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The Future Home of DSW Coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth February 14, 2012 at 10:30 am 47 Comments

Future home of DSW on Irving St, NW in DC USA

Back in March 2011 we first heard that a DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) was coming to DC USA in Columbia Heights. I was having a tough time visualizing where it would be located. So last week I finally got a tour from DC USA’s Director of Building Operations, David Stein. And holy cow, this is gonna be a way bigger deal than I thought. So it turns out there is going to be a whole second wing called the Irving Street wing which will have it’s own entrance and lobby accessible, naturally, on Irving St, NW just west of 14th Street:

And DSW will occupy 22,000 square feet over the entire second floor. If construction goes according to schedule they will be open in July/August.

Future location of escalator to 2nd floor and DSW

The first floor will consist of 2 more retail tenants. There have been lots of discussions though both leases are still available. I’ll be sure to announce as soon as new tenants are found. In the meantime get ready for the opening of the Irving Street wing featuring DSW this summer.

  • anonnnnn

    yay shoes!

  • Anonymous

    Shoes meh. Does this mean no grocery store? Sadface. :-(

    • They are still looking to get a grocery store for one of the two first floor spaces. Remember DSW will take over the second floor.

    • Anonymous

      I never understood why people still clammor for a grocery there. Giant is a block away. Teeter is nearby. Bestway is two blocks away.

      • NK

        Giant sucks. Bestway smells and has limited selection. Target is meh. What we need is a TJ’s. It’ll change your life.

        • Anonymous

          Bestway is awesome and I’ve never noticed a smell. The selection is somewhat limited though.

        • saf

          Differences in what you want – I can’t ever find anything I need at Trader Joe. I can almost always find the basics at Giant.

          • Anonymous

            I was looking for garam masala at Giant the other day. I asked if they had it and the guy said I’d need to go to “an ingredient store” for that. Hehe.

          • +1

          • Andy

            Difference is Giant sucks. It’s poor quality and overpriced. For what I pay for at Giant I can find cheaper at Harris Teeter (and to some extent Whole Foods), except HT is farther from where I live, a bit off of the 16th st S buses, and too far away from the Metro. Having another grocery alternative here would be way more convenient and give Giant a bit more competition to clean up their act. Target’s market helped a little bit, but it’s not enough.

      • anon

        Because people want “their” chosen grocery, usually a WF, TJ or HT.

        There are 5 groceries within 1 miles:
        Safeway (.8 miles)
        Harris Teeter (.9 miles)
        Giant (292 feet from Metro)
        Best Way (.6 miles)
        Yes (2 of them, Columbia Rd .8 miles and W St .7 miles)

        and WF on P is 1.3 miles away

        • molly k

          yeah. dude. people are being sort of obnoxious about this. it’s one thing to ask for more local-y, independent grocers (which would be awesome), but quite another to whine about wanting some more big chain grocery stores. man.

  • Christina

    Isn’t there a grocery store right across the street? Columbia Heights is not exactly a food desert.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think anyone who says they want a grocery store in this space are hoping that a Safeway opens up here. They’re looking for a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or something similar to either of those. Basically, something different, with some higher-end products.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah because a shoe store is so much better.

  • anon

    How big is a typical DSW? Many of the ones I’ve been to take 2 entire floors of a building like this. I predict most will be woman’s shoes, with mens shoes squeezed into 1 row in the back somewhere.

  • DSW…I am in soooo much trouble…

  • oh I love DSW and think it’s a great fit for this space… but having such easy access to shoes will be very bad for my wallet

  • This is very bad news for both my bank account and my closet space.

    • Anonymous-est


  • Yay! No more trips to Virginia. But my favorite part might be the Irving Street entrance.

  • Tim

    That facade has some history. I believe it was a car repair place back in the day, and someone decided to preserve the facade and work it into DC USA.

    I saw photos once, I think on Greater Greater Washington, of the former building in the early 2000s, then the facade being held up by a steel frame a few years later.

    • Tim

      Here’s just the facade, in 2004: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rock_creek/2892997822/

      • Pretty cool shot!

      • TG

        Thanks for posting that. I remember that from when I first moved into the neighborhood. Great that they saved it.

    • There was a car repair place AND a post office. I still miss that post office. And don’t forget the Columbia Heights farmer’s market across the street in what is now Lou’s, Acre 21, etc.

      • saf

        Oh, that Post Office was evil.

        • Rich

          It was like something in Soviet Russia.

    • Anonymous

      You know, even though that old facade had been preserved for a number of years before DCUSA was built, I’m pretty sure that the current facade is just a reproduction.

      • It’s definitely the original facade, which was propped up for years, then sandblasted, repaired and painted. It looks a bit odd there, but definitely original.

        And +1 for an organic or otherwise interesting grocer with fresh, higher-end foods available. Giant is fine, but it’s simply overwhelmed. A TJ’s, WF, Yes, etc would help take the pressure off.

  • ADLZ

    Great news! I hope they’re still trying to get a Yes! organic food-type store on the first floor. We would love love love one of those. Whatever happened to the organic food store that was supposed to open up in that space last year?

    • Andy

      The-Store-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named delayed and delayed their opening and then chickened out after like 2+ years of promising it was going to come.

  • weird

    I heard the opening will be delayed by approximately 8 months in order to install the escalators.

    • +100

    • IsoTopor

      No no no, it’s 8 months to perform regularly scheduled maintenance on an escalator that is currently running. Installing a new one is a sold 18 month job. At least that’s what Sally Struthers taught me and the rest of the WMATA escalator repair crews at International Correspondence School. She also taught us medical billing and gun smithing.

      • Anonymous

        ha ha.

  • This is great. The clothes selection at Marshalls is pretty good, but their shoes suck.

  • Johnny

    I’m not big into shoes but I’m glad they are finally opening that SW entrance to DCusa. For those of us coming from Mount Pleasant it improves access. Now if only they could lure Whole Foods back that would be be outstanding. I will never for the life of me understand the people that point out there is a Giant 2 blocks away. The people aren’t asking for another crappy grocery store. They are asking for an all organic grocer. This is a densely populated neighborhood with more apartments getting built everyday. The young professionals and families that live here want better access to better food.

    • blazing sun

      Whole Foods is not all organic.

      • Sneaky Pete

        Exactly. The household basics, including canned goods and frozen foods, aren’t necessarily better quality than Giant, just more expensive. The only things that are better at Whole Foods are their produce, meat, seafood, salad bar, and wine selection (which isn’t all that great). I live just off U Street, so I shop at both.

        • Rich

          The produce at WF often is the same (literally, like Driscoll berries or Clementines) as SWY or Giant and often no better. The bakery stuff is very uneven and the prepared foods are often surprisingly bad. The wine selection is hit or miss. If I want something interesting or special, I try to go to Calvert-Woodley.

  • Jack5

    DSW is grossly overpriced, every shoe I’ve bought from them has fallen apart nearly a month after I buy them. They use so much floor space so that they can spread their stock of completely boring shoes out wide so that you don’t get to compare shoe prices against each other in the store. I’m tired of paying their rent by buying their overpriced and flimsy shoes.

  • +1 for TJs, Whole Foods or any other decent grocer. Giant isn’t worth the walk around the corner from Mount Pleasant: 1) long lines; 2) too pricey for what it is; 3) marginal produce at best. Does the “Irving Street Entrance” include access to WSC and Target (I hope)?

    • Matt

      Probably not, unless that wall to the left of the Marshalls entrance is a knockout panel leading to a corridor that goes to the back half of the building.

      Not that I understand the wisdom of constructing a mall where one half is inaccessible to the other half unless you walk outside for a block and a half…

    • Anonymous

      ++1 for a tj’s or whole. Foods. Probably too small for a whole foods, though.

  • Anonymous

    One less reason to head out to Virginia. Hope they get a Ross and a Stride Rite too.

  • Oats

    Something about this building is so strange and unwelcoming.


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