class retail properties that provide an outstanding retail environment and experience.</p><p>GGP turned to VHB to transform the old J.C. Penny space and integrate the two-story Wegmans as well as a Blue Dalia restaurant—the first of its kind for Wegmans. GGP successfully collaborated with VHB in 2006 on the transformation of this suburban mall to a regional retail center when they added 565,000 square feet of gross leasable retail area and a high-end tenant mix including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Our history with the mall, understanding of the site’s infrastructure and capacity, relationships with local stakeholders, and extensive experience with grocery-anchored retail centers allowed us to anticipate issues and expedite the permitting process for Wegmans. VHB worked closely with GGP, Goulston & Storrs (project attorney), and the local community to obtain the necessary permits by creating a design that improves traffic flow and alleviates congestion on Mall Road, creating a better experience for shoppers and employees. VHB proposed a new entrance to the garage on the east side and reconfigured the west entrance, which allows shoppers to cross on a 40-foot wide raised pedestrian crossing at the center of the garage. The result is a more efficient garage layout that now improves the safety for customers parking and entering the grocery store. </p><p>VHB continues to work with GGP, recently completing a master planning project which extended walking trails, reconfigured parking and access, and integrated a new wayfinding signage program and state-of-the-art parking data collection. Also, as additional tenant leases expire, VHB is continuing to work with GGP to increase the mix of entertainment uses. </p><p> “The opening of Wegmans is an exciting milestone for this family-owned business and GGP” said Project Manager Justin Dufresne. “This anchor will complement the mix of tenants in the Natick Mall which continues to serve an affluent residential community in the Boston Metro West Region. I am delighted to be able to celebrate with GGP and Wegmans and be a key part of the team for this development.” ​</p><p>VHB’s project team, led by Principal Justin Dufresne, includes Mike McNeice, Steve Derdiarian, Arianna Goss, Steve Chouinard, Erin Thompson, and Christine Trearchis.</p><div><br>​</div>

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