50,000 Square Foot Whole Foods for Lot just North of 9:30 Club? Plus Check Out a Shot of the Atlantic Plumbing Building from this Morning

965 Florida Ave, NW

A tantalizing comment from yesterday’s Shaw’s Day of Greatness discussion:

“Your wish is about to be granted… Over 50,000 sf of Foods fit for the Whole neighborhood just north of V Street… expect an official announcement VERY soon. The poster below is spot on with location [965 Florida Ave, NW] but the opening will be sooner than 4 yrs…”

Ed. Note: This was the once hoped for Harris Teeter location. If everything is green lighted, how long do you think it would take to get this from vacant lot to new building?

And nearby @DCITYstyle tweets us the below great photo next door to the 9:30 club:

“A little morning tour of North End Shaw’s newest apt @ATLPLUMBINGDC.”


67 Comment

  • Shame that Blind Dog Cafe/Darnells won’t be around that long if neighbors have their way 😛

    • That’s a little off topic, but my understanding is the neighbors are only opposed to Darnell’s, there is no challenge to Blind Dog.

      • what’s happening to Blind Dog?

        • Oh no! I love Blind Dog! What is the objection to Darnell’s?

          • Noise and smoke, I believe.

          • It’s a very long story (happy to explain if PoP is curious!), but several neighbors and two adjacent property owners have been challenging the license renewal since 2013. The bar has since changed hands and gone through an ANC process, but it’s license is still under protest and up before ABRA.

  • While this is great news if it’s indeed true, it still seems speculative given the anonymous nature of the comment.

  • This would be great if for no other reason than decreasing some of the madness at 14th St Whole Foods.

  • I’m not a retail, engineering or architecture guru – but does anyone know how “50,000 square feet” might compare with the P Street Whole Foods?

  • Whatever ends up here, I hope they figure out a way to connect this east. The walk from my house is to this location is 2x as long as it has to be because W doesn’t go all the way through. I feel like such an a-hole cutting through the hospital parking lot.

    • How do you cut through the Howard Hospital parking lot? I always seem to find myself stuck, and have to go all the way around, but maybe I’m just not being brave enough.

      • houseintherear

        There’s a ramp on the north side of the main hospital/emergency bldg that goes up in slope from west to east. At this time it doesn’t have any directional signs (that could and probably should change) so you can walk/drive/bike through from Georgia at the main hospital entrance (V St) over to 5th St or vice versa.

        • Ohh, I have never succeeded getting from Georgia to 5th st cutting through anything by car. Always ended up driving all the way around, after losing 10 minutes getting lost.

          • houseintherear

            I’ve only done it a few times out of desperation, when there’s a traffic jam on Georgia or something. But it do it a lot via bike, because why the hell not! 🙂

      • I meant walking, not driving.

        You can walk on the sidewalk to the north of the building. It’s like, literally at the entrance of the hospital and then through a kind of weird little pathway. The last time I did it I was coming back from a bar and had to stop while they unloaded an ambulance and I felt like such a d*ck I haven’t done it since.

    • Rumor has it there is going to be work done that will connect W street. There are talks of a new rec center in that area.

  • I’d rather have a HT or another regular grocery store.

    That said, WF would like this space. Lots of students. Good parking. Room for ready to eat or onsite pub options.

    You’ve also got the Howard Town Center site, although that appears stuck in litigation.

    • Agreed — I’d rather have a Harris Teeter, but either would be good for the neighborhood. It could have a BIG effect on Pleasant Plains and Park View, as well as eastern Columbia Heights and the FRINJ (the Florida-Rhode Island-New Jersey area, although I think that’s officially Truxton Circle?).

      • Depends on which side of the intersection you’re on. The boundaries of Shaw, Truxton, Ledroit Park and possibly Bloomingdale meet at Florida/RI/NJ.

      • Except there are three grocery stores closer than this one if you live in Truxton Circle. I would be closer to the Giant at O Street, the Safeway at City Vista and the Harris Teeter in NOMA than this.

  • As to the original question, my guess would be 3 to 4 years from now. The dig out and foundation alone will probably take 9 to 12 months. It’s a huge site.

    • Empire State building was built in less than 2 years. I would guess 12 months for this whole foods would be on the long end once the permits are finalized.

      • palisades

        The streetcar has taken over 7 years to build. Anything is possible! 🙂

      • This must be a joke, right? The environmental, building, and labor standards we have nowadays dwarfs the speedy (yet more dangerous./harmful) construction of yesteryear. Also, this won’t only be a Whole Foods – there will be a metric f#ckton of apartments on top of it. JBG is not in the business of building a stand-alone two-story grocery store in the heart of one of the densest neighborhoods in DC, lol

      • I Dont Get It

        That was during the Depression. Everyone was depressed but manic.

        • So it was possible to build MUCH larger and MUCH HIGHER QUALITY buildings much faster in the past. Got it. All the technological advances since then have been out paced by red tape and stuff. Now I understand thank you.

          • “red tape and stuff” = less workers dying. ok?

          • Actually, yes, to a degree. I’ve worked in the buildng industry for years and have studied 20th century building techniques academically, professionally, and out of personal interest. We over-estimate with consistency what great “strides” we’ve achieved with our building technology and under-estimate just how talented and productive our predecessors were. We have some bells and whistles, sure, but we would struggle mightily to build many 1900’s works in the schedule and with the quality of the originals.

    • I’d put my money on faster, rather than slower — maybe 2-3 years — given the parties involved. Once the basic earthworks were done for the Marriott Marquis, for example, that project got completed in what felt like maybe 6 months, and that was also a huge site. JBG seems more like Marriott to me than some other developers. But I guess we’ll see, right?

      • If I recall, the Marriott Marquis also had some unique way of building the building compared to other sites. I cannot recall what the difference was, but I remember reading an article about it being an unusual way to build.

      • Hope for the best, plan for the worst? 😉

  • welp, I’m about to be officially priced out of Shaw. Cheers.

    • Why? That isn’t Shaw. And frankly the people who actually live in Shaw proper are closer to the 14th Street Whole Foods (and the brand new Giant) and the Trader Joes.

      I swear, Shaw must be the largest neighborhood in the city other than “Capitol Hill.”

      • As has been discussed elsewhere, Shaw was a huge neighborhood that has been gradually whittled down over the years as new brands, such as Logan Circle and Truxton Circle, have been introduced. But it’s true that it doesn’t extend north of U Street. I think this would in Pleasant Plains? Still, many Shaw residents would be much closer to this location than to the P Street Whole Foods.

        • Much closer? How so? I suppose if you live at 9th and T, yes, you’re “much” closer, but even from 9th and T, you’re only talking about a five or six block difference, right? And Shaw certainly stretches farther south and east than 9th and T.

          My point is only 1) this isn’t Shaw and 2) if the distance saved is six blocks, maybe they are really too close to one another and unlikely to matter much in the way of home prices, which in Shaw are getting crazy high without any help from Whole Foods.

          Also, I understand the historical size of Shaw, but I’m still talking about today, right now, people call neighborhoods Shaw that aren’t Shaw today whether they were 50 years ago or not. But I get that is a phenomenon that happens when neighborhoods become popular. 8 years ago when I lived in Shaw, I called it Logan because Logan was hot and Shaw was not. It’s just funny to me, that’s all.

          • Definitely an interesting phenomenon that people ran from the Shaw identifier not that long ago and are now applying it to areas not in Shaw. Obviously you’re right that “much closer” wasn’t accurate, so I retract.

  • OMG. If this happens, I will start a weekly tradition of taking the kids to WF for dinner. One meal/clean-up less to worry about.

  • Wait.. Is “North End Shaw” a new neighborhood name no one is using but realtors? Or are we making this stick?

    • Haha, I tackled this in yesterdays post…my blog frustration of the week. This is Pleasant Plains though to answer your question.

    • I saw a “North End Shaw” sticker, used like a tag, this morning on my walk to work. Something tells me that JBG’s own PR nerds are posting these to try to make the name seem “underground” because, really who would do that spontaneously?

      • Prince Of Petworth

        I think I say U Street half the time and Shaw half the time. North End Shaw? Maybe they’re going for a West End vibe? “Right” or “Wrong”, I suspect Pleasant Plains will have a very difficult time getting claim to this area.

        • I agree. And from JBG’s perspective, I can get why they could think this is a “problem” that needed to be solved. They have two prime pieces of real estate very close together in what are effectively two different “neighborhoods,” and one of those neighborhoods is relatively unknown as a name by DC residents. So “North End Shaw” is a way of making the two places sound like they’re in the same neighborhood. Still, I’m not sure why they didn’t just go with the venerable “U Street,” which doesn’t require any rebranding at all.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            And now I agree with you 🙂 Maybe they want to include Shaw somehow for fear of offending some? Some neighborhood names do evolve over time so at the very least it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

          • To be honest, I’m not really sure why they’re making such a big deal about the name of the neighborhood at all. The JBG buildings are cool looking. The retail is even better. So why try to create a new neighborhood name at all when the names are already good as-is? Serious question. If any of you out there are real estate professionals, I’d really love to know what you think.

          • I don’t think the neighborhood name is JBG’s problem at all. They are going to sell these buildings to a REIT and/or pension fund before the residential portion is leased. Commercial is done, that was JBG’s big haul to get Landmark and all the other commercial tenants to commit.. That new owner will pick how to market the apartments.

          • Interesting, northshaw. Any idea why they/anyone would put so much effort into getting the name “North End Shaw” to stick?

        • Shawess I take back my comments. I think they probably do want this to be seen as the epicenter of something. When I hear U Street I think 14th & U, not 8th & V. 14th & U is as much as a 15 minute walk away, so even though it’s near to U St, its a decent walk from the epicenter. They probably want this to be known as a specific destination and for branding/identity future development of 965 Florida lot.

          I thought this wasn’t their problem because they haven’t been announcing it for years like they did with Landmark Theater and teasing other retail tenants, getting press on their architecture, etc. Up until now PR has been on how great the architecture is. But soon the Atlantic Plumbing properties will be off their books and it will be about getting most buzz about 965 Florida Ave Project

      • East Side U Street

  • I feel like what needs to happen is a new grocery store, Whole Foods or otherwise, needs to move in in Bloomingdale or somewhere on the other side of Howard Univ from this spot. Usually you would want to encourage a grocery store where you want new growth. Is there even a grocery store west of Howard University until you get to the RI Avenue Metro?

    • The most likely area for this would be the McMillan development or the proposed development on Irving at the lower end of the War Vets land.

      • Which makes a lot more sense to me since if you’re west of Howard, there are already options and plenty of development going in around there.

        Certainly if the demand is there for both, even better. But 9th and V seems entirely too close to Trader Joes to make sense to me when there are zero grocery stores East of Howard or East of the Giant on 9th until you get to NOMA. Ideally to me, South Bloomingdale near like 3rd and Florida would be a fantastic spot. But I’m probably just being selfish.

        • houseintherear

          My ultimate dream that will never come true is a grocery store at 3rd/Florida where the lodge (Elks?) is now. *sigh*

          • houseintherear

            3rd/RIAve I mean.

          • The building that houses United Planning Organization used to be a Safeway. A grocery store would be perfect there, but I can’t imagine that happening if the WF pans out at 965 Florida.

      • Yeah, McMillan is the best hope for a Bloomingdale grocery. Which, interestingly, I haven’t heard any movement on since the last council hearing. Weren’t they supposed to break ground this summer if they passed all the necessary steps? I wish the developer/city/whoever would publish an ‘update’ on where they are in the process – it’s so confusing.

        • Your guess is as good as mine… This radio silence is frustrating, as a lot is on the table here.

  • This is bullsh*t. I lived across from that empty lot for years and followed the total fiasco that dragged out between squabbling developers and city officials to the detriment of that neighborhood and its residents.

  • What about location names for U St/9 St/930 club area?
    East End U Street
    East Side U Street
    Industrial District

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