Friday Question of the Day – What Retail Would You Like to See Come to CityCenter DC?

City Center Rising Downtown at 9th-11th Street, NW

The huge CityCenter DC development on the site of the former Convention Center has been the subject of much speculation about who may or may not be going into the many available retail spaces. One of the biggest teases we’ve heard was the possibility of an Eataly (market place and restaurants.)

CityCenter DC’s Website says:

“Retail emphasis will focus on a broad range of distinctive restaurants and cafes, grocery/market foods, entertainment and performance venues, fashion and specialty retail, and neighborhood services. Thirty percent of retail space will be devoted to merchants with six or fewer stores in the United States.”

But last week a commenter felt strongly that:

“As for Apple, they probably won’t go to Union Station; however, they are going to City Center… They plan to open a flagship store at the corner of 11th and NY… Watch for this and more official announcements soon (think Top Shop, Uniqlo, etc.)”

So what would you rather see come to CityCenter – more restaurants including something on the scale of an Eataly or more fashion and specialty retail like an Apple store, Uniqlo etc.? In reality do you think this development can/will have a mix of both restaurants and specialty retail?

179 Comment

    • Dave & Busters or a Regal Movie Theater would be nice. I’m pretty sure the parking prices etc will be geared to the diamond district crowd though… In that case, I guess it’s better than mattress shops and appliance stores. Maybe an upscale (world class) salon and spa would be nice… I’m talking about some “James Bond” type decor….

      • There is a movie theater 2 blocks away…dave and busters might be ok though

      • Whats wrong with an appliance store? People need appliances. I would love a useful home improvement store in the city. Something that is geared toward apartment and rowhouse living like the Home Depot stores in Manhattan are.

        • A Home Depot would be a terrible waste of prime downtown retail space. Besides, there’s already one off Rhode Island Ave in NE

          • And its horrible and hard to get to. Check out the Home Depot in downtown Manhatten. Its completely different and geared towards apartment and small space living with high end products you’d actually want to use in a remodel. they even have a specialized outdoor section for gardening and grilling in small urban spaces.

          • The Home Depot in the Village on 20th? 21st? is great! Great idea about having something like that in DC’s downtown to cater to apartment-dwellers.

    • +100 for uniqlo!

    • I’ll 2nd Uniqlo (maybe others have done so futher in comments)

  • I’d love to see a Whole Foods on the east end of downtown. It would serve multiple neighborhoods: penn quarter, china town, shaw, and mt Vernon triangle, and offer a new lunchtime option for east end downtown workers

  • i think apple has reached it’s peak.

  • Be nice to see HIGH END shopping..Bloomingdales, saks, neimans, gucci, LV….especially seasons be nice to see some well decorated high end shops…

    • Might I recommend moving to Friendship Heights?

      • But wouldn’t it be good for Distric coffers if the tax revenue stayed in the District?
        Agree with high-end shops. Bring back Garfinkles!

        • I agree with having more nice, quality department stores downtown. H&M is for the younger set who want disposable clothing and other trendy items, who change their fashions and decor each year. But for those of us who spend our clothing and home furnishing dollars on quality items that will last several years, it would be nice to be able to do the shopping downtown and to give our tax dollars to the District instead of Md.

        • Half of Friendship Heights is in the District

      • The type of retail one wants downtown dictates where they ought to live?
        Everything should remain stagnant then?

    • +1000 for Bloomie’s, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, etc. (yes…..I know some of these are in close suburbs, but other major cities get more than 1)

  • Apple is likely but wouldn’t be shocked to see a Windows store instead. I also think we’ll see either REI or EMS and more high end retail as noted above.

    • What exactly does the Windows store sell, other than Windows? I’ve been struggling to understand the point of those stores, since Microsoft isn’t really in the hardware business.

      • SouthwestDC

        I don’t understand the excitement over Apple stores either. When a new iWhatever comes on the market doesn’t everyone just order online?

        • there are huge lines outside of every apple store near releases for new iphones, ipads, and i imagine whatever new product they come out with will see the same retail frenzy.

          i second an apple store. sales tax bonanza for the district to have two and it’s far enough from the georgetown location for both to thrive.

          uniqlo sounds cool too.

          uniqlo and apple!

          a trader joe’s would be awesome. small footprint, offerings not available at other area stores. far enough from always packed west end store for both to co-exist.

          • Aside from the maniacs who wait in line the day a new product is released, who goes into these stores though? Seems silly to want something that is only useful once a year.

            I agree that this spot would be perfect for a Trader Joe’s!!!

        • A lot of ppl like to futz around with the products, and use the interwebs, etc. the Apple store near CP in NYC is HUGE and always packed.

          I’d like to see a petfood store.

      • Does Microsoft have a gaming system? I walked past their store in Crystal City, and there was some kind of game demo going on. It looked like Xbox Kinect (or whatever the non-Wii motion-sensor thing is). So maybe MS stores sell the Xbox and its games.

    • REI is really the only reason left for me to go to VA.

  • Uniqlo, Apple and Top Shop are all but confirmed for City Center–there have been discussions about it for AGES.

    Folks should remember, too, that there’s an another entire property that’s a part of City Center that hasn’t even been started yet at the corner of New York and 10th. That piece includes a hotel on top of a “large-scale retailer that’s not a big box.” So, think a department store–Nordstrom’s being the most likely, though Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, and even Dillard’s have been thrown out there. That property also includes additional retail space.

    Also, and most folks don’t know this, but the property at the corner of New York and 9th is actually not a part of City Center, as it’s owned by a different developer.

  • An independent, quality, specialized meat & food shop.

  • Oh, definitely a Uniqlo! Was just in San Fran and went to their new store there. Wow. Loved it. Would be a smash hit.

  • Its a pretty mainstream area and we have enough ironic neighborhoods that sell organic pet dander products and reclaimed wood nail clippers.

    1) Massimo Dutti – none in US yet.
    2) urban style Ikea (small w/focus on shipping).
    3) Some high end stuff (Chloe, Prada, etc.), although not particularly popular in DC, they great for tourism and can help turn the 7th st./city center area into an even stronger destination.
    4) One or two big box restaurants. Typical suburban mall stuff, cheescake and
    5) A lot of small fashion retail
    6) Saks, Berdoff, or FAO Swartz

  • uniqlo

  • A Big Lots would be nice.

  • Arbys please

  • something to replace the filene’s basement that used to be at conn and desales. maybe a nordstrom rack?

    REI would be sick, too. or lasertag.

  • Uniqlo, Muji, Apple, REI would all do really well here. High end shopping might work for tourists, but all the locals who would shop at those stores probably do so in Tyson’s, it seems.

    There’s a clothing store in Europe, “WE” that I like. If they opened up their first US store there, I’d be extremely happy.

    Restaurant-wise, I’d like something more unique than what Chinatown/Metro Center has to offer, which is either mediocre chains or high end small plate frivolity. Something needs to raise the bar in that part of town.

  • but all the locals who would shop at those stores probably do so in Tyson’s, it seems


    who goes to Tysons? Yuck!

    • People who like to shop at places other than Target and the dollar store go to Tyson’s, that’s who.

      • I have only been to Tysons once in the past 7 years and not by choice. I get all my shopping done between Chinatown and Gtown, with twice a year trips to Friendship Heights.

        • I’ve only been to Tysons once in 21 years, and that was to see Jennie Garth on one of her ‘mall tours’ way back when. I was late and I missed her. I still have the headshot that I found on the floor though.

        • Add me to the list of people who have been to Tyson’s exactly once. That particular Penn Camera location was doing free camera cleanings a few years ago, but by the time I made it through all the construction and traffic it was too late. Never again!

          • Also, for the record, I never go to Target or the Dollar Store. There are plenty of other places to shop in the DC area besides Tysons.

    • Pentagon Row, too, for those who don’t have as much time to sit in traffic at Tysons.

    • It’s probably the best mall within a 500 mile radius, but if you prefer DC’s crap retail selection for fear of crossing over into another jurisdiction, well that’s completely up to you.

  • How about a huge, Cheesecake Factory-sized Rays The Steaks?

  • Belk’s. DC could use some upscale department stores.

  • The best mix would be a at least two department stores such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdales and a lot of smaller chain and specialty clothing and accessories stores. DC is very under retailed and we really should keep our tax dollars here rather than shlep out to Tysons to shop. Another retail killer is online shopping. Very convenient but the more we shop online, the less likely we will get incredible brick and mortar retailers to open here. I’m always amazed when I see Crate & Barrel boxes being delivered to buildings here in DC when we have their most beautiful store up of their chain right up on Mass Ave.

    • so it should be just like a micro version of a suburban mall planted in the city. Can we at least have an Orange Julius?

      • Many large cities have downtown concentrations of national retail chains. Union Square in SF, for one. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I would love to have Nordstrom downtown, for example, so that I don’t have to schlep out to Pentagon City and give my tax dollars to Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli.

        • So true. DC, particularly downtown needs to get it’s retail back. I’m nostalgic to the day when I could really do most of my shopping during my lunch hour and keep the tax dollars in the city.

          As for Uniqlo, while it’s a cool store, I just feel their merchandise is quite cheap. Wouldn’t last a few wash cycles.

      • Yes. Actually.

      • Oh no!
        Please no hating on Orange Julius!
        (Now that you mentioned it, I really really want one, right now!)

  • CrossFit, please.

  • what i’d like:
    -hudson trail outfitters
    -a store that sells locally handmade art and crafts/gift items. things you might find at eastern market or crafty bastards
    -an AC Moore, or other large craft store
    – restoration hardware, or similar.

    • I don’t know the current status of the rumor, but a couple of months ago there was talk of a Michaels going in at the Georgetown mall.

      • i guess that’s something. and great for georgetown. though they already have Paper Source. i like the neighborhood a lot, but i live much further east in the city and would just as soon go to the burbs as i would go to georgetown.

    • LOVE the idea of a shop that only sells things from DC crafters/artisans! Something like the “Best of Eastern Market” or “Crafty Bastards Gone Wild” — I think locals and tourists would like the opportunity to truly buy local.

  • Jose Andres should bring his China Poblano concept here.

  • Uniqlo, Mango , Bershka

    A couple of high end make up stores, Apple store, Muji, REI, Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table.

    Pretty much should cover all my holiday shopping needs. 🙂

  • Yums CityCenter!

  • + 1 for REI or another specialty outdoor retailer. That would be wonderful so that folks don’t have to high tail it to Rockville or College Park.

  • I still think a “try on” store would be a great, popular and innovative use of space. Catalog stores like Boden USA, J Jill, Land’s End, Athleta etc. would have small shops where they would stock their clothing in a variety of sizes so clients could see, touch & try things on then order them right there for home delivery.

  • Nordstrom
    A great ethnic/regional grocery/gormet store like Spanish Table in Seattle – could feature food, wine and munchies from anywhere.
    Great, simple Italian food – somewhere you can go with friends and enjoy a long (2+hr) meal without any hassles.

  • Burlington Coat Factory

  • sephora!

  • Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Nordstrom,

  • I’d like a Williams & Sonoma, Home Goods, or Crate and Barrel! I don’t have a car and can’t get to that stuff easily. Be nice to have things like that local

    • saf

      Williams Sonoma is directly above the metro at Friendship Heights, on the DC side.

      • SouthwestDC

        Friendship Heights is pretty far for those of us who live on the Eastern side of the city. I think DC could use more than one of some of the more popular chains. And yeah, I know there’s a W-S in the Pentagon Mall but a lot of us can’t stand that place and avoid it whenever possible. 🙂

  • I live up 11th Street in Logan and would LOVE the following:
    -a non-Macy’s department store (agree with Nordstrom)
    -A Whole Foods like the one in Foggy Bottom or whatnot (A TJ’s would be great, too, but I think a WF like the Foggy Bottom one would do amazingly well because of the lunch crowd – that development area in FB is well done…but I digress) I think a market there would help the overcrowding at 14th St.
    -Crate and Barrel. It’s a GREAT place to buy gifts and I actually don’t shop there online – I refuse to buy stuff online when I have to pay for shipping.
    -Smaller businesses. Boutiques that aren’t necessarily high end, just stuff you don’t see every day. There is not enough women’s clothing shops in downtown DC other than crappy H&M/Forever 21/Banana. It would be nice to be able to buy work clothes somewhere besides Loft w/o entering Virginia or Maryland. How about a White House/Black Market/Chicos/Soma store? They are always well designed and well maintained, and Soma’s bras are great (but again, shipping fees both ways!)

    • There’s a White House/Black Market and a Chico’s in Union Station. While I wouldn’t mind another Whole Foods, I’d prefer a Trader Joe’s for variety’s sake. The crowding at the 14th St WF isn’t because it’s a WF, it’s because it’s the nearest grocery store in a dense residential area. If not a Trader Joe’s, I think a high end gourmet market would be a great fit. Something like Grand Central Market would rock my socks!

      • I know they have one at Union Station, but I never have heard anyone go, “lets to shopping at Union Station!” I think a place with foot traffic and other shopping would be a good spot for them.

        As for food, I agree about TJs – I’d prefer it since I live nearby – but I think Whole Foods like the one at Foggy Bottom would do amazingly well with the office crowd. But I’d REALLY like a gourmet market. I had really hoped Eataly would go there but oh well.

  • SouthwestDC

    I’ve always wanted a craft supply store (Michaels or AC Moore) in DC but it probably doesn’t fit in with the location.

  • A kite store.

  • Another CaBi station or two on the corners of the property!

  • A real Jewish deli would be great – similar to, if not, The Carnegie Deli.

  • How about a Talbots for the not-quite-young-enough for Banana Republic downtown professional female crowd? Also, this city (and the universe) is sorely lacking in quality clothing items for plus-sized gals

    • There was a GREAT shop outside of Philly for 12+, everything from moderate price to expensive (with great accessories). She didn’t survive the recession, but she is starting her own line as well as having trunk shows around the area – hoping for a DC one in the spring. She’s on Facebook – Elizabeth Hall. She had a store called Fresh Ayre, more info here:

    • Not sure where my reply went….oh well.

      There used to be a great store just outside of Philly called Fresh Ayer, but she didn’t survive the recession. All 12+ from designer to casual. I would stock up whenever I was home. Now she’s designing and doing pop up stores – she hopes to have one in DC in the spring. Google Elizabeth Hall or Fresh Ayer.

      Also, last time I went to LeeLees Valise in New York, they said they wanted to expand to DC. Here’s hoping (email them and tell them you’d support it – I feel like if they knew how much of a market there would be, they’d move forward faster!)

  • Asian market!!

    • Yes! Something like Grand Mart that has really cheap produce. It’s one of the few things I still go to VA for.

      Also, a Dollar Tree! They actually have good stuff and I don’t think we have one in DC.

  • Reiss, Comptoir des Cottonniers, Theory, Journelle, Pottery Barn

  • H-Mart and SpaWold! Yes, I’m Asian.

    • I’ve heard grand and mysterious things about Spaworld (Disneyworld for adults, and not in a filthy way). . . yes – Spaworld!

  • How about a Gillian Clarke restaurant that never opens.

  • How about something not so chain-y, but a little more artsy and interesting like some of those shops on King Street in Old Town or a Wake Up Lil Susie type place?

  • South Moon Under! I believe Del Frisco’s Double Eagle is a signed tenant (the super expensive steakhouse, not Del Frisco’s Grille on Penn)

  • So is Eataly 100% NOT coming? Or is there still a possibility? I will hold out hope!

  • Some place to do Karaoke… the Dude needs to sing.

  • Top Shop!

  • high end shopping. a Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, piperlime, a flagship Banana Republic, Original Penguin , Ted Baker, Ben Sherman, Cole Haan, Timberland (hey have change a lot)

    top shop (the suck its expensive n it looks n feels cheap. we pay like $80 for a pair of really bad ugly jeans while in London they are paying like $30 LMAO)

  • I’d like to see a mental health clinic and abuse victims services become part of that new development. Many of the poor in that area seem to be in need of these types of services and it would be a welcome addition.

  • – Barnes and Noble ! if they still have stores… I miss the one in Georgetown
    – An upscale bakery/cafe like Paul (havent been but it seems yummy) but please no Pain Quotiedien
    – upscale shoe store
    – abc carpet and home
    – hanna anderson
    – Gap/gap kids

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