Logan Circle Scuttlebutt – Urban Outfitters Eyeing a Space on 14th St, NW?


1728th 14th St, NW

Back in Oct. 2011 I started hearing rumors that Urban Outfitters was looking to open in the U Street area. I finally heard that they may have narrowed their search. A very reliable source says they are looking at that odd brick building at 1728th 14th St, NW between Crown Pawnbrokers and Redeem clothing store. At one point, a commenter previously said, this building was home to a International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. Do you think this would be a good location for an Urban Outfitters?

46 Comment

  • I’m not so sure…i thought their market was younger than the yuppies in the logan/u street neighborhood. if it’s true they’re moving in, seems like it’s a sign that 14th street is becoming more of a destination and less of simply a neighborhood shopping area.

  • Wasn’t this also the Kozmo.com headquarters for awhile?

  • I could take it or leave it. Just an overpriced junk store.

  • I suspect this will go the same as all the rumors of Gap stores over the years

  • Meh, as others say, this area isn’t really their demographic. I’m not sure who their demographic will really be going forward, I think of them as a decidedly last-decade kind of store in any event, much like Gap couldn’t survive (or barely has, anyway) after 90′s trends abated. Heck, if you are over 21 and/or are not an uber-skinny hipster, none of their clothes fit a normal sized person, in any event.

    • Perhaps you think of it as a “last-decade store” because that’s when you were in their target demographic? I’m not being snide; I think it just might be off your radar. Their stores are always seem to be doing pretty brisk business. Not sure it’s a great fit for 14th Street, which skews older and spendier, but maybe this is a sign that the strip has hit its $5000 sofa saturation point.

    • I actually think their clothes run big. I’m over 21 and normal-sized but I have a hard times finding things there that are small enough. Not to mention the quality is incredbly poor for the price, but that’s another matter.

      • Hah, AK may have a point, I guess I have aged out of that demographic. As for the size issue, it has been awhile since I shopped there, so my views may be outdated, but I could almost never find something that fit me right there (and I am on the large side, 6’3, 215 with extra long arms, but hardly enormous). I had the same issue with H&M, and stopped shopping there as well.

        • That’s funny that you mention H&M because I was thinking their sizing system was similar (also on the big side). I’m petite though, and maybe things don’t fit me the same way they’d fit you.

  • While I agree with others the current locals aren’t really their demographic, I think 14th is already a destination and that the demographic may be changing soon. For the first point, it seems each weeekend that more people show up on 14th to go to the stores and grab brunch/dinner. Second, with almost 1000 new units coming, the demographic may change a bit. My understanding is that at least some of the apartments will be small studios that will probably be slightly more affordable than what is currently available.

  • Meh, I don’t think it’s anything worth getting excited about. There are at least two other locations in town already, do we really need another place that sells ironic t-shirts and way-overpriced knickknacks?

  • It would be great to see that strange brick building be transformed from a gap in the streetscape into something that knits the retail landscape together. As to whether Urban Outfitters would be a good fit, I think they’d be more profitable on U St – the big building with columns next to the Sunoco station would be a perfect space for them…and it’s available now.

  • wmm

    Unfortuantely, if you look at their current demographics in Chinatown and Georgetown, it’s lower income “youths” that will begin to clog up that block. There could potentially be the same problem C’town has with the loitering since once they come in a shop, they don’t have anywhere else to go. Anything further north or south on 14th are upper scale restaurants and bars, and the U St. metro is just close enough that they feel permitted to leave at their leisure.

    • Their demographic seems to be more Columbia Heights. Plus this is kind of a hop skip from their chinatown store. Why not go further uptown. I guess because they wan’t to be on the “hipstrip”.

      • I was thinking AdMo would fit the bill – perfect location for the Urban Outfitters with enough distance from the stores in Georgetown and Chinatown. In fact, maybe they should eyeball that space that was/is Left Bank now-turned Slaviya or something like that. They like those big industrial-type spaces.

  • PoP: Isn’t that building along with Redeem and the one next to it for sale?

  • I would have rather kept Reincarnations.

  • I just wish the clothing stores right up the block from there didn’t suck so bad. Current has been a great addition to the neighborhood, though. Maybe we could get an actual local business to open up…

  • I’m surprised that retailers like Saks and Nordstrom’s haven’t figured out a way to open smaller, more targeted stores in areas like 14th street.

  • My first reaction was, “Ugh, no…”

  • Not a fan of the store, but anything would be an improvement over what is an ugly void on an otherwise increasingly vibrant strip.

  • Re: demographics – a lot will start to shift when the new MegaCondos open up at R and U streets.

    At least it’s not a bar or pawn shop. I lurve me the 14th street bars, but there’s not much else besides pawns, (grossly expensive) Miss Pixies and Pulp. There’s some weird nostalgia for those long-term pawn shops. But small business or not, it’s like chess: if you only have pawns, you’re not doing so well. A little more of any retail could be a good thing, and a trashy box like Urban could anchor some smaller, better things.

  • That brutalist POS warehouse would make a great night club or even better, a target for a wrecking ball. If there s a bulding on 14th that needs to go this is it.

  • Anthropologie would be better.

  • Would they be going into a new development? It looks like there are already plans for this spot. This could be outdated though.

    http://dc.urbanturf.com/pipeline/206/17281736_14th_Street/

    • those plans have apparently been dropped due to issues preserving and incorporated a historic carriage house at the rear of the property. Clark Enterprises put the site back on the market (and may even have sold it already. I can’t recall).

  • Apple Store would be cool in this location. Don’t think the HPRB would sh*t a brick either.

  • Urban Outfitters might not be the best fit with the demographics of this neighborhood:

    http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2008/12/urban_outfitters_yanks_same-se.html

    • side note – media/blogs love to bash Urban Outfitters for being “anti-gay” – In reality the company likes to start controversies in order to sell clothes. It’s easy to point to Richard Hayne’s political contributions and claim he is anti-gay but that is inconsistent with his selection of executives in his company. The majority of the executives for UO and its sister brands are openly gay. When Hayne stepped down as CEO he appointed openly gay Glen Senk as his successor. Senk is married to Keith Johnson, the head antique buyer for Anthropologie – another UO brand. Senk recently departed UO for David Yurman though.

  • This should go right in the old Payless place on Columbia Rd. Just saying. Good room and no doubt they could afford the rent.

    • +1…why do we need 3 urban outfitters in DC while we only have one TJ’s…come on TJ’s! you could open up 4 new ones and they’ll all do well in that area.

  • I think it’s great news, if it’s true. I always thought that 14th street would one day be as lively as ‘Georgetown.’ There are plus and minuses that come with that connotation.

    They are expensive but who is dumb enough to buy the expensive stuff, wait until it goes on the sale rack, I’ve gotten some great deals, 5 dollar shirts, 10 dollar pants…

    Bottom line though, it looks like its time for me to move to the next up and coming area. What do YOU think the next area is?

  • Who needs another Urban Outfitters when we have Willow on Upshur in Petworth? Seriously ladies, check out her shop! She changes her inventory very often and everything is super affordable.

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