Say Goodbye to the old Fidelty Storage Sign

I’ve always loved this old Fidelity Storage sign touting 1000 indestructible rooms seen from 14th Street, NW just south of U Street. Well the cranes have gone in for the coming Louis at 14th development so not sure how much longer we’ll get to see it. Fortunately there is another sweet old sign closer to U street that should still be visible but it doesn’t mention the indestructible rooms. All will be forgiven when Trader Joe’s opens…

20 Comment

  • I LOVE that sign! Too bad it can’t be dismantled by hand and reused. Clearly, that’s not practicable.

  • RE: Trader Joe’s

    It’s not yet a done deal (ie. they haven’t signed any ink). I was talking with one of the regular TJ’s employees at Foggy Bottom about two months ago and he informed me that TJ’s has been looking to open a second location ever since the Foggy Bottom location opened up. However, there are a ton of issues that always arise when scouting for a new location that have forced them to repeatedly come up empty handed.

    1. Trader Joe’s insists on parking for their customers. Anything that doesn’t include a parking garage with a certain amount of spots dedicated only to TJs customers won’t fly.

    2. They need just the right amount of space. They don’t want something as big as a Teeters, but they also need something bigger than normal ground-level retail. Finding that sweet spot in terms of square footage and ceiling height is apparently difficult.

    3. They are extremely worried about noise. A grocery store is loud and most builders don’t spend the money to properly insulate and noise-proof the apartments that would exist above. TJs doesn’t want any legal headaches from condo owners on the next floor up.

    4. Grocery have very intense electrical needs. They need industrial strength electrical hook-ups and back up power generation, in case of public utility failure. Many developers don’t build out their new sites to accommodate a grocery store’s needs in terms of electrical use, either because it’s not worth the hassle/cost or because they don’t want to be stuck only being able to rent the retail space to a grocery store.

    Nothing is official as of right now. The TJs employee said that TJs is exploring options on the 14th Street corridor, but it needs all of these factors to come together to make the investment. The employee said that the developer got a bit too excited and leaked this information.

    • it would seem that jbg is smart enough to know how valuable a tenant they would be. with new construction, it’s not to hard to build these things into the project. it worked for Foggy Bottom, should work elsewhere.

      • You would think so, as the Foggy Bottom TJs does a ridiculous amount of sales & they are a guaranteed draw for foot traffic, but then again why wouldn’t there already be 3 others in the city? There have been a slew of recent developments that could have built out to accommodate them.

        The fact of the matter is that TJs is very picky and can afford to be. They treat their potential landlords in the same manner as they treat their independent suppliers – “we want the best price for the best quality and we want it guaranteed for XX amount of time.”

        The employee also stated that developers/landlords frequently try to gouge TJs on real estate pricing as they know they do a lot of business. However, TJs whole mantra is low prices so why would they overpay for real estate? It doesn’t mesh with the rest of their business model.

        One issue I could potentially see with a TJs on 14th Street is that there isn’t a ton of room for their delivery trucks. Side streets and alleys are too small for them to access a loading bay. Furthermore, 14th is extremely busy at night unlike the Foggy Bottom location so double parking multiple delivery trucks wouldn’t fly. I feel like a TJs on 14th will have a lot of the same problems as the TJs at Union Square in NYC – constantly mobbed, frequently out-of-stock, and dealing with the issues that come with being in a very busy part of the city. A TJs would be better off at a place on the fringes that are perhaps a little more opened and less trafficked – think the empty lot at Florida/9th Street, Georgia Ave, or off Rhode Island Ave.

        • You really should not talk about things when you do not have the first clue. Everything you stated about TJ’s above could not be further from the truth. Their business model is what keeps their prices so low, and it does take into account urban real estate prices. The loading has already been figured out.

          Can’t comment on the NYC “facts” you state above, because I haven’t been there.

          • He spoke with his checker for 10 minutes 3 months ago. The checkers are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the company, after all.

    • this city could definitely handle more, though whole foods and their hot food bar and cafe have situated themselves to dc better. i wish i had both in my neighborhood.

    • Not necessarily. I thought the same thing of the Clarendon location, but it’s been very reasonable every time I’ve gone. TJs does an excellent job of crowd control.

    • While they say it’s a priority, most Trader Joe’s locations never seem to have an overabundance of parking. The garage at the Foggy Bottom location is a cluster 24/7, and even at the Tyson’s location, you often have to wait for a spot on the weekend.

      And I know it’s really hard to grasp for some, parking is very necessary for a grocery store like TJ’s. While possibly even a majority of their customers will be walking or biking in, there are still lots of people who will be buying a big cartload of food and hauling it home in the station wagon.

  • Trade Joes is a done deal!

  • I’d rather the TJ go somewhere else nearby. This corner is going to be a mess.

  • I wish they’d come to NE.

  • Hey PoP that sign is actually going to remain. It will be behind the building, so it will be blocked from 14th Street but you’ll be able to check it out from the rear alleyway.

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