And in Other Big Grocery Store News – Scuttlebutt Confirmed – Whole Foods Coming to H Street in Late 2016!

600 Block of H Street, NE

It’s a big day for grocery store news. Back in February of this year we first heard the scuttlebutt about a Whole Foods coming to Street. From a press release:

“Whole Foods Market, in partnership with Insight Property Group and The Lionstone Group, has signed a lease for a new store location at 600 H Street NE in Washington, D.C. This is the second lease signed in two weeks, most recently 800 New Jersey Avenue SE, furthering Whole Foods Market’s commitment to the District.

The H Street store will be approximately 38,000 square feet with a target opening date of late 2016. There are currently four stores in Washington, D.C. and one in development in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

Rendering and more info after the jump.

“The H Street corridor is a thriving hub of diversity and cultural richness – a perfect match for Whole Foods Market’s goal to support each and every community we’re in,” said Scott Allshouse, Whole Foods Market’s Mid-Atlantic regional president. “Whether you’re a long-time resident or new to this neighborhood, we are proud to have the opportunity to join you and help write the next page of history. Being among the flourishing food scene, culture offerings of the arts district and the exciting mix of residents will make Whole Foods Market a great partner to those in the community.”

Whole Foods Market recognizes the historical significance of an area like the H Street corridor and has worked with partners like Mayor Vincent Gray’s office and Insight Property Group to ensure the best fit for the new site and help facilitate economic growth.

“Whole Foods Market has been great partners with the neighborhoods it serves, and they have provided high quality jobs to our City. The thriving H Street corridor embodies many of the characteristics that Whole Foods Market values: innovation, diversity, history and culture. I hope that Whole Foods Market continues to identify other neighborhoods, particularly those with underserved food and grocery needs, where they can continue to add value, energy, wholesome food choices and economic growth to the people of the District of Columbia,” stated Mayor Gray.

The development will bring approximately 430 multifamily units, 75,000 square feet of retail and two levels of below-grade parking to the H Street community, anchoring the corridor and reconnecting the two ends of the neighborhood. The project will achieve a minimum of LEED Silver certification and include green roofs, rooftop garden plots and landscaped area, energy efficient systems and promote numerous transportation options.

“This new Whole Foods Market at 6th and H will be more than a store. It will create a gathering place and a retail anchor at the heart of the community for years to come,” according to Richard Hausler, Principal of Insight Property Group. “That’s what ‘five minute living’ means – walking distance to everything. Whole Foods Market brings this idea to life on H Street with this new store. We are very grateful to all of the city leaders and our neighbors on H Street for making it happen.”

You can see an updated rendering of the building:

Rendering with WF Signs 05.28.13

70 Comment

  • Having lived on H Street for years, and the quiet end towards Union, I find this to be a bit bittersweet. Development is great, but this – along with the street cars – will turn this into yuppie central.

  • justinbc

    The amount of Cava Mezze tzatziki and harissa dips alone that I buy from them is enough to make this announcement be the best news I’ve heard all month thus far.

  • This is excellent news! Our house is a block away from where the new Whole Foods will be. It’s pretty much like winning the property value lottery.

  • Woohoo! No more trekking to P Street!

  • this is awesome news

  • …and this rounds out the H st. transformation.

  • Yes! This is amazing. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would own a house 6 blocks from a Whole Foods in DC I would have laughed in your face! We really need this to connect the awesome part of H street on the eastern end to the awesome part of H street on the western end. Hopefully in a few years this dead zone will be no more.

    • justinbc

      Pretty much every block in between the two cutoff areas has a large scale development project planned. In 3-5 years that middle section will be completely unrecognizable.

    • There is no question in my mind this will officially kill the dead zone between the east and west end. It will attract other businesses even before it opens I bet.

      • Agreed. I heard about the other developments, but this one will get so much attention that it might make others happen sooner! I will be so happy to finally have a pleasant walk on H street all the way to Union Station from my cross street, 12th NE.

      • I was going to say that too, except by late 2016 I think that area will already be filled out and no longer a dead zone.

      • It’s already much improved. 6th Street has the large sushi place/bar (open til 2am on weekends) and inspire bbq; 7th st has coming soon poboy jims and the ethopian place; 8th st has a ton of retail, and the corner of 9th has Chupacabra; 10th st has Ritas, Liberty Tree, HR-57 and Ben’s soon. Not too mention some of these blocks have retail, gyms, carryouts etc.

        Sure, can’t compare with the west or east end, but still.

        • justinbc

          I keep wondering if Po’boy Jims will ever actually open. That “coming soon” sign has been there for ages, and they didn’t even bother to register the Twitter handle they reference in it. It was nice at least seeing them at H St Festival this year, so I know they exist, there must just be some serious issues with the space.

          • I agree it was taking forever, but now they are actively working on the first floor. Did you see the post on FT about it?

            Only appears to be a couple people working on it and the inside is faaar from ready, but there is something happen. I agree that I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t open.

        • I think Heaven and H (in the old Grace Deli space) will be a great addition to the “middle section” of H, as well.

  • fix the blocks on the southside between 8-10th street..and then you have something massive on the east side of town..get the streetcar to connect the two sides and the city becomes great.

    • Rappaport has bought that entire strip mall from 8th-10th on the south side of H. The scuttlebutt I heard was they were waiting till the streetcar was running to begin construction, even though I don’t understand that rationale at all (since it seems they should time the *completion* of their development with when the streetcar runs, not come onto the strip 2-3 years later)

  • I’m surprised by this, since I figured they would either build a store here or by Navy Yard. I did not expect them to do both. Wow. As a homeowner I’m curious about the effect on property value. I live just off Lincoln park, about 1.5 miles from both of the new stores. Will these be close enough to affect my home’s value? I assume it won’t be much but tell me if I’m wrong.

    • justinbc

      I would say the cumulative effect of this store, the Streetcar, and all of the extra development that this Whole Foods will push, would be sufficient to see a pretty sizable bump. (At least I hope so, since I live right at Lincoln Park as well).

    • I’m also pretty much equidistant between the 2 and it’s like the best of both worlds with none of the crowds and much of the convenience. The two stores are like the classic the desert island joke — when asked why there are two synagogues when only a single Jew lives on the island, he answers “because I’d never step foot in that other place”

    • I was wondering that too. I’m near Eastern Market so I’m even more in-between. Regardless, it will be nice to have my choice between two within walking distance.

    • I think that’s too far for it really to matter for you. 1.5 miles isn’t considered close walking distance and that’s what it’s really all about.

      • From Eastern Market? I consider both locations well within walking distance.

        • I was replying to the original poster who said they were 1.5 miles away. Sure that is certainly walkable, but I doubt most people want to walk 1.5 miles and then drag a bunch of groceries all the way back. Most people want a grocery store within a few blocks of their house.
          I wouldn’t even consider Eastern Market close enough for the new Whole Foods to be a selling point. Eastern Market should be a big enough selling point in and of itself.

          • not really. the SE WF is around the corner from Garfield Park (under freeway). Close to Cap South Metro, and iminently walkable from Eastern Market area. Lincoln park neighborhood is more or less the same to the H St location. Either way you’re talking < 1 mi to either for much of Cap Hill. Very easy access

          • not really. the SE WF is around the corner from Garfield Park (under freeway). Close to Cap South Metro, and iminently walkable from Eastern Market area. Lincoln park neighborhood is more or less the same to the H St location. Either way you’re talking < 1 mi to either for much of Cap Hill. Very easy access

          • justinbc

            I would be shocked if they didn’t build an underground parking garage for this location.

          • I sincerely hope they do build a garage (and hopefully a better one than the P St Whole Foods). Otherwise it’ll be a cluster for the residents of west end of H.

  • Walking distance homes will see the biggest bump in value.

    • not a snark, but define walking distance relative to a bump in housing prices?

      • I’d like to know this as well. I think I’m willing to walk a bit further than most people, so while this will be in walking distance for me personally I’m wondering if I’m close enough for it to impact my home value.

      • I’d suggest < mile…but for groceries < .5-.7 because you have to carry stuff.

      • Agree, with groceries I would say 0.5 miles would be the max but depends on how many bags you have and what the temperature is like outside. Before I moved to H, I lived in Mt. Vernon Triangle and would walk to P Street if the weather was nice but otherwise it was Safeway for us. Now I have a Giant 2 blocks away from Whole Foods 4 will be that much sweeter.

  • @popville – a while back you posted WF scuttlebutt about Brookland as well. Would this mean that B-land WF is no longer on the table?

  • It is, and the past 12 years has been, an amazing time to live in Washington, DC

  • Hooray for more quality retail and better food selection on H St!

    Hooray for added density in the middle part of H!

    ps: They could make a mint if they make their below grade parking lot open till 3am to lure in the nightlife crowd. It’s a bit of a hike from the bars, but I bet most people would rather park on the 600 block and walk than spend 30-45 minutes trying to find parking in the surrounding neighborhood.

  • And here the best Fort Totten can do is Walmart ! Sad….just sad.

  • Boooooo!!! We need them in Mt. Vernon Triangle…to save us from the poor excuse of a grocery store called L St. Safeway! So now what can we hope for? Wegmans or Trader Joes? Boooooo!!!

  • THIS IS SO SAD……gentrification at its finest.

  • Now that H Street is officially done, who can predict the next neighborhood to gentrify? I think we may finally have to cross the Anacostia for the answer to that one. And I have to laugh at Joe Englert crying over gentrification, when he had a huge hand in the events that lead up to a Whole Foods landing here.

    • the next neighborhood?
      ivy city.

      all simultaneously. theres not Hot Neighborhood. the whole city is hot.

    • lots of things paved the way for gentrification. do you know Joe? its easy to look and judge, but it’s also shallow.
      a huge reason the area is gentrifying is because of massive reinvestment from the past.
      you don’t see the same kinds of gentrification in middle class strongholds like woodridge or michigan park, or until very recently brookland.
      so, yeah, cast aspersions at a guy that opening dive bars that cater to younger people that aren’t wealthy and blame it on him. do you blame joe for the gentrification of dupont, chinatown, and u street too?

      • Well yeah, he sort of did have a hand in gentrifying Dupont. And I’m sure he knows quite well what he’s doing in these neighborhoods, as he’s a very successful businessman. You see, opening these “dive bars” is merely the first wave of investment in these run-down neighborhoods, and they serve as catalysts for other businesses to open, and before you know it, these places are priced out and ultimately replaced by Panera, Whole Foods, Banana Republic, etc. That’s why it’s kind of funny to see Englert lamenting the whole process, when he’s been through it over and over, and almost certainly profits from the process. He’ll simply move on to the next neighborhood. I never said it was a bad thing.

        • I too found it funny that Englert is crying wolf over the Whole Foods while he’s largely responsible for the gentrification of H street.

    • Anacostia, Randle Heights and Congress Heights imo.

      Anon 9:50 has a good list, but almost all of those are already expensive.

  • funny that they mention the historical significance of the area, and the building looks completely modern – H street will look just like 14th street in no time..

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