Murry’s Closing this Summer on H Street to Make Room for “high-end mixed-use community” Including Whole Foods Coming Late 2016

600 block of H Street, NE looking east

@HStreetDC_ tweets the updates last night:

“Murray’s grocery should close this summer so Insight can break ground for project, 600blk HSt. Fall start. #HStDC

Insight looks for late 2016 project completion. And Whole Foods! #HStDC”

Rendering via Insight Property Group

114 Comment

  • I can’t think of a better example of gentrification than a Whole Foods replacing a Murry’s.

    • brookland_rez

      This is a game changer for H St. I predict by the end of the decade there won’t be anything left of the “old” H St, if not sooner.

    • From Murry’s to Whole Foods: “Started from the bottom, now we’re here. Started from the bottom, now my whole team stuntin'”. Drake would be proud.

  • That Bikeshare station will need to get bigger whenever Whole Foods opens…

  • spent many an hour at the dmv that was behind the murry’s.

  • Between this development and the one going in across the street where the DC gov’t buildings are, H Street should pretty much be completely gentrified in the next five years. Here’s hoping Crown Fried sticks around (the new renovation there looks great btw!)

  • If this is anything like the one on GA Ave, good riddance! Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split ya!

  • Stupid question: they’re tearing down the Self Storage right? It looked like it from the picture, but the article didn’t say.

  • These new developments are just sucking the visual variety and literal color out of DC’s streets. Everything is going to look like Bethesda or Reston Town Center.

    • brookland_rez

      Sorry, the Murray’s and storage building are ugly. There’s nothing visually interesting about 1970’s suburban architecture plunked down in the middle of the city.
      I like that the historic buildings on H St are being renovated. H St is evolving into an aesthetically pleasing mix of historic architecture with classy new architecture mixed in.
      If you want “visual variety” of a gritty dilapidated streetscape, there’s always Minnesota Ave.

      • justinbc

        Ironically, one of DC’s historic “brands”, Ben’s, tore down one of the buildings worth preserving in order to come to H Street.

      • + a million. Yeah because saving those hideous buildings will really do a lot for the neighborhood. I would agree with this argument if they were tearing down the buildings that used exist before Murray’s and H St Storage (the Apollo Theater for example), but sadly those were already torn down. They could build another Ava (ugly lego looking building) and it would still be better than what is there now.

        • justinbc

          That old Apollo Theater was gorgeous. I was hoping the new development would try to emulate the old facade, since they’re using the name, but the designs don’t seem to give the impression that they are.

          • Yeah totally agree. We live on 6th St and had pictures of the old buildings that used to stand on that strip of H printed to hang in our house. It’s sad they’re gone, but the new building is definitely a vast improvement over what’s currently there.

      • I want great and vibrant interesting street life…everywhere. I’m no planner or architect, but these block-long developments just seem to be mimicking today’s office park suburbansim or “town center” developments, where a majority of users barely (have to) interact with the street, because there’s an ocean of parking underneath. My example, Bethesda, tried to right itself a little bit with Bethesda Row, but two blocks over, Wisconsin Ave., lined with buildings like the one above, . is just dreadful.

        • this is not remotely the same as a town center. it’s built right into the urban fabric and layout.

          • Right… at least the Town Centers try to present a cartoonish facade of urban vibrancy. This is just straight office park coldness. Worst than Bethesda, DC’s going to become “Dulles”


          • brookland_rez

            The new building on H St looks nothing like that picture you posted. The one you posted is dull, has like no landscaping and is surrounded by a sea of parking.
            What would you like to see built? Townhouses? H St is an increasingly “downtown” area. What is being built fits in with the area.
            Let’s be honest. This has nothing to do with architecture and everything to do with the fact that the neighborhood’s changing demographics. If you want the old H St scene, there’s still plenty of rough around the edges places east of the river or in PG county.
            Having lived on the old H St and being there to chase off prostitutes, etc, I for one don’t miss it.

          • kook47797,
            yup you got me. i thought you were being serious.

    • A clear-cut case of swaggerjacking.

    • The above poster has a point – though the buildings on THIS block are ugly and have no character – I think its predictable that (barring some dramatic weakening of DC’s economy generally) within 10 years H street will lose its quirkiness. The hipness, quirkiness, etc is part of being transitional between slum and yuppie disneyland – in some cities that can perhaps be an indefinite, but in DC (given the level of demand and the constraints on supply, neither of which I expect to change) the transition time is fairly short (and although its accelerated in the last 15 years, it was still fairly short even in the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

      The good news, though, is that kind of transitional quirkiness will move to new areas – historic Anacostia and perhaps some other EOTR areas, up RI avenue, etc. By the time all of those are done, its just possible enough of the current hot areas will be aging to lower rents enough to restore some quirkiness.

      • brookland_rez

        That’s why I keep saying East of the River is the place to go. East of the River is like H St, etc. was 10 years ago.

        • really? where exactly east of the river is there a long corridor ready to be developed?

          • brookland_rez

            Historic Anacostia, Minnesota Ave, Pennsylvania Ave, Branch Ave, Alabama Ave. All of east of the river, especially around Metro stations will be redeveloped at some point.

          • brookland_rez, hush!! Some of us are planning to buy in one of those areas in the next year or two. I’d like it to stay affordable until then. 😉

    • Both Murray’s and the storage building are white. White is literally the absence of color, so in the strictest sense (and in several other senses, too) you are wrong: there is no color to be sucked out.

  • brookland_rez

    The end of an era?

  • YES! As someone who lives a block away from this development, I couldn’t be more excited about it. I really don’t care what the nay-sayers think. This “grocery store” carries moldy bread, bad produce and snack cakes. It does nothing for the neighborhood- especially now that the Giant has opened.

    • Yeah… if it was a quality small business that added something to the community, I’d care. Murray’s is an insult to long-time & new residents alike – offering nothing but packaged sugary foods, wilted produce and moldy bread…

      • Also, if there wasn’t a Giant there and the only grocery store on this side of H was being replaced by a Whole Foods people couldn’t afford, that would be bad. But that’s not that case.

    • justinbc

      Murray’s is absolutely terrible. People are going to complain regardless of what comes into the neighborhood. I’m not sure how you can objectively look at the planned development and say “this is a bad thing”.

      • agree.

        murrays is only good for one thing: el cheapo toilet paper that doesnt rupture my hemorrhoids

  • brookland_rez

    LMFAO at the Yelp reviews of Murrays
    “two stars because the atmosphere is fucking fantastic. i’m not sure if only half the lights are on, half the lights are broken, or the place is just dark, but shopping at Murry’s is like shopping at some post-apocalyptic foodstore and mad max is at the back of line making a hissy-fit bc the cashier is taking so long to get a price check on bulk processed cheese but it doesn’t seem like anyone is actually checking the price. (just shut up and wait like the rest of us, MM!) half the supermarket is frozen food (the only kind of food in the future) and the other half is poorly stocked and maintained supermarket standards. need some cheerios?…just pick that box up off the floor in the boxed food aisle. don’t like cheerios?…tough, that’s all there is at murry’s (and in the future!) shelves are somewhat organized but you should do some digging to find undamaged products, or what you’re looking for might just be hidden behind something else. also, there’s a shopping cart shortage in the future and you won’t be able to take your cart to the parking lot since large concrete pillars block your exit (along with panhandlers that litter the entrance/exit). also apparent about the future is that customers will be ruder while not really being in a rush (simultaneously!).”

  • brookland_rez

    Also worth mentioning, Aldi is a vastly superior option to Murray’s for people trying to save some money on groceries. Unlike Murray’s, Aldi’s food is of high quality, and they even offer an organic line now that is vastly cheaper than anything at Whole Foods.

  • It’s interesting to hear the complaints about Murry’s. I’ve never been in one (I live near the one on Georgia Ave) so I have no reason to doubt the naysayers. But why does it take a change in the economic composition of an area to give residents a decent grocery store option? That area has been heavily populated for years. Why did the residents have to live with moldy bread and crappy produce? It’s unfortunate that it takes wealthier people moving in to a neighborhood, and poorer people getting pushed out, for a decent grocery store to open.

    • Uh, because of economics?

      • +1. Businesses go where the money is- not that hard to understand.

        • Actually, there is plenty of money to be made in “poor” or “low income” neighborhoods. Hence the reason why grocery stores in those communities often sell worse product at higher prices.

          • Sure, but a business like Whole Foods is going to open stores where people will be likely to shop there. A primarily low-income area wouldn’t make sense for them.

    • justinbc

      I don’t think anybody would ever accuse that Murray’s of being a busy location. My guess is that the local residents simply shopped elsewhere.

      • brookland_rez

        That’s what I did the two years I lived on Parker St. I went in that Murray’s once. I used to leave the area and go to the Giant on RIA or 7th St, or the Hechinger Mall Safeway. Those were the only grocery options 10 years ago.

  • Hopefully the Murry’s on GA is soon to follow. There are plans but nothing has seemed to move yet. Pretty please

  • I have never stepped foot inside of that Murray’s and it is a shame that it didn’t have quality food. But what I think is worse is that there is that there is not an option for those that can’t afford WF or Giant. Murray’s did serve a purpose (as bad as some of you say it sucked). I would much rather have seen that replaced by a like of an Aldi or something. However, with that said, I can see how it is a “Win” for many, including my family who own in the area and can afford WF should we choose to go there.

    • justinbc

      I doubt Aldi would build two locations so close to each other (there’s one on Maryland just past the starburst intersection).

    • There is an Aldi’s in the area already so I fail to see why we need another one in such close proximity. What we don’t have in the area is an option for high-quality organic foods. Now we will.
      And by the way, Giant definitely has low-cost options. It is not a high-end grocery store by any means so I’m not sure what your point is. The Giant fills the gap for those who can’t afford Whole Foods. Not only that, it has much better quality offerings than Murray’s and with Aldi’s up the street, there really is no reason low-income residents can’t continue to buy groceries in the neighborhood.

      • brookland_rez

        I agree. The neighborhood will soon have every spectrum of the grocery scale covered. At the low end, there’s Aldi. Then Safeway, then Giant, then Harris Teeter, then Whole Foods. Between all those options, there’s something for everyone.
        Murray’s tries to be at the low end, but as everyone has said, the quality is low and the prices really aren’t that good. Aldi is the best option at the low end. Good quality food, rock bottom prices that I would wager are much lower than Murray’s. Murray’s just has no place in any marketplace.

        • justinbc

          Now it just needs Trader Joe’s to buy/lease the church lot that recently sold and convert the corner of that block 🙂

          • Please! Or some developer needs to answer my prayers and raze hechinger and replace unsafeway with a TJs. Please and thank you!

          • brookland_rez

            The Hechinger mall will inevitable get redeveloped someday, but there needs to be a lot more momentum in that area before it happens. That’s a huge parcel of land and will take major $$ to redevelop.

          • Oh I agree re. the needed momentum but it’s a shame because of the same reason why the development will be slow – the size of the parcel. There are so many potential uses but I have no idea what the best one is. I just want whatever replaces that strip mall to include a trader joe’s :)…oh and a good gym.

          • Would love the United Stadium to be built where the Hechinger Mall is…real neighborhood stadium and team. Streetcar to take you there…would be awesome.

            but I guess where it is going to be built isn’t too bad.

          • brookland_rez

            I can see Hechinger Mall getting redeveloped into some sort of mixed use development. When I say more momentum is needed, I’m talking about a Carver Terrace and the area around it to the east and south of Benning Rd getting more solidified. Right now, those areas are still in the infancy of transition. Once developers all the area around it significantly improved, then I think there will be demand to bulldoze it and start over.
            For now, there’s actually a few store in Hechinger Mall that are useful. The Ross is nice, as is the Modells. I’ve never liked that Safeway though.

          • Are you talking about Langston Terrace? That place has a historic designation so I don’t know how it will ever go away. I used to live a block from there and there was a lot of talk about possibly redeveloping it. I just don’t know what kind of red tape they’d have to go through what with it having a historic landmark designation.

          • I think the areas brookland Rez is referring to are the Carver Langston and kingman park neighborhoods – which while both in infancy, it’s becoming increasingly common to see 500k flips north of Benning and flips approaching 600k south of Benning. But I agree Langston Terrace itself is unlikely to be redeveloped anytime soon. That said, there is substantial mixed use development happening a stone’s throw away from hechinger ( Marylander and planned for checkers site) so I’m not convinced that hechinger’s development is dependent on carver Langston. Even though there are a few useful stores there now, I think the area may be ripe for purposefully built retail at that intersection particularly since it Is such a large parcel of land.

          • brookland_rez

            Langston Terrace is historic only because it was the first 100% subsidized housing project IIRC. It was built in the 1940’s. I’m not so sure that’s something worth preserving….

          • brookland_rez

            Maybe Langston Terrace will get redeveloped into “Langston Lofts”. How’s that for swagger jacking?

          • Oh, I totally agree Langston Terrace is not worth preserving. I’m just wondering how easy it would be for someone to redevelop it since it has that historic designation?

      • Am I the only one who finds Giant to be extremely expensive? I’m always shocked by my bill whenever I shop there. Somehow even Whole foods is cheaper.

    • Giant has a range, so anyone can shop there. I think lots of the people who were shopping at Murrays are already shopping at Giant instead, so…

    • I know exactly where the Aldi is as I live a block away from it. I also don’t think that it is too close to where this Murry’s so that it would be a problem but I understand your points.


      Giant is not as cheap as some of you all think. Of course it has different pricing offerings but it is not inexpensive by any means. My point is that everyone can’t afford Giant so does that mean they are shit out of luck?


      I don’t have a problem with higher-end options popping up but I don’t think it should be at the cost of taking away options from lower income residents. Hell, I would have loved to see WF instead of Rainbow in Hechinger Mall or a PETCO (and I don’t even have an animal) instead of ROSS. That would have made much more sense to me but that is neither here nor there.

      • brookland_rez

        Almost forgot, there’s also the new Walmart down there.

      • Are you serious? Look, you moved into the neighborhood right? How much did you pay for your house? $400K? $500K? Maybe even $700K? Doesn’t that mean YOU are taking away options from lower income residents? If you feel guilty about that, that’s on you. Those of us who want to make the neighborhood a better, safer place to live with more quality options are not sad to see Murray’s go. I’d wager many of the long-time residents aren’t crying a river either.

        • You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. $400K, are you serious? $700K, you must be on that isht. Mannnnn, that will be the day.


          I love a good straw man attack. Carry on…

          • Huh? If you bought a house just south of H Street it’s totally plausible that you paid $700k. If you bought anywhere in the area in the past 5 years I don’t see how you could have paid less than $400k.

          • Right, that was my point. Unless you bought a place that was a fixer upper or a condo or a foreclosure, or you bought east of the starburst intersection (which incidentally, 4 houses just sold for almost $500K in the past few months there) all of which are plausible. But seeing as I own just off H St I think I have an idea of real estate prices in the area.
            The majority of houses in the immediate H St area have not been under $400K for a few years so it wasn’t an unreasonable assumption on my part. In fact, a house a block from me just sold for well over $800K, so even $700K would not have been an unreasonable assumption depending on where and when you bought.

          • Our house was purchased well before 4 years ago. I live east of the starburst on H st. and you can’t tell me that any of the houses on my block or near my block are going upwards of $500K. I would love to see the assessments of any house near 18th and H NE that is worth what you are talking about. Hell, I hope you are right.

          • We sold a house further up from you, near night 19th and Benning, for $400 1.5 years ago. 3 houses just sold on the same block for $500k. I can only assume you are in a similar spot…

            The houses were updated, but not crazy high-end renovations.

          • Also a house sold on 19th and Benning (just north of Benning) for $480K in the past few months. I guess you’re really not keeping up with real estate prices in your area…
            Go to Redfin and do a recently sold search. You’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

      • I think Giant is expensive too (that’s why I shop at Harris Teeter). But (don’t laugh) Whole Foods is a more affordable option if you avoid the silly organic/ayurvedic/detox stuff.

  • I have never stepped foot inside of that Murry’s and it is a shame that it didn’t have quality food. But what I think is worse is that there is that there is not an option for those that can’t afford WF or Giant. Murry’s did serve a purpose (as bad as some of you say it sucked). I would much rather have seen that replaced by a like of an Aldi or something. However, with that said, I can see how it is a “Win” for many, including my family who own in the area and can afford WF should we choose to go there.

  • Sadly that means Good Danny’s will be on the chopping block too! It has a hilarious sign:

    “Cold and Hot Subs, Steak Burger, Fish, Turkey, Hoagies, Ham, Crab Cake, Pork Chop, Fried Chicken.”

    “Chinese Food, Seafood, Chicken, Pizza, Dinner.”

    Always loved that “Dinner”

  • but where will the community go for rancid meat?

    • I love the stores (there’s one in Brookland) that boast that they have “Murry’s Steaks”

      • brookland_rez

        LOL the Newton Market. Also the Save-A-Lot next to Foreman Mills and Big Lots on RI Ave. I don’t think Murray’s anything is worth bragging about.

        • Well, it depends on what you’re comparing it to. Admittedly, I haven’t had Murray’s food in many decades, but when I was a kid, they sold packages of frozen meat that including stuff like burgers, rib eye steaks, breaded veal patties, sirloin steaks, etc. So you could buy a package of frozen meat that would feed a family of four for a week for a reasonable price. The quality then wasn’t great, but wasn’t horrible either. It was cheaper and better than the so called “fresh” meat that you could buy from stores that catered to folks on a serious budget. So: Short version, if the other option is not-so-fresh “fresh” meat compared to fresher frozen meat at a similar or lower price point, that could deserve a brag.

  • The day care that is back there behind Murray’s must be gone too, right? I visited the place and while it’s not the fanciest around, it is a good affordable option and there must be a lot of families that rely on it. A little sad for me to think what those families are going to do, not exactly a lot of affordable options in the area. I hope they can at least relocate somewhere nearby.

  • Surprise surprise (slow clap…) Put a fork in H Street, it’s done!

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