Two More Stores Planned by Walmart for a Total of Six in DC

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Planned Ft. Totten location

The Washington Post broke the news last night:

“Besides Skyland, the other new site is in Fort Totten in Northeast, where a Wal-Mart will fill the first floor of an apartment development called Fort Totten Square.

Wal-Mart previously announced plans for stores at a former car dealership on Georgia Avenue NW in Ward 4; at East Capitol and 58th streets in Ward 7; at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE in Ward 5; and as part of a new mixed-use development on New Jersey Avenue NW in Ward 6.”

You can see a map of all the locations here.

86 Comment

  • They’re trying to snatch up all potential locations for Target, There’s no way they can place all those stores in DC and stay profitable… Anti-Competitive business moves by mega-corporations.

  • 2 stores, less than 5 minutes from each other, will cannibalize competitors. We need more diversity in this neighborhood.

  • The Ft. Totten one makes no sense.

    • It makes perfect sense. Take a look at the design below. First floor retail with residential above, situated at a Metro station. As I said, makes perfect sense.

      • I should clarify – it makes no sense to me to put a 2nd Walmart ~ 16 blocks from where another Walmart is already planned. Too Walmart-y. Absent that factor, I think the location of the Ft. Totten one makes a lot of sense, and I like the design.

    • Why not?

      The stores in that strip mall were demolished years ago, and the project has had a “Coming Soon” sign for years, presumably because of the bursting of the housing bubble. The Fort Totten Square project didn’t seem to be going anywhere — maybe they didn’t want to build it without a guarantee of retail to occupy the first floor, and maybe they couldn’t get stores to commit.

      Well, now they’ve got a retail anchor for the project, and it can go forward, bringing in some high-density housing a few blocks from the Fort Totten Metro and (I hope) eventually making the area nicer.

    • why?

      when i read about one going ro fort totten, i thought it made perfect sense for that area.

      the area is underserved, family oriented, less than average income and car centric.
      perfect mix for a walmart.

  • I might’ve preferred to see a mix of Wal-Marts and more Targets (ideally ones better run than the Columbia Heights one, and with a parking garage that validates rather than charges $1/hour)… but was Target ever actually in the running?

    I thought Wal-Mart was making an effort to get sites where there weren’t any grocery stores nearby and there was a market for their groceries as well as their other merchandise. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t these six stores be profitable?

  • I’m not sure who is making it between Brightwood and Riggs Park in 5 minutes… especially among those of us who live in the neighborhood and don’t drive.

    I’m all for the mixed use development of the Fort Totten area and I think the Walmart anchor might be just the entity to put kickstart the process for this eyesore site that has been languishing for many, many years.

    Looking forward to see what happens with this announcement.

  • Fort Totten one is interesting to me, however, you have to look at it in context to the neighborhood. Up that stretch of Riggs, the only thing I can think of is a Kmart a bit further north. Walmart will eat Kmarts lunch, as Walmart is a much better store. Seems like a positive for all? Plus it is in the district, but will definitely attract a lot of customers from PG county.

    That will be a nice change for DC, attracting PG county revenue and tax dollars, as opposed to District residents spending dollars and taxes in PG county. Definitely hoping we are still working on a CBA, as I could see this newest Fort Totten location having a lot of PG county employees, which is semi-counter productive.

    • I wouldn’t expect organizing groups in DC to punch their way out of a paper bag, much less build enough power to force DC to enter into a community benefits agreement that ensures living wage jobs, local hire, and all those other goodies.


  • All for it. great news!

  • someone’s going to have to make a go-go walmart song and video to rival the new orleans bounce walmart vid:

  • Looks good to me. Wish the elitists would stop pushing their retail preferences on everyone else. I’m not going to shop there either, but Im happy theyre opening. DC needs more retail and more retail jobs.

    The antichain store, and specifically antiwalmart, position is one of classism thinly veiled by specious concern for “local businesses” and “workers rights”.

    • There’s a lot more to it than that. Educate yourself:

    • Then you haven’t heard the one about Walmart denying women promotions and equal pay and then getting the Supreme Court to toss the case in a precedent that will make it difficult to ever pursue gender (or race etc) discrimination cases against big box stores. Yeah, that one’s a laugh riot.

      Some folks have an anti-chain mentality. Some folks have a real concern about local businesses and workers’ rights. Walmart does NOT respect workers’ rights. I think the point of some of the Walmart campaigning is that it’s fine to open our cities to Walmart … IF they start respecting workers’ rights, and not until then.

      • Yes, because only WalMart does that. Small businesses NEVER treat their employees like crap based upon gender or skin color. In fact, every small business pays fair wages, ensures fair promotion, and respects their local communities.

        The above is sarcasm.

    • Regarding UFCW’s website, I’m sure they’re spending millions of dollars on a PR campaign because of their charitable nature and desire to expose all of the ills in society. It has nothing to do with their desire to organize walmart workers, right? Anything they say should be held to the same scrutiny as anything walmart says. They’re both out to increase their bank accounts.

      Regarding the court case, one could argue that its not walmart’s fault they won the case. blame the 5 scotus justices for bad jurisprudence or the plaintiff for not making their case strongly enough. All Walmart did was what any company would do if they were sued.

      You guys would fall all over yourselves if an Apple Store was going to open on Georgia Avenue. They’re really fair to women in this country, I’m sure – and I’m also sure they extend their fairness to the workers of China.

      So, enough with your bullshit reasoning. Its the classist elitism that spawns the fury over Walmart.

      Btw, Target is run by a bunch of right wingers too.

    • Oh yeah, and what about Whole Foods and Starbucks? They are 2 of the three major companies (Costco being the 3rd) that have been actively opposing EFCA, which is a top priority of the organized workers you claim to defend so nobly.

      So where is the outrage with Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Apple? If ANY of them were looking to open in any of the locations that Walmart is proposing to open, all you anti-walmart fanatics wouldnt be able to control your glee. But because its an anti-worker business that predominantly poor people shop at (you know, because the prices are lower, which helps them afford their kid’s school books and heat) you’re all about it. But dont let politics get in the way of your access to white chocolate mochas, exotic truffle oil, or a 850 dollar ipad.

      • I like.

      • Dude, your cranky, right-wing populism is my kind of politics. We are a rare breed in this city, so consider this a high five from me.

        • HA I’m not even remotely right wing. Just calling them like i see them.

          • Yeah, I’m not right-wing either, but by the standards of this city, my moderate, pro-business attitude is sometimes a badge of extremism.

          • Maybe you are and you just don’t know it yet, or maybe you think it’s uncool to be conservative. But we conservatives need to stick together in this town.

            News flash: You don’t have to love guns and country music to be a Republican who supports Walmart.

  • While WalMart is never my first choice to shop at, I think the area around Ft. Totten has great potential for development immediately surrounding the Metro station and this is a step in the right direction. The Ft Totten location makes far more sense to me than the GA Ave site (which the neighborhood doesn’t even particuarly want, right?)

    • Agreed. If they want to scrap the GA ave plan in favor of this one, i’m okay with that! They can keep their historic bus barn museum (or whatever it is), we get badly needed development – WIN WIN! 😉

      • Also, just to be clear, I think the city can sustain both locations… I realize these neighborhoods may be “close” as the crow flies, but as a Fort Totten resident and homeowner, I’ve never done any errands in Brightwood. Ever.

    • I, for one, want the Wal-Mart in Brightwood/GA Ave and I live almost in the middle of both proposed locations. Wal-Mart’s analysts wouldn’t push for both sites if their models didn’t show it would be profitable. It couldn’t be a better plan for DC. It will help property values in the surrounding neighborhoods too.

    • Most neighbors in Brightwood do support it,very few do not,but they are very vocal.

  • Terrible. It will kill small businesses – look at communities with Walmarts.
    Fort Totten Square would look just as great with a Safeway (like City Vista) and would encourage more development because safeway doesn’t sell clothing, houswears, garden supplies… Not to mention they pay union wages.

    • Andy, please call Safeway and make that happen. Oh wait, Safeway has no desire to be in that site/neighborhood or they would be there already. And have you been to the Safeway on Ga. Ave. near Walter Reed lately? It looks like a band of thieves ransacked the place and took all the fresh produce and meats with them.

    • There are very few small businesses in the areas where Wal-Mart is considering opening. (There’s some discussion of this issue in today’s Rant/Revel thread.)

  • How is Walmart any different than Target? Seriously, wouldn’t all of these issues be the same issues that the Target in Columbia Heights brought to DC? And I know that no one here shops that that place, right?

    • Target did amazing things to revive Columbia Heights (that’s a fact) and I hope Walmart is these area can do the same to jump start those neighborhoods.

    • Jebus the difference is night and day.

      Was in the WalMart at Potomac Mills because I was hunting for something I thought they would have. Just an overall depressing experience that reminds me why I prefer Target. Between the bad lighting and the cramped feel of the shelves it is a store that just frustrates as well as depresses.

      It does seem that several of the stores are very close to each other and wonder how that will affect in store sales (i.e. will they cannibalize each other).

      • The Walmart in Laurel is the best one. Far like the Potomac Mills location, but it’s got an amazing grocery section, well lit, uncluttered and the staff is friendly there. And I concur that a couple of the Walmarts will cannibalize each other. I am surprised that CVS hasn’t cannibalized itself

  • Please tell me what small business around fort totten this will kill? The two take out Chinese restaurants? The liquor store? I hope the KFC and Exxon can come out ahead.

    Take a ride over there and down to skyland too and then complain about how a Walmart isn’t going to improve these areas.

  • we’re inching toward the soviet model. one (or two) stores that sell everything and nothing else. what’s the difference between walmart being the only supplier of goods and a state owned store being the only supplier of goods? not much.

    • The difference is that you’re allowed to compete with Wal-Mart. If you can get me Colgate and Tide for cheaper than Wal-Mart can get it, I’ll come shop at your store, Anonymous.

    • If WalMart starts to take advantage of consumers, there will be another company who will come along to knock them of and provide the services that people prefer…that’s called capitalism, not Soviet communism.

    • So you dont know much about the USSR, huh?

      Earth is starting to become a little like Venus because its starting to orbit a bit closer to the Sun. Therefore, we’re all going to die.

  • Wow. Most of the above comments are surprisingly reasonable. What happened to PoP commenters? They’ve gotten so soft, suddenly. Doesn’t feel right.

    Would someone please explain how Wal-Mart is an existential threat to humanity? — how selling the same things that CVS’s are selling on every other block in this entire city, albeit for less, is somehow going to destroy the fabric of spacetime?

  • I don’t think its fair to keep complaining about Walmart not paying union wages and then worry about the small businesses. Do you all really think those locally owned mom and pops (and lets face it a lot of them are total crap and redundant) are paying their employees $10-14/hour or even offering the chance to buy into a health plan. the answer is NO.

    • HUGE difference there. Wal-Mart can afford to pay union wages. The mom and pop store down the street cannot.

      • If you want everyone to be paid union wages, go ahead and start a movement to increase consumer prices.

        I happen to try to buy things that are union made, but I know that this means I may be paying more.

      • Target can afford union wages and they don’t. Why no outrage there?

  • To ask a completely self-centered question, do you think the Wal-Mart at Georgia and Peabody will help or hurt property values in Petworth?

  • Pretty surprised that no one mentioned that Gray got Walmart to cave on the skyland location.

  • I’m for Walmart coming into DC. I may not shop there but DC desperately needs more accessible retail in poorer neighborhoods. As far as the argument that this will hurt local small businesses, what small businesses in these areas? At best it might hurt some in PG county but I am not going to boo-hoo over that.

  • Wait…Walmart Watch is based in DC. Should change name to Watch Walmart Open. 6 stores, too much.

  • to anonymous 12:49–just because a store can afford to pay more why should they? think about it, the type of jobs at Walmart are low skilled and really don’t even require a HS diploma. This is why they are comparatively low paying jobs. But based on the arguements in this thread, Walmart should stay away and all the unskilled unemployed people should try and get jobs at the corner bodega and make $7/hour and somehow that would be better.
    I have a MAsters Degree and I think I deserve 1 million annual salary. Gimme a break. if you want more then you have to make choices to try and make that happen. No garuantees in life.

  • That seems like a lot of Wal-Marts near Petworth, more than we need in DC really.

  • I have to ask, are these 6 planning on being the “super” walmart with groceries? I think this comes into play, given the level of discussion over a lack of fresh fruit & veg, or grocery stores in general, in inner city America. If so, that actually is a huge plus. Add in the creation of jobs for renovating buildings, building the spaces, and retail jobs.

    The only question is, which republican will take credit for creating all them jobs??

  • Sounds great! America needs more responsible companies like Walmart. If every company was as geared toward opening new stores in such challenging locations the unemployment rate in our urban areas would be so much lower. Thank you Walmart for taking the risk and helping us to better our city.

  • This never ending Walmart drama is so entertaining. I think it is safe to say that not one of these Walmart’s will open within 5 years considering the perpetual delays and controversies. I honestly think Walmart enjoys the drama because it’s free advertising. Any press is good press. I doubt the location on Georgia avenue will ever be built, there seems to be no movement on that location. I predict Walmart will pull out of that location (Walgreens and TD Bank can replace it) as the Ft. Totten one seems to be a more lucrative location and is actually near a metro. For me, the NY/Bladensburg one makes the most sense. 6 Walmarts is a bit much for me to swallow. 3 would be reasonable.

    • I think there’s a pretty good chance that none of them ever open. The labor unions in this town are a lot more powerful than Walmart.

      • 4 of the 6 sites are already currently zoned. All they need to do is submit their building permits. Walmart needs nothing from DC to build and open there.

        And with a yearly gross revenue of 430 billion dollars, I would take a bet that Walmart spends a few hundred million dollars a year employing in house lawyers.

        They’ve fought off tens of billions in class action lawsuits in the past 5 years alone, let alone the billions of dollars of Union lawsuits.

        I would bet that Walmart has a grand opening on their first DC store within 18 months.

        • I disagree, especially with the bad weather that is sure to arrive soon, they won’t get a chance to really make any head way. Walmart may not have as much luck in DC as they’ve had other places. This is a tough town to fight. More fights are looming and it will take 18 months MINIMAL for them just to build one of these Walmarts, especially ones with attached mixed use.

  • People who complain about Wal-Mart destroying quintessential urban neighborhoods are the same people who complain about their not being affordable and nutritious food in lower-income neighborhoods. Well guess what, most of these Wal-Mart’s sell groceries (i.e., fresh fruit) at prices cheaper than the rotting apple sitting on the counter next to the potato chips and lottery tickets at the local gas station.

    So which do you want: Cleaner, nicer, and more healthy neighborhoods (thanks to, yes, swallow, grin, and bear it, Wal-Mart) or diabetes and window-bars. Your choice.

    • +1000 but I still think 6 Walmarts is a big extreme. No other major city will have that many Walmarts within its city limits. DC will be nicknamed, “WashMart”

  • This is wonderful. While other urban lower income communities are shunning Wal-mart due to low-wage dead end jobs and the destruction of the local infrastructure, DC, in all it’s wisdom will be known as the city with Wal-Marts every 5 miles! They won’t do anything good for these communities, and when they have discovered that they have over developed, they will pull out and leave another empty big box storefront in it’s wake. These six Wal-Marts are only the tip of the iceberg. They have plans for building all over MD, VA & DE too. They also have a tiered structure, now there are mini Wal-Marts, some with food, some with limited food. Don’t assume all of these will be Super Wal-Marts. Gray and Brown once again have sold out the community.

    • Based on your second sentence alone, I know you have never studied economics, at least not seriously. Maybe you read a Naomi Klein book, but that’s not economics.

  • I couldn’t find the planned locations for Georgetown, MacArthur Blcd, Woodley Park etc. Anyone know about these sites?

  • Screw Walmart….i will never ever set foot in any if their stores

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