ANC Rep Hints Whole Foods Coming to Navy Yard


A couple days ago Navy Yard ANC Rep David Garber tweeted:

“Hmmm.. just received BZA application for a new “grocery store and apartment” development at 800 NJ Ave (NJ & H SE). Whole Foods?”

Last night he sent an updated tweet though renderings haven’t been shared yet:

“Got renderings for “grocery+apts” building at NJ & H SE. Let’s just say grocery sign is green.”

In a response he admits:

“Haha — y’know.. no lease is signed but it’s fun knowing we could be really close again. Stars *starting* to align.”

So wishful thinking or you think this will really happen?

Ed. Note: A Harris Teeter is coming to Navy Yard at 4th and M St, SE.

37 Comment

  • That is quickly becoming one of the most desirable neighborhoods in DC.

      • Yes, it is. Between the restaurants opening at the Lumber Shed and Boilermaker Shops, and all the other new development it’s about to become quite the place to be.

        • I think it’s still far from becoming one of the most desirable neighborhoods in DC, and might never get there unfortunately. Despite the pace of development the streetscape along M is uninviting and there’s the freeway cutting across the northern part of the neighborhood and South Capitol on the western end. As cool as the Riverfront is I’m afraid there are a lot of geographical issues that are hard to overcome.

          • Phew, good to know we have an urban planner here so that we know not to get our hopes up, and can just ignore what we thought might be happening

          • M St is butt ugly and totally un-inviting as things stand now, but there are projects currently underway that will liven up the area, particularly the blocks next to the hideous DOT complex. Let’s not underestimate how far development can go in transforming streetscape from forlorn to lively. It’s a little to envision now, but once the piecemeal development along M reaches critical mass, you probably won’t even remember the way it was

          • what neighborhoods do you consider to be the most desirable?

          • U Street, H Street, Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights. The old standbys like Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, Chinatown, Adams Morgan, Dupont and Logan Circle.

          • The freeway/cap south, while uninviting serve as nice boundaries that make SW feel like a small town. When the riverfront gets redeveloped and the freeway capped with a green lid, it is going to be AMAZING.
            Proximity to freeways and metro, stones throw to downtown and walking distance to stadium/theater/entertainment…yeah never mind it’ll never be happening.

          • M Street is due for a rebuild in several years, perhaps coinciding with the streetcar line.

            Answering a question downthread: Blue Castle redevelopment is kinda complicated by a current lack of dedicated parking, CSX’s construction timeline, etc. It’s faster for WFM to get a build-to-suit, and this is the closest spot they can get to the Hill.

      • i think it will be.

      • Yes, it definitely is. The one thing holding it back (depending on one’s view) is that a huge proportion of neighborhood development is commercial (by commercial I mean white collar business, not Boilermaker or -potentially- Whole Foods), which detracts a bit from the area IMO.

        Navy Yard is especially lucky in that it’s situated adjacent to Capitol Hill. The two hoods blend nicely, and I suspect the no doubt massive number of Hill residents meeting Whole Foods’ target demographic influenced this decision. Assuming it is indeed coming.

        Anyway, it’s about friggin time Whole Foods spread eastward into the city. I think a Navy Yard location, the rumored H St location and down the road…perhaps another location in the Bloomingdale-Eckington-Brookland-Edgewood corridor/vicinity

        • Blends nicely with Capitol Hill? Eh, no. They are totally different.

          My issue with southwest is that there are too many large scale superblocks that really detract from a “neighborhood” feel to the place. It ain’t cute, it’s not really that walkable, and all the ginormous apartment buildings make it feel more like MD or VA.

          WF is definitely good for the community, but I think I would be miserable living down there.

          • You’ve either misinformed or lying. Navy Yard is an extremely walkable neighborhood. The fact you think it’s in SW shows you don’t really know the area at all.

            The two gorgeous parks there make it indeed feel like a neighborhood, and the repurposed industrial buildings are awesome. Sorry you don’t like the admittedly sterile high-rises, but that’s not the whole neighborhood.

            Where exactly do you live to assume Navy Yard is miserable? You couldn’t be further from the truth.

          • It doesn’t “blend” per se, but they are two distinct, complementary neighborhoods. I kind of like it more than how Capitol Hill kind of morphs into H St and Hill East with no real distinction.

          • Forgive me, for when I said the two neighborhoods blend well I meant that the overwhelmingly residential nature of Capitol Hill is an asset to Navy Yard commercial development, since Navy Yard is under 1.5 miles from most of Capitol Hill. IMO that helps facilitate restaurant/entertainment/grocer projects in Navy Yard as that’s where there’s abundant (and I assume somewhat cheaper) land available for things like movie theaters, Whole Foods & the parking it demands, all manner of restaurants etc.

          • Anonymous at 7:31 has it right. I live on the Hill and plan on making great use of the stuff that’s coming to Near Southeast. I already go to the Yards Park at least once a week and will definitely go to the area for the new restaurants, grocery shopping, gym, movie theater (if it’s still coming). It’s within walking distance or a short drive/circulator ride.

    • Whats the vacancy rates for all of those new buildings near the ball park?

      The area seems abandoned except when there is a ball game…

      • jim_ed

        the Apartment buildings are all 100% leased. The Commercial buildings, not so much.

      • Or 9-5. A Whole Foods would certainly get a lot of business from all the people that work around here, if not residents.

        • Actually more like 6-5 because of all the Navy Yard employees who get in at ungodly early hours.

      • We own rental property in one of the high rises. We collect $1900 for a furnished studio. We have never been gone over one month without having tenants. I live in Logan Circle. I agree with some of the comments made on the post. It’s quickly becoming one of the most desirable areas to live in.

  • Oh, I hope this is true! My girlfriend has been trying to eat gluten-free and organic as much as possible (in compliance with doctors’ orders as she slowly recovers from a terrible illness). Despite all the grocery stores nearby, the organic and GF selections are still pretty lacking.

  • I’d much prefer that it come to around 8th & M–maybe the “Blue Castle”? Navy Yard is expanding quickly to the East, but Barracks Row’s expansion south is hampered by the Southeast Freeway. Putting a Whole Foods at 8th &M, effectively the intersection of Navy Yard and Barracks Row, would spur development in what now is a dead zone populated only by parking lots, empty storefronts, and the Bachelor’s Mill (as well as a charter school in the Blue Castle itself).

    • I agree, that would be even better. Isn’t the blue castle slated for development? When is that supposed to happen?

      • One developer bought the Blue Castle in 2005, and the WaPo article on that acquisition actually talks about putting in a Whole Foods (or similar retailer, but mentions WF by name). They later sold it to the current developers (Madison Marquette) who even now have a rendering of the building on their website that looks suspiciously like a Whole Foods. Of course, the last mention of that in JDLand is from 2011, so the great gods of capitalism only know what’s actually happening with it now.

        • There’s a banner up on the western side asking for interested retailers to contact them. I’m guessing the developer wants to wait until there’s enough interest before converting it from the charter school.

    • Also, a beer garden is supposed to be coming to that dead zone area. You get bet things will start to pick up after that comes!

      • Supposed to be, yeah, but JDLand’s last post on it was from 2011, and it was still in the middle of permitting then. No news since then (though the church that owns the land that would be behind the beer garden just paved much of their land–I don’t know when they plan to build a permanent church there. For now it looks like they just want more parking?).

        • No, there was an update on it recently. It may have even be posted on this site.

          • Interesting. I can’t find anything solid on it, but did just discover that the Capital Riverfront BID webpage on the Beer Garden has updated to state a completion date of 2014 to 2015.

          • From Capitol Hill Corner —

            “Site alterations for beer garden use at 720 L Street. Investor Mark Brody has radically scaled back the beer garden concept, and currently envisions a seasonal summer garden which would operate from April to November. Brody told the Planning and Zoning Committee that the original concept for the beer garden had grown so large that he couldn’t afford to build it. He hopes to operate the scaled down version until proceeding with the original plan becomes feasible. The commissioners had many concerns and questions, some about the appropriateness of the undertaking for that location and noted that these questions would be revisited when the application for a liquor license came before them.”

          • jch to the rescue! I’m not a fan of the idea of scaling it back in the short term. I’m also not sure that’s even legal in that location–JDLand reported in 2011 that he had once proposed a temporary structure while he operated in a scaled back capacity, but that, because it’s a historic district, temporary structures were illegal in this location.

    • If we’re lucky, perhaps we can get a Trader Joe’s in that location. Capitol Hill has been clamoring for one and it would be perfectly situated between two neighborhoods filled with high income customers (and right off the freeway).

  • andy

    Come on, Murry’s Steaks!!!

  • Bah.

    It’s nothing but a Harry Teeter.

    • I love Harris Teeter, but their organic produce section is really small and they don’t carry a lot of specialty items (gluten free, vegan, etc).

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