Westwood was supposed to be Wegmans’s first store in Massachusetts, but it turned out to be its fourth.
Blame the recession for wreaking havoc on the University Station shopping complex that delayed and downscaled plans. Instead of 2009 or 2010, the Westwood Wegmans opened last Sunday -- and a lot changed in between.
“Target was going to be on top of the store,” recalled Wegmans president Colleen Wegman.
In the end, Target was built adjacent to Wegmans, the upstate New York supermarket chain that has developed a cult following.
The market’s next location was supposed to be in Steve Samuels’s redeveloped Landmark Center in the Fenway, but that won’t be done until 2019 or 2020. In addition to a supermarket, Wegmans will also help create a fancy food court a la Mario Batali’s Eataly.
“You run into regulations and negotiations. If you think I have a headache, poor Steve Samuels. He has ten of them,” said Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman. “It is a wonderful concept. It is just very difficult.”
That means Wegmans’s recently-announced Natick store will open before Fenway. Attached to the Natick Mall, that is another unconventional project taking over a space occupied by a JC Penney.
Imagine this: Three stories featuring a supermarket on the ground floor, a liquor store and collection of restaurants on the second floor, and a health club on the third floor.
“It’s like nothing we have ever done,” said Danny Wegman.
Scheduled opening: Spring of 2017. (Fingers crossed.)