This Month’s Edition of Grocery Store Scuttlebutt – Whole Foods to Brookland?


Brookland is blowing up. There really is no debate anymore – it is. I’ve heard tons of scuttlebutt over the past few months and many from folks in the know with a high degree of certainty. One of the most exciting is that Whole Foods is apparently pretty much a done deal. If half of the scuttlebutt I’ve heard is true, I’d expect many more (big and small) announcements about Brookland in the near future too…


146 Comment

  • But where? I didn’t think the Monroe project had a retail space big enough for a WF. I would think they would need pretty much the entire ground floor of one of those buildings which doesn’t leave much room for the diversity of other stores that are supposed to be in the pipeline.

    Don’t get me wrong, as somebody living in an adjacent neighborhood it would be awesome to have a better grocery option so close, but I’m not sure where it will fit.

  • We are Aldi people here in Brookland, Not Whole Foods. But you want scuttlebutt, lets spread rumors that’s its a Wegman’s maybe they will catch wind, think about it, and make it happen

    • aldi? speak for yourself..

    • hahaha, you guys must be the ones paying over asking price for cheaply renovated homes in Brookland.

      What makes Brookland the awesome place that it is its middle class families and such of all different races and backgrounds. Not people that pay for overpriced food, while listening to their iphone and holding a yoga mat. I guess when housing prices get around 600 to 700 that’s what you get.

      by the way check out Aldi you smug folks might be impressed

      • In my neighborhood, Whole Foods is cheaper than Safeway and farmers markets. So save the WF hate once you’re informed.

        • But will WF be cheaper than Aldi’s in Brookland? Your response doesn’t really help resolve that.

          • brookland_rez

            There’s no Aldi in Brookland, it’s behind the Hechinger mall on Benning Rd, a place most of the Yoga crowd wouldn’t dare go.

            And you know WF will never be cheaper than Aldi. No way.

      • Aldi has great prices! I’d rather see a Trader Joes than anything.

      • I have been to the one, way up on New Hampshire ave and I wasn’t impressed. It reminds me of the save food warehouses and warehouse markets back home in Oklahoma.

        • brookland_rez

          Aldi is not designed to impress. I like it because I can get most of the basic staple items at rock bottom prices. And I like their seasonal rotation of special items. Plus you can get European food at rock bottom prices too.

      • brookland_rez

        I agree. I do most of my shopping at Aldi and I love it.

        And Brookland’s diversity is nice. But now everybody is figuring out Brookland is a nice place and people with more money come in and drive up home prices. I guess that’s good for me since I own my home. I just hope we don’t lose what made me like Brookland in the first place.

        Even if Whole Foods opens, I will still shop at Aldi. I would like to see a Whole Foods open though because it will elevate the status of the neighborhood in some people’s eyes and possibly my home value. And it will give me a place to ride by on my motorcycle and annoy all the yuppies with yoga mats. LOL.

        • brookland_rez we need to meet up. We both seem to always have similar views, as interests, Would join you on my bikes to cruise by. As a fellow Brookland homeowner of 6 years, you put my thoughts together in a much better way. Of course home prices going up is good, but there is something about Brookland that is so great. And to me its just not Whole Foods. I am excited about the development in the area but I too hope we don’t loose that Brookland feel. I live right by the 901 Development so for me life will be a bit different.

          I would much rather support the nice folks at Yes Market than at a whole food for some overpriced food and a case of beer.

          • brookland_rez

            Sure, email me at sk8destroy76(at)

          • Agree about what makes the neighborhood great and love Yes, but Yes on 12th is pricey. It’s even more expensive than some of the other locations around town. For example, baby formula at the BL Yes is more expensive than the Cleveland Park Yes, and both are pricier than WF. That said, I don’t think there is space for a WF in the Monroe project. Perhaps a small Trader Joes or Safeway/Giant.

        • Damn Brookland Rez you are a badass! You ride a motorcycle AND you have the stones to shop at Aldi in Carver Langston! Yuppies and yogis beware! ha ha

          • brookland_rez

            I know you’re being sarcastic, but I just go and do what I want. I don’t let other people dictate expectations on me. I like Aldi for the reasons I stated above. I don’t have a problem with Whole Foods, they have an excellent produce selection. I might go to a Brookland one for that. I just have a problem with some of the Whole Foods patrons, ie “OMG I could never shop anywhere but Whole Foods, Aldi is so beneath me”.

            I’ve been through a lot in my life. I’ve lived in third world countries and been shot at, seen other people brutally murdered, I’ve been down at highway speed on my bike. If I’ve been through all that I’m certainly not afraid to go to Carver Langston for a stupid grocery store.

    • As annony says, speak for yourself

    • Brookland has all kinds of people. Speaking strictly for myself (speaking for others is pretty presumptuous), I would shop at either an Aldi or a Whole Foods, but would prefer a Whole Foods – less processed stuff.

      But while I would LOVE for this to be true, I’m pretty skeptical. We just don’t seem to be a dense or high-income enough neighborhood for Whole Foods. Compare us to Glover Park and Logan.

      • I also didn’t mean to speak for all of Brookland, didn’t mean to offend people with the awful thought that they might shop at Aldi’s because they lived in the area. I only speak for the people I know and my family.

      • brookland_rez

        But they have Whole Foods in places like Springfield, VA, which are less dense of lesser income than Brookland and the surroundings.

        I heard it’s more about parking than anything. WF requires a certain amount of dedicated parking spaces in any development, which is why they didn’t located at DCUSA.

        • Having lived in Springfield, I question whether it is less dense. It also brings in a lot of people from places like Annandale that have terrible shopping options.

    • Aldi doesn’t increase my property values. So even though I don’t love WF, as a homeowner in Brookland who bought cheap and have been banking on this sort of development, I wholeheartedly support.

  • Most of me is really excited for Brookland. A small part of me is sad that this isn’t happening 5-10 years later b/c that’s when my wife and I will be looking for our next house. We love the neighborhood and the amenities, but I think we’ll be priced out by then. Oh well.

    • This. 100% Seeing the exponential gentrification of Bloomingdale feels like even Brookland will be a dream if and when I can ever buy a place.

      • “Even” Brookland huh. I’m Brookland proud so I don’t have any objectivity, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t prefer it to begin with.

        • brookland_rez

          I agree, comparing Brookland to Bloomingdale is like comparing apples to oranges. In Brookland you get a detached house with an actual yard. I think of Brookland as more the working man’s Cleveland Park. I would much rather be in Brookland than Bloomingdale.

        • I don’t think gloomy was comparing Bloomingdale & Brookland rather it was prices in Bloomingdale and Brookland that was being compared. Thus, by the time gloomy is ready to buy, based on the way prices exploded in Bloomingdale as a model gloomy won’t be able to afford even in Brookland, which to this point has been affordable. I don’t think it was meant to be any kind of slight.

  • Everything for Brookland! I am excited for nice things. Thanks for the update PoP.

  • I could be like the two level whole foods in foggy bottom

  • pablo .raw

    I’m more excited for Chipotle opening near my office. Although now I’ve discovered Silvestre and their amazing quesadillas.

  • Would WF put a store in both Brookland and Navy Yard? It could be either or neither or just people wanting to spread rumors.


  • Brookland has been “waiting to happen” since the 80s. It had the disadvantage of being E of the Park and adjacent to some of the roughest sections of NW. OTOH, it’s long been one of the more family-oriented destinations for people who want to be in the city and one with a lot of good single family housing. It also has a functional if not jazzy commercial strip, which is rather unusual for overlooked neighborhoods. It’s not really a WF destination. they like more disposable income and the surrounding areas won’t justify that. Up until the late 80s, it supported a Safeway, which became a food coop. I suspect it won’t get a EF or Safeway unless it attracted more destination retail.

    • Have you been in brookland recently? Homes are selling upper 500 and higher. Between catholic, the new housing being build in brookland and all the young families moving from condos doqntown to houses in brookland, a wf will be fine.

      One reason the sadeway closed is the giant next to home depot came along

      • KSB

        Yeah, if you haven’t been to Brookland in the past year or so, you might not recognize it. The growth there has exploded with the development of Chancellor’s Row, Monroe Street Market, the Art Space, 901 Monroe, etc. And it’ll look even more different in a year when the Borders/Starbucks is up and running on the corner of Michigan and Monroe and the new places along 12th Street have gained some traction. It’s an exciting time to be watching Brookland flourish, for sure.

        • Borders?

          • KSB

            Gah! Sorry, Barnes and Noble!

          • Not Borders, Barnes & Noble. Catholic University awarded B&N the operating rights for their school bookstore which will move off campus. This was announced back in August 2012. You can read the entire release here >>

            “Barnes & Noble College will also be part of a two-year Gateway project that Catholic University is developing. In 18 to 24 months, the bookstore will move off campus as part of a joint development project between the University and a local developer. The complex will be a mix of housing, retail stores and restaurants. Upon completion, the new space will introduce a new Barnes & Noble College super store that will replace the current existing bookstore. The new store will also introduce a Starbucks café and a greater selection of trade books, apparel and much more.”

        • Any particular suggestions for places to eat or things to do in Brookland? I used to volunteer there frequently but haven’t been back in quite a while and am curious to see the new development.

      • brookland_rez

        I agree, a Whole Foods would do well. There’s not another one anywhere nearby. One in Brookland would draw people from Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill and everywhere around it.

        • I like Whole Foods a lot, but I would definitely not travel all the way to Brookland from Capitol Hill for it. Maybe I go if I was already there for some other reason, but that doesn’t happen often.

          • thanks for the input?

          • Coming from Capitol Hill Proper , this location for whole foods would be about equidistant as the Arlington (all highway) , Foggy Bottom (Independence/Constitution Ave), P St. Locations (Mass Ave/14). It would be a draw for the Northern Edge of Capitol Hill for sure.

          • depending where you are on the hill it’s not that bad of a hike. i can get from my home in brookland to eastern market in about 15-20 min (the key is 6th st ne). Now parking at eastern market is a totally different ballgame!!

          • jch: True. I guess for the NE Capitol Hill residents who primarily drive to get groceries a Brookland location would be more convenient. Living near Eastern Market, I would still prefer to go to P Street or Foggy Bottom via metro and combine it with other activities in those areas. Commuting 20+ minutes each way just to get groceries always seemed kind of crazy to me.

          • @ anon1203 metroing from emarket to fbottom is at least 15min, right? so is an extra 5 min too much?

          • You’ve missed my point, which is that I wouldn’t metro to Foggy Bottom just for Whole Foods but instead combine it with some other errand or activity (say, a trip to Francis pool, or a doctor’s appointment, or a show at the Millennium Stage).

          • I guess most people aren’t as efficiency-minded and spend a lot of time/mileage making single-purpose trips. For them, Brookland is the way to go.

          • who in the world says “I’m gonna go to the grocery store and catch a show at the millenium stage”? No one does that. And @anon1241 going to the grocery store isn’t a single purpose trip you’re buying groceries to last at least a week maybe two! That’s over 40 (3×14) home cooked meals. Is that sufficient efficiency?

          • Anon @2:03 pm: People who don’t want to spend their entire Saturday or Sunday running errands operate this way. A lot of people wonder how I’m able to do so much with my free time, and this is a good example of something I might do. It only takes a little bit of planning to get the most out of trips across town.

          • brookland_rez

            Capitol Hill might be a stretch, but as much as some people worship WF, people might.

            But there are a lot of areas near Brookland that have money that would make the trip.

            The real question is why hasn’t Capitol Hill gotten their own WF by now?

          • Besides, WF is more the kind of place you go to stock up on a few special items that you can’t get in other stores. It’s not a place most people do all their shopping at unless it happens to be the only decent store nearby.

        • i’m sure everyone that commutes into dc via Rhode Island would duck into WF on their commute home to pick up a few things.

          • According to the guy above no one in their right mind would do that. They’d go home first and make a separate trip later to get groceries.

      • I’m curious about where these families with young children who are moving from downtown are planning to send their kids to school. Aren’t the public elementary schools east of the park not great? And it seems like there are limited options for charter elementary schools (I could be totally wrong). Most couples I know that moved to Brookland, Petworth, 16th St heights, etc. say they planning on charter or private schools. But there don’t seem to be a ton of private school slots in DC, and many of them are far away from these neighborhoods. As someone who is trying to figure out where to live (and who would like to live in the district) and keep schools in mind, I’m struggling with the idea of spending 500-800K on a house in one of these neighborhoods and then scrambling for schools.

        • funny, I moved to 16th st heights for the neighborhood school. Not like it’s west of the park, but it looks like a solid learning environment.

        • You don’t have many other options if you want to live in DC and have 500-800k to spend. This is just the reality of moving into the city in this real estate bracket.

          • For 700-900K, tenleytown, kent, and palisades are possibilities. They have really good schools and parts of these areas are still affordable because they aren’t metro accessible.

          • 500-800 and 700-900 are vastly different brackets despite the 100K overlap. In the more desirable neighborhoods that you mentioned, 700-800 will get you … well, not much. The smallest, most out of date properties that might pop up here and there. 700-800 in some of these other up-and-coming places like Brookland? Take your pick of some of the homes near the top of the market.

          • gotryit

            “affordable because they aren’t metro accessible” is somewhat short sighted. Being metro accessible means that I can spend less money by not having 2 cars. Or even one.

            I did look out there, and just couldn’t get what I want.

        • if you are spending 500k to 800k on a house, you are probably a responsible parent with a good job and a stable home. many of the other people spending 500k to 800k will also be of this ilk. unless you all completely fail at parenting and can’t help your kids with homework should they need it, your kid’s education and school should be just fine.

          schools are bad when the parents and kids dont give a f. yeah there are some crappy teachers too, but many of them can adequately teach good kids who aren’t 5 years behind in development.

          i’m assuming we still have honors classes and stuff like that. or has that all been thrown out so as not to hurt kids feelings

          • Because people with money are always responsible parents.

          • People with money aren’t always responsible parents, but they do tend to care about their kids’ education and demand quality.
            They also tend to give their children more educational preparation than low-income parents, like reading to them when they’re little.

        • There are quite a few options for charters, though not all of them are necessarily close by. Same goes for privates. The neighborhood schools are improving from what I understand, but I don’t think most young people are banking on that. So there are options, and it’s just about whether the hassle of figuring out schools is worth it given the positives of the neighborhood. For us, it was worth it. For someone who plans on more than two kids and doesn’t make quite a bit of money, it might be a tougher call.

          Within our budget (similar to yours) we’d have had a tough time getting much in Virginia or Maryland that’s anywhere near transit (which means a hellish commute if you work in the District). And having lived in both Virginia and the District before buying, we felt like having better access to the city and everything that it has to offer was important to us. No regrets at all.

        • We don’t have children but our neighbors have kids in Yu Ying, Stokes and Washington Latin.

  • this is gonna rock if it’s true!!! i would be able to walk to wholefoods!! my gamble may payoff big time!!!!! :)))

  • I think part of the rumor comes from the fact that many of the vocal residents want a Whole Foods and WF seems to fit the space. I live in the neighborhood and I have heard from my ‘active’ neighbors that there is no commitment from any grocery store right now at least in part because there appears to be movement on the development @ McMillan A few neighbors are actually getting worried that there will not be a full service grocery store if WF does not move in. Allegedly none of the really large grocery stores will move in since access from 7th Street, Monroe Street is too difficult for tractor trailers. Note: I have not heard this from any official source.

  • I would LOVE a Whole Foods to come to my hood. Though know what I would like even more? Trade Joes.

    • I’d much rather have Whole Foods. There’s nothing special I’d go to TJ’s for and I’d still have to do the rest of my shopping somewhere else.

      • Before I moved to Brookland I lived a few blocks from the Glover Park WF. I loved it and shopped there frequently but our grocery bills went down a LOT when we moved. It’s been at least 5 years since I spent $11 on a bunch of grapes!

        But the sushi counter at a WFs will do nicely until we get a real Japanese restaurant!

        • A lot of WF stuff, including most of their produce can be had at SWY and Giant, but for less. Their bakery stuff is all over the place (the cakes have frosting made out of God knows what) and the deli stuff is just okay.

          • You can’t beat whole foods price of vegetarian specific products.
            Also, their house brand stuff is great.

            I don’t understand people who complain about not being able to buy all their grocery needs at one store. So what?

  • There is already a full service grocery store right down the street on RHI – Giant. Excited for WF, there is a market for it, and it will fit in well in Brookland. yay!


      • Agree- mostly nasty attitudes

      • Disagree! It’s fairly new, always well stocked, and cleaner than most. Checkout lines are awful though – possibly underscoring the need for more grocery stores in the area.

        • I’ve seen an amazing difference in the service at the Giant in the last 2 months or so. The lines are still often too long, but honestly, I haven’t been able to walk down an aisle without an employee greeting me and asking if they can help.

  • I hear that two popular DC small businesses will be combining efforts to assemble a sweet coffee/bike hub

    • Any /idea who the two businesses are?

      • If jaynuze and I are hearing the same rumors: The Bike Rack and (potentially) Peregrine given the ongoing bike commuters + free coffee promotion they do every once in awhile. Purely marginally-informed speculation 🙂

    • is this sarcasm? I thought you were mocking the whole rumor mill thing, but people seem to be taking that seriously

  • Would absolutely love the addition of a whole foods to the neighborhood! Giant’s organic food section is a joke, and Yes! (while convenient) is even more overpriced than WF. I agree with previous posters that given the skyrocketing housing prices and planned new developments in the area, WF would do really well here.

  • I would have to agree with an earlier comment, there isn’t the space for a major grocer in MSM. I hope that in the last phase which has yet to be built they will consider that…or someone could do it on an adjecent property…

    Some good things could be done, making that grassy knoll under the Drew bridge into a park space that has a dedicated area for the farmers market. And on the other side where comcast is…DEMOLISH, and make another major retail destination.

    It’s really sad how things go in this city. They are considering a Wegmans in WR, when there are a gazillion options already up there. But a neighborhood like this has virtual none. If I want to travel less than a mile from my house I only have YES!

  • Whole Foods or some large grocery store should take over the spot where Froman Mills exists, near 4th and Rhode Island, NE. It’s close to the Rhode Island Avenue metro station and will replace the useless Froman Mills in what could be an extremely valuable piece of real estate. There is a huge parking lot there so ample cars can park once the Whole Foods traffic starts coming in. If any developers are reading this, go check out the space. The exact intersection is 4th and Bryant Street, NE. That neighborhood is turning around, as we speak!

    • great intersection, and yeah, a whole foods would fare well at 4th and bryant

    • This would never happen unless they raze and redevelop the entire plot of land and all of those stores. WF is not going to be some infill store among lower rent neighbors. It just isn’t going to happen. There are LOTS of things in the way of 4th/Bryant turning around anytime soon if you have been following the progress. Unfortunately, probably the best chance was when the Safeway first closed down, but now it’s kind of stagnated.

      • Where was the Safeway that closed down?

        • brookland_rez

          It used to be in the space used by Big Lots and Save-a-lot. It was the worst Safeway ever. It got shut down by DCRA for vermin infestations and corporate shut it completely almost immediately thereafter.

      • brookland_rez

        Agree, that strip with Foreman Mills needs to be blown up and started over. But that won’t happen until something happens to Edgewood Terrace.

        And there is no chance in hell that WF would locate next to Edgewood Terrace.

        • I agree that WF wouldn’t locate there. And I don’t see any way that Edgewood Terrace is going anywhere anytime soon.

          • brookland_rez

            Me neither. They just renovated it in the late 90’s. Until they realize the potential of that investment, it’s not going anywhere.

            But then look at Columbia Hts. All the new development happened right next door to a lot of housing projects. So maybe Foreman Mills could get redeveloped with Edgewood Terrace still there. But I don’t think a Whole Foods would be part of that.

    • brookland_rez

      Hey now, Foreman Mills is not totally useless. I got 4 packs of socks there recently for like $10. And where else can you get no name brand clothes is 5x sizes for next to nothing?

  • YES – bring a Whole Foods to 4th and Bryant Street, NE. It’s just on the border of Eckington, where tons of cool stuff is happening.

  • According to the ANC meeting that was held in June at Trinity College, specially about the Monroe Street Project, there is no room for a large grocery store in Phase One. The streets are no large enough to accommodate a loading dock (underground or above ground) for 18 wheeler traffic.

  • @DCDenizen

    I have heard (yes more rumor) that a developer wants to tear down the whole Forman Mills ‘mall’ and start from scratch with an all new transit oriented development, even if true, probably years off.

  • I waited here 56 years for this hood to turn around. It kind of sucked growing up here. We had to travel to the suburbs to find girls, and when we did they thought we were strange for living in the city. It got most crappy after ’68 and has been stagnant until the past 5-7 years. Thank you Whole Foods, Abdo et al. for investing in our town. .

  • Can we please call it the Edgewood Whole Foods? It would actually be in Edgewood and I love hearing those words together. Let Brookland keep its “modest” character and “North Edgewood” can become the shiny new thing with pet boutiques, yoga studios, Whole Foods and maybe an LA Fitness.

    • I agree with almost nothing you say except I must admit. BROOKLAND NEEDS A FITNESS OPTION!!!! ITS HORRIBLE!

      • brookland_rez

        Trinity college has a nice gym and pool, and they even give a discount to Brookland residents. It’s like $40/month.

        • And there’s a great pilates studio near the metro/MSM if you like a more boutiquey experience.

    • Agreed — it’s bad enough that they have “Brookland” in two-story-high letters on the building that is located in Edgewood.

  • Hell Yes! Very excited for the development boom Brookland is about to see.

  • pretty sure Busboys and Poets is a done deal for brookland too.

    • From what I hear, it is going in the 901 monroe st property, whenever construction on that actually begins. I’m so glad the 200 footers felt compelled to sue and hold up the construction after the demolition was already complete.

      • Yes. I don’t think that I’d be crazy about having a large mixed-use development right next to my house, either. Which is why, when I was house shopping, I passed on properties that were right next to commercially-zoned parcels!

  • There are over 1,250 new residences planned or under construction within five blocks of Monroe Street Market. I’d say that’s enough new income to support a Whole Foods and the high end retail that will follow Whole Foods. The HR Retail brochure on the property does outline a “grocery box”. I don’t think the rumor is too far fetched.

    • It’s not completely insane. Brookland is still a pretty low-cost neighborhood, and WF could probably lock itself into a nice long, low-cost lease. It committed to Logan Circle pretty early on, which really paid off for it (I believe that’s one of their highest-grossing stores). There’s also lots of people who work nearby (schools, catholic institutions, hospitals) who might stop there on the way home. And the HHI of the neighborhood has really grown, so it would get a lot of neighborhood business. Overall they’d probably do well.

      Still, it’s not the first location I would have expected since there are more heavily-populated neighborhoods available (Navy Yard, Petworth, Capitol Hill, H St/NoMa). We’ll know before long, I guess, since the existing buildings are all scheduled to open within the next 8 months or so. Can’t wait to hear what else is in the works!

  • According to an ANC meeting in June at Trinity College specifically about the Monroe Street Market, representative from MSM, were present and informed there was no room, in phase one, to accommodate a large grocery store. The roads are not wide enough to handle 18 wheeler traffic and there is no space below ground or above ground to accommodate a loading dock.

  • I would love a yoga studio in Edgewood on the north side of Rhode Island! I live in a group house with 3 other women in our mid-twenties and we would allllll go there!!

    • yeah, great idea ’bout the yoga studio. im a yoga teacher living in edgewood and i have to bike across town to get to any of the better studios to teach. id love it if an awesome new studio opened up northside of rhode island ave.

  • We do almost all of our shopping in Whole Foods. Most of the families I know in Brookland and nearby Woodridge / Michigan Park feel strongly about organics and will not buy conventional foods for their families. So it is not so much the wealth that is driving this, but the desire for healthier foods. Many of us shop locally at yes! organic market, or cross the border and hit the Glut food coop in Mt. Rainier, but the prices and choice are less than perfect there. A new whole foods in this area would be widely used by the neighborhood, but also by nearby neighborhoods, including some suburban places like Mt. Rainier, who have a similar group of “crunchy” families who might want to expand beyond the existing local organic markets. I think Whole Foods is eyeing a location on Route 1 near college park, I hope this does not conflict with the plans to come to Brookland. It would do very well here.

  • Please let this rumor be true! I love Whole Foods, and wish I didn’t have to drive over to Logan Circle to frequent the nearest one. Yay for Brookland and Edgewood!

  • For those of you who have an old opinion of Brookland, see the prices at Monroe Street Market:

    Ouch! There is an apartment there for $3650.00!

  • trader joes owns aldi

  • and Yes has almost 500 trucks a month, those of us who live near it hate it. look at the site. they even block the loading dock with parking. it is a massive source of pollution and is way out of scale for zoning. guess it depends on who you know. glad you care about what your kids eat. you poison ours. They come in the middle of the night, leave their lot unsecured. really a nasty operation.

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