Last night Jack McGrath of Ellwood Thompson and David Stein, Director of Operations of DCUSA, came to speak to the North Columbia Heights Neighborhood Association. Very good and exciting news to report.
McGrath, whom I believe is one of the owners, discussed Ellwood’s mission and how it fits into the community. Ellwood’s started in 1988 in Richmond as a small community grocery store. Their focus is on local sourcing (within 100 miles, which will generate overlap with Richmond products, though, obviously, not every product will be sourced locally), sustainability (agriculture, environment, etc), community, and education. They focus on providing healthy products and have a list of additives and ingredients that are banned from products that they sell in their store. They intend to be a community gathering spot with in-house dining and a full working kitchen, besides the groceries. Price points hover around Whole Foods, but Ellwoods offers more vegetarian and vegan options. The space will be approx. 15,000 sq. feet and, if all the legal hoops and other last minute details pan out, they plan to start construction sometime in July with a target completion date of Mid-January. Hopefully, they’ll be able to work with the new farmer’s market and other community projects to really become a valuable asset to CH above and beyond providing their core products.
Stein was positive and attended the meeting to provide support to Ellwoods. He mentioned that prospective tenants of DCUSA have been interested to see what will happen with Ellwoods. As you’ve heard before, DCUSA is selective about the tenants that they will put in the remaining spaces, looking for a diverse mix that will fit with the community. He explained the many facets of diversity, but I won’t go into them here. He was positive about filling up the space with in the next 12 to 18 months, particularly after Ellwoods comes in. IHOP is still on track, though no lease has been signed yet so it’s still off the record. The good thing is that the company locally franchises its restaurants, so the owners/franchisees of the prospective IHOP will be local folks.”
In other grocery store news Borderstan notes that the P St, Whole Foods will be undergoing renovations:
“Renovations are underway at the Logan Circle Whole Foods Market at 1440 P Street NW. Construction is expected to be complete in November 2010. A rendering of the mezzanine level cafe and progress photos can be found on the store’s Facebook page.”