Indoor Playground for “DC Kids Club” coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights


Interesting – thanks to a reader for passing on:

“Found this attached to the door on the long vacant space next to the Columbia Heights Washington Sports Club on the third floor at DCUSA. Looks like a kids playground is on the way.”

Updates when more info is known/they get closer to opening.

15 Comment

  • If it’s done right – gold. mine.
    Even if it’s done half right – gold. mine.

    I wanted to develop similar with a partner already in the business. So many kids in DC and not nearly enough activity space.

  • I could have sworn there was a post here months ago where someone took a pic of some foam mats or something.

  • While it sounds like something that will be of great use to the neighborhood, it’s still pretty sad that DCUSA has been unable to attract any more major retail. Eventually you’re going to see dollar stores popping up in there. These are the death knell for malls.

    • DIdn’t a dollar store open there last year?

    • My understanding is that DC USA has set asides for minority owned businesses as part of the deal with the city that allowed the development. That, combined with high rents and exclusivity agreements with a number of the tenants, really limits the pool of potentials. I’ve heard that they’ve dropped their asking rental rates significantly, but still not enough to fill all the space.

      • We (experienced, local, minority business owners) approached DCUSA (through the columbia heights development corp) several years ago, with a solid business plan, money in hand, additional financing secured. And we were given the runaround for months. They went to serious lengths to avoid and discourage us, and we gave up. We were told, off the record, that DCUSA wasn’t considering anything other than national chains and we were wasting our time.
        We opened elsewhere, and business is booming.

        • That’s really disappointing to learn. But, based on the current tenants, and knowing of some experienced, local, minority business owners like you who also had expressed interest, I did wonder whether they weren’t just looking for minority-owned franchises of national chains. God forbid we have something quirky and different in DCUSA. Much better to have the Limes and Tasti D-Lites show up for 6 or 12 months here or there.

      • Those set asides eventually expire. Not sure what the time line was but after NCRC was ‘dissolved’. I wonder who was actually paying attention to any local businesses’ interest for that building.

    • That space is so far removed, it’s hard to imagine what retailer would work there other than a destination for a specific reason, like a kids’ play area.

  • Egad

    Awesome! My kid is in swimming classes at the WSC in Columbia Heights and they just hired a couple of new managers (who actually seem very organized and enthusiastic) to run the kid’s programs. For the past few weeks, I have been receiving emails about a bunch of new activities and kid clubs being offered.

    I agree, if done right, this could be an amazing space for the little ones in the community!

  • Does anyone know whether this is the Junior’s Clubhouse effort that ran a kickstarter campaign a few months ago:

  • Is there some sort of board or neighborhood advisory group that oversees DC USA? This development has been a debacle from the beginning… Id like to see some leadership by the Mayor and Brianne Nadeau to create a long term plan for this area… Too many vacant store fronts and underutilized potential.

  • Finally some good news!

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