What Neighborhood Will Trader Joe’s Open in Next?

4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW

A few weeks ago we noted the former Van Ness Square buildings had been completely demoed on Connecticut Avenue. A couple of readers have sent word that they heard rumors of a possible future Trader Joe’s. We first heard rumors back in August 2013. Anyone else still hearing this rumor? Saul Centers says that the new Park Van Ness development will include around “9,000 square feet of street-level retail and below street-level structured parking” – in August some doubted that was big enough for a Trader Joe’s. Anyone know the square footage of the 14th and U Street Trader Joe’s? I guess we’ve got a few years to find out… If they don’t come to Van Ness, what neighborhood do you think realistically has a good shot at getting the next one?

Park Van Ness_rendering
Rendering via Saul Centers

66 Comment

  • did I completely make up Brookland getting one? Why do I feel like I have heard that multiple times. If its not supposed to be a trader joes in that new development in Brookland, does anyone know what grocery store is planning on going in there, if any?

    • Lots of people have been pushing for one, and there are also rumors that they considered/may still be considering a space at Monroe Street Market. But it’s just rumors. I believe that Phase 2 of MSM (which hasn’t broken ground yet) was intended to accommodate a grocery store if they can attract one. Love Trader Joe’s, but if it’s either/or (and it probably is given Brookland’s – currently – lowish density) I’d prefer a full-service grocery store with less of a focus on processed food.

      • There’s a Monroe St. Mrkt Phase 2? Do tell.

        • There’s a big development from the Menkiti group coming to where Colonel Brooks Tavern used to be.

          • Than Menkiti property (901 Monroe) is in addition, and will have small scale retail. The phase 2 you speak of is the block currently used as staging for MSM across from the brookland Works.

  • Please let it be the McMillan site!

    • While I dream of this possibility, I don’t think we have the density they need to open a store…but I can still dream…

      • brookland_rez

        I don’t know. There’s plenty of low density suburbs that support a Trader Joes, like Springfield, VA. One at Monroe St Market would draw customers in from all of NE, Petworth, Takoma Park, and some of Columbia Heights.

        • Since when is Springfield low density? It takes 20 minutes just to get out of the parking lot at that Trader Joe’s. I lived in the area for 3 years and felt like it was WAY more densely populated than anywhere in DC.

          • Huh? Springfield has less than one-tenth the density of Logan Circle and less than half of all of DC, including the more suburban wards and large urban parks in this city. Nice anecdote, though.

          • it ‘felt more populated’ because everyone is driving a car.

          • brookland_rez

            LOL, since when is density defined as the number of cars in a parking lot? Springfield is waaaaaay less densely populated by people (never said anything about cars). Springfield is no doubt more congested, but that’s all caused by the fact the each person is taking up a footprint of 10×20 feet with their cars.

          • The Logan Circle Trader Joe’s is significantly less crowded than the Springfield one. It was a pleasant surprise! No one shoving me out of the way, no waiting around for 5 minutes just to grab something off a shelf or move a couple feet down an aisle, and no 30 minute waits at checkout. Do people in Logan Circle just not buy groceries? No, I think Springfield and the surrounding areas are just a lot denser than y’all think they are. There’s a ton of low-income housing around the Springfield location that’s crammed with people (probably a lot that are undocumented and wouldn’t show up on official counts).

          • I think some of you haven’t spent a significant amount of time in Fairfax county. It’s not the typical suburban utopia of rolling hills and lots of space. The overcrowding and strain on resources is a huge problem and not just car related. Even if the Springfield TJs has fewer customers per week, each customer is buying groceries to support 4-10 people (the area has a lot of immigrant families that are huge) versus all the 1-2 person households in DC.

        • You’ve spent far too much time in the DC area if You consider Springfield to be low density. Seriously.

  • I would love for it to be at the Walter Reid site!

  • There was a super market in spring valley off Mass Ave near crate and barrel. It was a Super Fresh or something along those lines and it went out of business. I heard they are trying to lure another grocery. Too close to tenley and friendship heights to be a Whole Foods even though that makes the most sense demographically. But would be perfect location for a Trader Joes I would think. Im sure the AU kids would frequent. It was rumored they were interested in opening on New Mexico avenue by Chef Geoffs awhile back but wanted more parking.

  • Can we please get one on the Hill? Pretty please!

    • This is what I was going to say. If they put one around Eastern Market, it would serve the entire area (including H Street) really well, without having to compete with the H Street supermarkets. There is a huge void of supermarkets right in the middle of the Hill, with almost nothing in a 10-12 block radius.

  • McMillan would be awesome. Brookland would be just as awesome.

  • The TJs on L in Foggy Bottom is pretty small as they go

  • H Street.

    Then we’d have everything.

  • Park Van Ness would be a really good location – transit rich, near rich people, tons of apartment dwellers, etc. but there’s a Giant right up the street. I wonder if that’s a negative? (I’m guessing “no”) With the new student center and a very active ANC pushing to re(?)vitatlize Van Ness, I’m starting to think that there’s a lot of potential for that stretch of CT.

  • TJ’s run a lot smaller than other grocery chains, but 9,000sf is small even for them. That said, I think they would have to be considering one somewhere west of the park (and north of Foggy). Woodley Park would be the ideal location for one given household income and lack of grocery options but I’m not sure where they’d put it.
    Navy Yard would have been my next guess but HT and Whole Foods have already staked claims there and the density is not quite there yet. Brookland would be a good bet eventually, but TJs is so conservative about demographics/income it’ll probably be a while.

    • The perfect place in Woodley Park would’ve been the southeast corner of Connecticut and Calvert, but for whatever reason, a fairly low-density office building was built on that site. What a waste of space.

  • Mass. Avenue side of Cleveland park, or Navy Yard. Brookland would also be nice, but development-wise, that area may still be a few years from being ready for something like Trader Joe’s.

  • Mass. Avenue side of Cleveland park, or Navy Yard. Brookland would also be nice, but development-wise, that area may still be a few years from being ready for something like Trader Joe’s

  • I would wager that Capitol Hill could be next. Either on, or near, that vibrant 8th Street strip near the Eastern Market metro. But, there are probably a bunch of other neighborhoods that could get one, too. There has to be a mix of adequate retail space, housing density and Metro accessibility, I would think, for TJ’s brass to consider opening a store in a given area.

  • If I were TJs, I would look think about Brookland, Hill East, and/or Navy Yards.

  • Fort Rotten has NOTHING!!! We’re getting what looks like the ugliest of all the Walmarts and yet another Senior Center!!!!!

  • If I were TJ’s I’d be looking for space in NoMA or around Union Market. Still accessible to H Street and the Hill, it’s on the way out of town for many MD commuters (I don’t think PG has a TJ’s at all), and it would be the only DC store on the red line.

    • Couple that with the fact that NoMa will have the greatest residential density in DC once it’s fully built out, seems like a no-brainer.

      • And most of the other densely-populated neighborhoods in DC, NoMa is and will remain very car friendly, which is quite important for any sizable grocery store.

      • And unlike most of the other densely-populated neighborhoods in DC, NoMa is and will remain very car friendly, with easy access to major thoroughfares, which is quite important for any sizable grocery store.

  • OMG, a Trader Joes in Van Ness would be awesome! We live in the neighborhood now, and have to drive to Bethesda or face the crowds on U street to get our fix of Mochi ice cream. While the Giant at Van Ness is ok, it’s really not the same. I’m sure it would be packed all the time, drawing in crowds from Cleveland Park, Chevy Chase, Tennlytown, etc.

  • The Wharf in SW.

  • who gives a shit

  • maxwell smart

    Doing a little Google research – The new TJ’s at 14th and U is just over 15,000sf with the avergae TJ’s coming in around 12,000sf. So 9,000sf certainly would be small, however with the development (I’m guessing) still on the drawing board if the Developer were to secure TJ’s they could make some adjustments to give them the space they need. I feel like the one in Bethesda is very small, although that location does not have alcohol, so perhaps that would be a trade-off for a smaller location. That said, the renderings would suggest the 9,000sf of “street-level” retail is split between the 2 towers, so that makes the available spaces much smaller.

    Van Ness would be a perfect location IMO – accessible to AU and UDC students and centralized in the Connecticut Apartment Corridor. It would be a great draw for this development which will likely see competition from the Cathedral Heights Giant when it opens/reopens. Don’t know if I see it happening. I could see Navy Yard/Waterfront getting one with all the development going on there.

  • As long as we’re dreaming, Park View has a lot of emtpy retail space, and with a ton of new condos going up, a pretty quickly growing population… (That said, we’re decently located between CoHi Giant (bleh), and hopefully the Harris Teeter coming in at 965 Florida, but a girl can dream…)

  • Any chance they’ll put a TJ’s in the Takoma Central development? I know that they have a BusBoys & Poets going in there this spring (though it looks like they are way behind schedule). I haven’t heard what other tenants they have lined up. Anyone know?

    • There’s probably not enough space there for a full size TJs, but a girl can dream. Trader Joe’s would do crazy business in that location, or in downtown Silver Spring – the closest one is a 15-20 minute drive out on 29, and the only one even remotely near the Red Line is in Bethesda.

  • The Traders Joes in the building Saul built in Clarendon is 10,319 square feet including the elevator bays they had to build in and the one in Alexandria is about 12,000 (was about 8,000-9,000 prior to expanding). Assuming the ~9000 sqft is contiguous it may very well be a traders joes and would fill a significant retail gap in the area.

  • a Trader Joe’s will do well pretty much anywhere. I am going to say Brookland only because that area desperately needs a grocery store. I was very interested in the MSM development but without a car, getting to a store would have been too difficult.

    I think NoMa/H Street could sit this one out. Giant, Wal Mart, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Union Market….we get it you’re growing. (I say this as a soon-to-be NoMa resident)

  • Brookland or Navy Yard seem like the best choices for them. The density in the latter is increasing particularly fast.

  • Even though I agree Brookland needs a proper grocery store, I don’t feel like the density is anywhere near what TJs would want before committing to a store. Maybe in 5-10 years after building out.
    Remember, TJs is not really a development leader. They go in after the area has been established and populated. They are much more conservative about their expansion than Whole Foods (probably because they are a private company run by a German who is notoriously risk adverse).

  • Fagers site on the hill would be perfect for a nice mixed use development anchored by TJ’s! Or better yet just shut down the safeway and put TJ’s there.

  • Somewhere near 11th and m streets se. Convenient to Capitol Hill, hill east, and navy yard, and would probably also be used by folks east of the river and in PG County.

  • I spoke to a manager at TJ’s about coming to Brookland and he mentioned that a big concern for them is noise complaints as they have about 6 trucks a day come in. If there is one thing you can bank on in Brookland, it’s complaining about trucks and other noise. There is no way to get to the Brookland metro area without driving on minor axes. Guaranteed complaints and headache. Their best bet would be to put one on RI Ave.

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