Dear PoPville – Looks Like the NJ Ave Wal-Mart is Breaking Ground

Dear PoPville,

Spring seems to have come early for the ground breaking at the H Street and NJ Avenue, NW Wal-Mart (see pic).

The site has been active for the past 3-4 weeks and they have been pile driving for over a week now and removing mounds of dirt.

I thought the one at the old Curtis Chevrolet spot on upper Georgia Ave was gonna come first but maybe it’ll be a race?

47 Comment

  • I’m a snob, I admit it so before you blast me just know that.

    Wal-Mart’s are ugly in so many ways.

    • First reaction is I really hate this idea of wal-marts opening everywhere. Admittedly I have an image of a big box store, typical suburban store with acres of parking lots. Being in the city though, anyone have any insight as to their plans? If they can pull it off like Target did in Columbia Heights, it might not be as bad as I fear.

  • Has broke? Really?

  • Other stores will just have to compete on quality. Because the price of my basket of goods will be oiled by the sweet sweet blood of the workers.

    Not trying to set off a debate. Just being a jerk for fun.

  • brookland_rez

    I’ve been shopping at the Hechinger Mall Aldi, and on groceries, I think Aldi gives Walmart a run for their money. It will be interesting to see them both duke it out in the low cost grocery market.

    If I were Giant and Safeway, I’d be scared. I guess that’s why they’re both aggressively updating their stores. Competition is good.

    • I live a block away from Aldi and recently stopped in just to check it out. No way will they give Walmart a run for their money. First of all, it is way to small. Second of all people like brand recognition. Thirdly, you can get more overall shopping done in Walmart, not just food. While Aldi is a great for some, it likely won’t work for most. Their presence will have no impact on Walmart.

      • I also live a block away from Aldi, and have almost exclusively shopped there since it opened. I personally value low price over brand recognition and I think many in the neighborhood would agree. Yes, I often have to make a second short trip to Safeway to get more specialty items (I’m obviously not a great cook, so I pass over HT, WF etc) but I’ve found it’s worth the cost, and with only one or two exceptions I can think of, the quality has been comparable to the brands that cost 3-4x more. I may have been hesitant to try it, but my boyfriend vouched for their quality of meat (frozen and fresh), having grown up with the store in Europe. I have to say that while it’s annoying to sometimes make two grocery trips, that I can buy 95% of what I need at Aldi for the exact same price as the other 5% of what I need at Safeway, dollar for dollar. Wal Mart will probably have even greater success with this model, as it stocks nearly everything. It’s probably just a matter of demographic- if you already shop at somewhere like Aldi, you’re probably inclined to go to Wal Mart (myself excepted…it’t too overwhelming), and if you shop at WF, there’s not a chance in hell you’ll go.

        • I know what you mean and I am not denying it doesn’t serve a purpose. I just think that in terms of Walmart, it is a non-factor.

          BTW, hi neighbor. I think you are the first person that I have said that to on here in almost 5 years. I’m on H st. You?

          • Hi neighbors x 2!

            I’m on H right about @ 20th. I didn’t think too many folks in my neighborhood visited PoP. Nice to e-meet you.

          • Haha hi, both neighbors. I’m on Gales & 15th 🙂

          • Caster,

            20th and H? I am on 18th and H so you know I know what it is. Did you just move there or have you been there? I see more and more new people (or at least I assume they are new) all of th time. But yeah, I know what you mean about not thinking too many folks from PoP lived round our way, that will soon change though.

          • @Kam- I’ve been there since I bought in Oct 2010. If you see two cats on leashes in a front yard on H, you’ll know it’s me 🙂 And I agree, the neighborhood is changing all the time, but I really do enjoy the way it is now. It’s a nice little pocket of an area.

  • poor and the lower middle class love the hell out of walmart. and there are a lot of those people in dc. most people, in fact. walmart will do well here.

    • brookland_rez

      I’m certainly not lower or lower middle class. But I will shop at Walmart for some things. If I spend less on toothpaste and things like that, I can spend more money on beer and things for my bikes.

    • uhmmmmmmmmmmmm…..I grew up in a town where Wal-Mart was one of two grocery store options within a 30 mile radius. In some cases people who are not “poor and the lower middle class” frequent Wal-Mart as well.

    • “Poor and lower middle class” etc..etc… are all social constructs. My frame of mind and patterns of behavior are not up for others to define.

      • the point is that are a ton of poor people in this town. if you were poor, you’d know exactly what it means. regardless of your frame of mind.

        • I wanted to have a nice little grocery store over in NE less than a mile from here…no fancy aspirations, just a mom and pop like my grandparents….but I couldn’t afford it or more importantly sustain it knowing that I would most likely be driven out by a big chain food store just like they were. You know it’s true.

  • dt

    Speaking of broken ground, anybody know what’s happening on hwy 50/NY Ave NE, just inside the city line? They’ve denuded a huge swath of landscape and are pushing dirt around like crazy. Another Walmart? Costco? What is it!

  • Wish the headline read “Dear PoPville – Looks Like the NJ Ave Wal-Mart is Breaking”

  • I love the juxtaposition of the Wal-Mart (also known as Marché sur le Mur in France) being 1 block from preppy Georgetown Law School. Nice!!

    • brookland_rez

      Or how about being so close to the Capitol? Maybe they will offer discounts on navy blue pinstripe suits for the congressmen and Hill interns. LOL.

      Being close to the mall, they will probably have a lot of tourists shopping there too.

    • Not just one block to GU Law – it’s in the same block as tony Gonzaga College High School – right up next to the football field and tennis courts. Walmart’s gonna make a nice place to skip class and have a smoke.

  • I heard a rumor (via twitter, so who really knows) that this construction is happening without a permit. Anyone out there with better city government related internet digging skills than me know the scoop?

    • On something this big and this much press? Yeah that never will happen. They may have a temporary permit for base building or site excavation and still in the process of Permit submission or Permit review for the complete project.

      But whatever they’re working on now, they certainly have some sort of permit for. There may be additional things they have yet to be approved for by the city though.

  • The Curtis Chevy building and old streetcar barn are being torn down as we speak! Started in earnest a couple weeks ago. Glad to see *something* happening there, even if Wal-Mart wouldn’t be my first (or second) choice.

  • I wish some of the awesome stores from the Midwest would move in here, like The Andersons or Kroger.

  • I’m happy about this, because I want to have options. I don’t feel any sort of loyalty to Giant and Safeway (cause they kept their stores ghetto) or Harris Teeter, Target etc because they didn’t move into the city until they saturated the ‘burbs. Buying crap at Walmart isn’t going to put independent businesses in DC out of business cause in my hood, there aren’t any hardware, clothing or food stores. Walmart is going to make places that very recently arrived or were here for a long time and sucked — compete.

  • Seems to me like it should be referred to as the H Street Walmart rather than the NJ Walmart. It doesn’t touch NJ Ave – or is the land triangle between 1st and NJ incorporated into the plans somehow?

    • aa You are correct. The site is actually at First Street and H Street. First street has been closed off to the public and was only accessable by GPO employees for parking. This project will reopen this one block stretch of First Street. However, most news articles refer to this site as the NJ Ave Wal-Mart.

  • I maintain that none of these Walmarts will open before 2014. They seem to be taking their sweet time with them. A shame about the Costco site in NE, since Target pulled out, they are clearing all that land for no reason and much of it borders wetlands.

  • Do we seriously need four of these?

  • I can’t wait for the pile driving to stop. The noise made work this morning absolute hell.

    As for demographics, I suspect that this Wal-Mart will draw a lot of business from the nearby bus routes: X2, X9, 80, 96, and the Georgetown-Union Station DC circulator all stop within a block of this location.

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