Columbia Heights: DC USA’s Other New Tenant – Welcome SportsZone!

They’re obviously been a lot of buzz surrounding IHOP’s grand opening and pancake sculpting but I didn’t want Columbia Heights’ other new opening to fall under the radar. And I gotta say, for those that were worried that the space wouldn’t look good, your worry was in vain. It turned out great! They are located between the Lane Bryant and Staples on the 14th St, NW side (between Irving and Park Rd).

31 Comment

  • I think the DCUSA area of 14th Street is a perfect example of over-development. It has become a complete nightmare to drive/cycle through at any time of day. While I think there have been some improvements to that area over the past 10 years (e.g. the Tivoli), on the whole I think they’ve developed it beyond the capacity of the existing infrastructure.

    • yes there is traffic.

      i kinda like it. makes me feel like i live in a real city.

    • Much of the traffic between Meridian and Columbia Rd appears to be intentional to reduce vehicle speeds, otherwise much of the congestion could be eliminated with simple traffic light synchronization. Instead, the city hires the traffic guards to do what an otherwise ordinary traffic light could do, control and direct traffic… A vehicle should be able to travel North from Irving to Meridian without stopping, likewise a vehicle should be able to travel South from Meridian to Irving without stopping at a traffic light… instead we have coordinated chaos… in much of the city due to poorly timed traffic signals.

    • I like the city feel too (sorta like Atlantic Ave. Bklyn) I hate driving on 14th.

      I do not think there is over-development. Upper and Lower GA Avenue (and DC East of the Park generally) have so few shopping options DC USA is attracting tons of people likely in cars to shop. Some of the issues with the development were likely known prior to construction but concessions were likely made to get the project done since that area was pretty barren after the Metro construction was completed. Development in other areas will improve the situation in Columbia Heights.

      If you want more sports gear at Sports Zone ask for it. I am sure they will respond, sooner rather than later since there is a busy gym nearby.

    • Your version of over-development seems to me a bit of a personal critique of optimized development. That whole area was planned out well in advance as one of the District’s primary commercial areas — 14th in that area shouldn’t be anybody’s major thoroughfare, unless you’re specifically going to DCUSA or a neighboring store. Riding/driving on 11th, 13th, or 16th seems to make much more sense if you’re trying to get through/around the area and not to it. The only “through” traffic that should occur in that area is Metrobus, at least on the north-south traffic.

      Just thinking about what the area was 6 years ago still astonishes me. Hard for me to criticize what’s happened, knowing there was some overarching planning and it started, quite literally, from nothing.

  • I agree with Steve but I am not sure if it is a case of over development or just stupid development. For example, why can you only take a right turn at Park and 14th? They took so long doing all the construction down there and it’s worse than it was before.

    • I personally like that the traffic is so congested. As a non-car owner (like more than 50% of neighborhood households) I’m happy that the planning and layout heavily favor pedestrians and discourage driving.

      HOWEVER, yeah, the right turn at 14th and Park is basically a death wish for pedestrians. Cars traveling westbound on Park are directed to turn right onto northbound 14th street(green arrow, I believe) at exactly the same time that pedestrians are directed to cross 14th street, right through the path where those cars are turning. Unbelieveable. Countdown to death/serious injury and lawsuit against the city…

      • Another death trap is Monroe and 14th. Last week, I saw a crossing guard instructing westbound drivers on Monroe to pull out of their lane, and drive west in the eastbound lane. I was in the eastbound lane, past the intersection, on a bike. nearly got smushed.

        There are so many westbound drivers on Monroe now because Park doesn’t go Westbound past 14th.

      • I agree with you. Why is the pedestrian signal still not working at that spot – it’s been covered by a burlap bag since the construction stopped. I am starting to think it’s not being put in service is intentional, to get everyone to be more cautious.

      • I share your utopian, pedestrian-oriented urban planning fantasy, but that’s not why more than 50% of the neighborhood doesn’t own cars, it’s because they can’t afford them. Either because they’re living well below the poverty line, or they overpaid on a tiny condo five years ago.

        • Who said it’s the reason why people don’t have cars? The point is that *given* that most people don’t have cars, it makes all the more sense to favor pedestrian-friendly planning, even if it is at the expense of driver convenience.

        • -1

          There are also people who find cars to generally be a headache in an urban landscape and therefore choose to free up that depreciating capital for their living arrangements.

  • “Sports Zone”? I guess “Casual Street Clothes Zone” didn’t have the same ring to it.

    • yeah i agree, i think it needs a different name. but i do think it looks really cool and hip and i don’t mind it at all. it actually wasn’t very expensive either. air jordan’s have come down in price since i was in high school.

    • +1 I walked by on Sunday at 11:30am and it wasn’t open yet (for the day). I was hoping to pick up a pair of new running shoes on the way to the gym. I would have considered getting new gym clothes too.

      I looked in window and was surprised I didn’t see anything athletic. I was kinda hoping they running shoes and sports clothing was in the back of the store. guess not?

  • i like it. hope they carry 15s.

    why do people say “cycle” instead of “bike?” never heard that as a verb. is it a regional thing?

  • looks like a snazzy store. can’t wait to check it out.

    I agree with Anon. There is traffic. It’s a city. Who cares.

    The traffic has gotten so much better though since the contruction. The light cycles are funky. But they work.

  • IHop now Sports Zone, yikes! More stores like this and you will certainly convince decent places not to move in DCUSA. Remember REI, Urban Outfitters mulling over the idea, now Ellwood Thompsons says NO. Wonder when Up Against The Wall is opening.

    • What is wrong w/ Sports Zone, target demographic? Urban outfitters is a few Metro stops away.

      Target, Best Buy, The Childrens Place, Staples, Radio Shack not decent?

    • Maybe you missed it, but Ellwood Thompson did not say NO.

    • @Anon 11:29…do everyone a favor and shutup. Just as you’re dismayed by the opening of Sports Zone/Ihop & their “target demographic” others would question the need for an REI in that area…this is Washington DC a lot of different ppl need to be catered to within the city limits…and while i generally dont like the phrase “Move to Arlington” it sounds like you would be more comfortable in that type of homogenous environment…btw, Up Against the Wall is going out of business smartass.

  • I wonder how Sports Zone’s new arrival will impact Nash’s Sports up the street on 14th? They’re within 2 blocks of each other. Between those two stores, and the cheap athletic wear at Target, something’s gotta give…?

    • good point.

      let me just say this though – Nash’s is the only place in like a 3 mile radius to get an adult sized mouth guard.

      • Really? I’m surprised Nash’s has any actual athletic equipment/clothing. I’ve never been able to find anything useful in there (swim suiit for lap swimming, running shorts, running shoes, etc). It seems like a whole store full of bulky sweatshirts with redskins logos, perfect for people in obesity scooters, but not so much for actual athletic use.

  • The back wall of Sports Zone….HOLY GRAIL status for me!

  • Really? I hadn’t heard that about UATW. Sad. They closed their M street store, but they own Commander Salamander and still have a lot of stores in California. UATW has long been a favorite. And along with CS was part of what used to make Georgetown trendy (before it became all bleached out and yuppie). Sigh. I guess you can get some of the same types of clothes and brands at Universal Gear, but that’s not quite the same.

  • I like shopping at DCUSA. Easy and cheap parking and I can get a lot of shopping and errands done and only park once. That saves me time and gas and the world polution. I also like that my sales taxes are going to MY city and hopefully the employees are locals and not imports from the burbs. By the time I drive out to VA I have wasted a half hour. Driving to DCUSA is only 10 minutes from my house and that includes parking. I do try to use the “back entrance” to the garage and avoid 14th St.

Comments are closed.