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    Balducci's to Open Three Stores in D.C. Area

    BETHESDA, Md. -- Specialty food supermarket company Balducci's, based here, said yesterday it planned to open three new stores in the greater Washington, D.C, area, among them a location in the resurgent Penn Quarter/MCI neighborhood.

    BETHESDA, Md. -- Specialty food supermarket company Balducci's, based here, said yesterday it planned to open three new stores in the greater Washington, D.C, area, among them a location in the resurgent Penn Quarter/MCI neighborhood.

    The company will open a 21,000-square-foot upscale supermarket in the Jefferson at Penn Quarter, a mixed-use project between D and E Streets built by Dallas-based development company JPI. The store is the first large-scale specialty food market to open in the Penn Quarter, an area that has been transformed in recent years by the success of the MCI Center and the return of thousands of new residences. The site includes 52 dedicated parking spaces for Balducci's and is near the Gallery Place Metro stop.

    The Balducci's location is scheduled to open in the late winter or early spring of 2006. The Jefferson at Penn Quarter will additionally contain 428 residential condominiums and a 250-seat performance space for the Woolly Mammoth Theater Co. Like other Balducci's stores, the new location will feature gourmet foods, hard-to-find ingredients, seasonal and artisanal products, chef-prepared meals, and a full complement of everyday and high-end items.

    Balducci's will also take over space in the Rockville Congressional Plaza and the Annapolis Harbour Center currently occupied by Whole Foods Market, when the natural foods retailer vacates those two Maryland stores as planned.

    The Rockville location, expected to become available in the second quarter of 2008, is a 29,000-square-foot store owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust. The Annapolis location measures 25,000 square feet and is expected to become available in the third quarter of 2007.

    "These are incredibly exciting opportunities for Balducci's," said Mark Ordan, who took over as c.e.o. of the company in November of 2003, in a statement. "Balducci's was probably the greatest urban food store in American history [The original Balducci's was at 6th Ave. and 9th Street in New York for more than 50 years]. The Penn Quarter location will enable us to build on that heritage in one of D.C.'s most dynamic neighborhoods."

    According to Balducci's v.p. of real estate and development Todd Shugarman, the city of Washington, D.C., through the Mayor's Office of Planning & Development, was particularly supportive of the project. "We have been scouting out new locations up and down the eastern seaboard, and this is one of the best deals and most supportive municipalities we have found."

    Referring to the two new Maryland locations, Ordan noted, "They are the perfect-size stores for Balducci's, in fabulous, proven locations, and we hope to bring an exciting new energy to the Rockville and Annapolis markets."

    Balducci's new flagship store at 8th Avenue and 14th Street in New York is currently under construction, with an anticipated opening of fall 2005.

    Balducci's operates 10 specialty food supermarkets and six restaurants between Virginia and Connecticut. Formerly operating under the name Sutton Place Gourmet, the company was purchased in November 2003 and has subsequently changed its name to Balducci's, with the new tagline "Food Lover's Market." The company operates the High Noon breakfast-and-lunch restaurants in D.C. and Virginia, as well as Balducci's Blue Point Grill Restaurant in Alexandria, Va.

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