Dissect this Tweet from Whole Foods! “We have a store in development in DC but not sure on the location”

Rendering of The Shay at 8th and Florida Ave, NW

Back in May we first heard rumors of a Whole Foods coming to 9th and U St, NW. On twitter @mr_roaming asked:

“Is the @WholeFoods coming to @TheShayDC? #Washington #DC”

@WholeFoods replied:

“@mr_roaming We have a store in development in DC but not sure on the location.”

Now we already know Whole Foods already had announced plans for H Street, NE and Navy Yard. So I’m guessing/hoping the store in development is one not already announced yet? Surely Whole Foods would know the location of a store in development right? So were they being coy? Giving us a hint? Help me dissect this tweet! Does this give greater hope for a Whole Foods around 8th/U St/Florida Ave?

91 Comment

  • While not DC-proper, there is one in development for Pentagon City.

  • Would love for this to be the case! But, The Shay doesn’t have a very big footprint, and, though they’re being incredibly coy about their retail lineup (“can’t wait to share!’), which would possibly be indicative, they also keep using the word ‘lineup’ in regards to the same smallish footprint. I’d think they would probably choose a different word.

  • Shaw makes the most sense if you start looking at the zones of the current/upcoming Whole Foods. I think it’s a bit too soon for one East of the river right now.

  • I really doubt they’d put a Whole Foods at 8th and Florida, which is less than a mile from their 14th and P location. That seems like a good way to cannibalize your own market share.

    I’m guessing it’ll be somewhere in Northeast–Brookland or H street.

    • Well, just delete that comment–H street is already coming (which I somehow missed). Brookland might still make sense.

    • A Whole Foods is already going at 6th and H. Something out near Costco would make more sense, or Rhode Island corridor if you wanted to maintain distance between markets.

      • near costco is an interesting suggestion.

        • No chance of that happening anytime soon.

          • why do you say no chance?

          • Lack of density and money. Those costco suburban townhouses go for ~450k a piece, compared to close to a million/per in most other neighborhoods mentioned as possible locations. It wouldn’t make much sense for WF right now (or even in the newer future).

          • c, I’m not sure exactly what Anon had in mind, but they have to build buildings before any shops can go in next to Costco. And I think the large retail spaces slated for construction have already been claimed??
            I don’t know the broader neighborhood around there but I don’t think there are any existing buildings suitable for a grocery store to move into. So there could be a WF there eventually but I wouldn’t think anytime soon.

          • the wegmans next to the coscto in lahnam( ?).. the one of of route 50…. has practically zero density. and cheaper housing stock.

            i think you’re underestimating that area’s purchasing power.

          • Wegman’s and Whole Foods have dramatically different business plans. WF builds small-ish stores in high density areas. They love to do urban formats. Wegmans builds enormous stores surrounded by acres of parking that are meant to draw drivers from miles away.

          • burritosinstereo

            Except that’s actually happening – a WF is being put up literally across the street from the Costco in Pentagon City.

          • Burrito – you are aware of the demographic differences between Pentagon City and outer Brentwood, right?
            (That Costco will be shuttered in the next couple of years as they redevelop that plot of land anyways. )

    • They’ve already announced a location on H Street and I think there are enough potential customers between the new Atlantic Plumbing, Shay, and other developments nearby that they won’t be cannibalizing the Logan Circle location.

    • There’s already one being built at 6th and H NE; I can’t imagine they’d put a second one farther out on H. But Brookland is a good guess.
      They’re considering putting one at Walter Reed, which is only a mile and a half from the Silver Spring store. While I’d be SO happy if a WF went into Walter Reed, I’d be even happier if a Wegman’s went there.

    • I don’t think distance matters as much as density. And anyone who regularly shops at the Whole Foods at 14th and P will tell you that there is more than enough demand for that location that opening another would probably be a good thing for Whole Foods. I think one in Shaw one would help pull people from the general vicinity who have started hitting up Trader Joe’s, but are just too far to frequent the 14th/P Whole Foods.

      That said, one a tad farther East/North would probably make more sense.

      To me that tweet just means they are in talks with this or other locations, but nothing is signed yet so there is no announcement to make.

    • I don’t think they would be cannibalizing their market share at P/14th one bit. That store is so packed on -most- evenings and weekends that they could really use another store just to manage the traffic flow a bit. I think it would make a lot of sense to have a store in or near the Shay. It’s far enough from P/14th to accommodate a lot of people who would otherwise not be within walking distance when carrying grocery bags.

    • I disagree. The P st location is completely saturated, and so is the 14th st Trader Joe’s. There are days when you cannot even get into either parking lot. There are several brand new condo building going up right there, and a Whole Foods there would be packed.

      • More than just the parking lot–a few weekends ago at Whole Foods, the express line wound all the way back to the cookies, then made two S turns up and down the steam tables. I agree that another close store would hardly “cannibalize,” but rather add badly needed capacity.

  • This is just more scuttlebutt, but I’ve heard from multiple sources that WF might be replacing Harris Teeter as the anchor tenant of the 965 Florida Ave project.

  • I love me some Whole Foods, but this seems a bit excessive.

  • Oh please let this mean Brookland. I love the Yes! but need, well, want better seafood and produce.

    • Many Brookland folk tend to drive and they are putting a Whole Foods on Route 1 Riverdale / Hyattsville / College Park. If it is going to be Brookland they have not broken ground on the building it will occupy so it has to be at least a couple of years out.

  • if i were opening up a whole foods, i’d look to Petworth, Brookland/woodridge or at the AFRH development. possibly fort totten.

    just thinking about gaps in their market, and places that would suit it.
    personally , i think 8th and florida is not a good place for WF, based on how close it is to p street, seems like you’d want to put it at least to Park View.

    • You’re not getting a WF in Park View anytime soon. Petworth is more likely, but the density still isn’t there to warrant a store. AFRH or McMillan are more likely in the long-term.

      • i wont be getting anything. i personally don’t have a stake in it. just discussing it.
        theres as much density around parkview as there is tenleytown. more, actually. and that store does fine.

        • Sorry, I didn’t intend to direct that at you personally. “We” would’ve been better. Regarding your point on density, even if Park View has higher density (which seems very likely) than Tenleytown, it doesn’t have anywhere close to the money of upper NW – not even remotely close.

    • dcjourno

      Petworth already has that giant (and new) Safeway store, plus the Yes! Organic shop. Fort Totten pretty much has nothing at the moment but that has to change sometime, I suppose. I’m personally pulling for Brookland.

    • There likely won’t be any new grocery stores coming to Ward 4. There’s currently a moratorium on those retail liquor licenses, and that has been deterring grocery stores from opening in Ward 4, since they won’t be able to profit off alcohol.

  • There’s close to zero chance that WF is coming to the Shay – there’s simply not enough parking to accommodate the crowds. 965 Florida makes much more sense, or maybe even a distant chance that one could come into the McMillan development given to relatively lengthy development timeline. My money is on a Shaw location, however (wherever that ends up being).

    • If big IF, they ever break ground on McMillan I would bet on McMillan,,,

    • what percentage of people going to WF on p drive, would you think?

      • I would guess less than 10%. I don’t think Whole Foods corporate is going to make a leasing decision solely on “is there enough parking?”

      • Although I think the percentage is relatively small, I’m not sure that matters to WF. “Abundant” and “exclusive” parking and are their list of guidelines for real estate considerations: wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/real-estate This makes sense because there will always be people who pick up groceries in cars even if most shoppers live nearby.

        • Except I’m guessing they’re willing to make exceptions. I doubt their Union Square NYC location has either abundant or exclusive parking.

          • True, but the Union Square NYC WF is located directly on top of one of the biggest subway hubs of a city where almost no one drives. The DC locations we’re discussing aren’t as centrally located and don’t have nearly as much foot and subway traffic.

          • tonyr

            I can guarantee that the Columbus Circle WF doesn’t have parking either. What it does have is a 400 storey building on top, which probably helps generate foot traffic. There isn’t a single grocery store in DC that doesn’t have parking.

      • I drive there bc I live in Petworth. I can tell you from the parking lot that a LOT of people drive.

  • dcjourno

    I agree that there’s probably enough demand for both the 14th and P store and an 8th and Florida store. However as a soon-to-be resident of the Northeast I’ll cross my fingers for Brookland. A Giant at Rhode Island, Whole Foods at Brookland and Harris Teeter at NoMa would be the perfect triad.

  • please be Petworth!

  • Maybe Howard will get their shit together and have WF as anchor tenant for the Howard Town Center? Probably not, since I’ve heard nothing at all about that project since it was canceled, but I can dream.

  • Upshur Street in Petworth!!!
    Joking, for many reasons, but still kinda hoping.

  • Okay, so here’s a completely only-in-my-dreams post, but what about bringing a WF to the old Safeway building at RIA and FLA (currently housing some non-profit)? Seems like a great middle-ground between Shaw, Bloomingdale, and the existing P St store.

  • How about the Forman Mills complex on 4th and RIA NE? RIA metro west entrance just opened and new condos are already going in.

  • Fingers crossed for McMillan Reservoir development!

    • Are they still planning for a big grocery store anchor at walter reed?

      • Yes. The last scuttlebutt I’ve heard was that Wegman’s and Whole Foods were in contention. Either would be amazing. But it won’t be for another 5-10 years.

  • My guess is The Point at Arboretum, co-anchor with Walmart.

  • They’ve said several times that they are hoping to land walter reed. I’m hoping that don’t win and Wegmans comes! Come on Wegmans, make my property soar!!

    • Totally agree. I live nearby and I’d **love** to have a Wegman’s there. Though I’d settle for a Whole Foods. πŸ˜‰

  • fingers crossed for macmillan! pretty easy access for health workers at the hospital, bloomingdale, stronghold, brookland, eckington, and east columbia heights/petworth. this area needs a grocery store!

  • There are FIVE Whole Foods locations within four miles of my address. I wonder if there are any cities with more Whole Foods per capita than DC.

  • Please let it be shaw!!!! Near the downtown area would be amazing since there are no grocery stores nearby, and there is a giant condo that has broken ground on 11 and M so I expect demand will be even higher around here sometime soon.

  • PoPville, its been pretty clear for quite a while that The Shay is, or at least has been planning to put some fashion-oriented retail into The Shay. As early as Dec 2013, 15 months ago, they started promoting fashion on their twitter feed

    I am interested in hearing the retailer announcement since its been teased for 15 months, but it is probably just some fashion oriented places that will be nice to have around but won’t be life-changing. Warby Parker’s has been discussed.

    Popville, can you ask JBG/The Shay for a general timeline WHEN they will announce the retailers? Before or after sale of the developed properties? Before or after they start renting? It could literally be another year or more if they have to finish and deliver the buildings to a pension fund. Looking back at getting teased on this since December 2013, its getting a bit tiring.

    Agree with others that 965 Florida ave could be a Whole Foods, likely the developers have pitched to Harris Teeter, WF, and others and will try to use interest of other chains as negotiating leverage. This is a long-range thing, probably at least 3, maybe 5 years out. Think about how long it took for Trader Joes to get into the Louis after it was announced. So good long run, not going to impact anyone in the next couple years.

    • this. its at 965 florida, the development next to the 930 club. it will either be a HT or WF. i heard HT really wants it, but everyone knows the ‘hood prefers WF.

      lol at the people who seriously think income and density next to costco could support a WF.

      • I don’t think it’s likely that WF will go to Ft Lincoln, but LOL yourself. Hyattsville isn’t any denser or wealthier, especially not within a 2 mile radius of where the store would go, and it seems WF has signed in there.

  • Columbia Heights would be best. Not sure where it could be now, given the rejection from DCUSA and now how that complex has filled up. That would be far enough away from P street and would pull everybody north of U. Fingers crossed for CoHi.

  • Downtown metro center/citycenter/pennquarter/mcpherson needs a grocery store BADLY.
    The closest walkable is Safeway on 4th and K. πŸ™

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