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Harris Teeter Signs Letter of Intent to Come to New JBG Project Near the Southern End of Sherman Ave, NW

by Prince Of Petworth — September 10, 2012 at 10:30 am 68 Comments

945 Florida Ave, NW

Big news from the Washington Post:

Executives at the JBG Cos., one of the region’s largest real estate developers, said they plan to open a Trader Joe’s grocery store in an apartment building under construction on 14th Street NW, just south of U Street next year.

A few blocks northeast of that project, JBG and its retail arm, JBG Rosenfeld, have lined up a commitment from another grocer, Harris Teeter, but it will require winning the rights to some city-owned property on Sherman Avenue.

We’ve long been rejoicing over the coming Trader Joe’s to 14th and U Street, NW but this is the first I’ve heard about the possibility of a Harris Teeter coming to the area.

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Back in March 2011 we learned JBG had purchased the former Atlantic Plumbing Supply properties across the street from Duffy’s near the 9:30 Club.

Think a Harris Teeter would do well in that location?

  • Anonymous

    Of course it will do well!

  • Anonymous


  • rd

    it’s 0.9 miles from the other harris teeter. i think it would do well there, but could both survive?

    • Anonymous

      I think both would definately survive. Although the store would be 0.9 mils apart, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of apartments/condos under construction between the two locations. Kudos to Harris Teeter for adding another store!!

      • This would be a great addition. I love Trader Joes, but it’s more of a specialty store in that I find it doesn’t sell everything I need on a weekly basis. While the Kalorama HT isn’t as nicely kept as the suburban locations, it is far superior to Safeway and Giant. A new full-service grocery in GA Ave neighborhood would be a real boon!

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    Absolutely it will do well. There are no major grocery stores (that I can think of) within a one mile radius of there, and it is heavily populated and growing very fast. It is a shame Georgia Ave. development has proceeded so slowly, from what sounds like a combo of gov’t and Howard University inaction. But if Howard Town Center ever finally gets going, the lower Georgia Ave. project finally happens as well, and this project gets going (along with the nearly-completed Sherman Ave. reconstruction), this whole area is going to have a boom similar to what is now happening near the Petworth metro station, a little further north on Georgia. A lot of vacant and underutilized properties which are very close to metro, hospital, University, and a ton of appealing retails, only a matter of time before those remaining blighted / vacant lots near lower Sherman and Georgia get densely developed.

    • Anonymous

      There’s another HT in Kalorama, but this will be so much more convenient for folks in the neighborhood (and metro accessible for those who aren’t). Very exciting!

      • Ward One Resident

        Not to nitpick, but the other HT isn’t “in” Kalorama, it’s on Kalorama. It’s technically in the Reed-Cooke portion of Adams Morgan whereas the Kalorama portion of AM is west of 18th st.

  • Anonymous

    This is great news with all of the apartments/condos, etc going up in that area. A grocery would be the perfect fit for that location!! Lets hope it really happens!!

  • bb

    A very welcome development. Here’s hoping that it will happen, and fast.

    I wonder if this will be the final nail in the coffin of Howard Town Center, or a wake up call that will spur Howard University to action at last.

  • Anon

    I hate to be the one to say it, but I’ll believe it when I see it. According to the Post, they can’t build unless they win the rights to the property next door. I’m hoping to god they get it, cause I like HT and don’t care for Trader Joes… and an HT in the Shaw/Ledroit/Bloomingdale vicinity would be amazing.

    • elizqueenmama

      @Anon –

      You know there is an HT in NoMa, right? I think one going in at Sherman Ave would be great, but depending on where you are in Shaw/LeDroit/Bloomingdale, the NoMa HT is pretty convenient.

      • Anonymous

        from bloomingdale traffic patterns and/or crossing new york avenue make it decidedly not convenient.

      • Anon

        And an HT in Shaw would be walkable from Ledroit and Bloomingdale.

  • Agnes

    A side note: every time I drive by that white ruin in the middle of the picture (former church? garage?) I dream about how cool it would be to have a beer garten kind of place in that spot. The bones are beautiful and there’s lots of outdoor space. Any investor out here looking for an idea? I mean with Trader Joe’s next door, they would make a killing would they not?

    • noflores

      Agnes – that white building is part of the site on which JBG is planning to build. It is part of the lots they already own.

    • dullshick

      According to the niece of the architect, the white building is the former home of the Philadelphia Open Door Church of Christ designed by Romulus Cornelius Archer, Jr. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dullshick/2556688326/in/set-72157604877556922). Unfortunately the link she provided in the comments doesn’t work anymore.

  • Rich

    If you want to pay too much for overrated food, Whole Foods is a better choice.

    • Anon

      HT is nowhere near as expensive as Whole Foods. They carry some specialty items, but mostly just the standard brands that you find at Giant and Safeway, but with better service!

      • Anonymous

        I find Giant to be outrageously expensive, while Safeway and HT are equivalent in prices but HT’s quality is a lot better. It probably depends on what you’re buying, though. I’m one of those perimeter-of-the-store shoppers so I’m not comparing the prices of Oreos and Cheerios.

        • I think HT has better quality as well, but Safeway has way better deals, along the lines of 10 for $10 canned tomatoes or Ronzoni boxes of pasta. I routinely save between 15 and 20% on my grocery bill and it’s awesome to scan your card and watch the prices go down on the screen…lol

          • Anonymous

            Huh, what other sorts of things do they have deals on? I don’t buy canned tomatoes or pasta.

      • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        Where I grew up the grocery stores would give you a free turkey, ham, or vegetarian equivalent at Christmastime if you were a loyal customer (e.g. you spent at least $50 a month or whatever). Do any of the stores do that around here?

        • Anonymous

          thats why we have politicians.

    • Anonymous

      What is overrated food? I knew restaurant fare could be overrated, but not groceries.

    • Anonymous

      Like anywhere it depends on what you are specifically buying. Whole foods brand stuff (365) and vegetarian specific items are cheap at whole foods. Nowhere has faux meat stuff cheaper than whole foods. Harris teeter brand is cheap too.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a no brainier, especially considering the nonstarter of howard town center. Hopefully this will happen.

  • anon

    This is great, the Giant on Park road is way to0 overcrowded.

  • Anonymous

    Harris Teeter’s is a good store, but Wegman is better.

    • Anonymous

      ANY (okay, maybe not YES! Organic Market) grocery store is better than what is currently there.

  • houseintherear

    I noticed the other day that a few houses on that little stretch of Florida Ave, right across from this sight, are for sale. I wonder if it’s because of impending construction? Or maybe just coincidence. Seems like a good spot for potential home value increase, if HT really does come.

    • Anonymous

      those houses are TINY.

  • Anonymous

    In addition to the grocery store, it would be awesome if there was also also space to add a movie theatre complex there.

  • Anonymous

    O st market is about a mile away too.

  • Anonymous

    it seem pretty close to other one on Kalorama. kinda odd they would do that. but what do i know, i didn’t do any market research.

    all i know is most CoHi folks i talk to HATE the Giant.

    • Anonymous

      If Safeway can survive with 2 stores a mile apart (one on 17th/Swann Street and the other on 18th/Columbia Rd), any store should be able to survive.

    • AR

      Could be a matter of perception (and blocks/access). It would never occur to me to go to the Kalorama store because it feels out of the way, but this would be on my home and I’d probably go 2-3 a week.

      • 15th St. NW Resident

        yeah, the one on Kalorama is a pain to get to via car or public transportation (except maybe the 16th st buses). If it wasn’t packed full of apartments and residences, I don’t think it would be profitable.

        In other words, I’m guessing most customers at the Kalorama HT get there on foot.

  • Anonymous

    The most exciting thing about the Post article is that they plan on cutting W Street through to Georgia Ave! That’s awesome. Buildings and businesses will come but the chance to repair the grid is rare!

  • Sammy

    I feel really guilty when I shop at Harris Teeter cause it’s not unionized.

    • Anonymous

      I’m curious what the actual take home pay after union dues is at Harris Teeter v.s. other unionized stores. I have no idea.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously? I ONLY shop at Harris Teeter because the service is 1000 times better than Giant or Safeway. Why should people get union wages to act like incompetent a-holes. I went to HT this past Saturday at 2pm and there was NO one half the lines. Cashiers were waving me over into their lines. Everyone was super nice and helpful. So being non union is certainly not hurting morale.

      • +1.

        I believe in unions in theory… but the longer I’ve been in D.C., the less I believe in them in practice. The union for Metro seems to shield incompetent employees from getting anything more than a slap on the wrist, and overall the (unionized) employees of Safeway and Giant seem to be much less competent, courteous, etc. than Harris Teeter employees.

      • Anonymous

        Yup. Wegman’s isn’t unionized and the customer service there is incredible.

        • Wegman’s is also a great place to work. It routinely makes Forbes’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Wegs employees are always unfailingly pleasant, too.

          And their olive bar is second to none. Except maybe the Whole Foods cheese counter.

      • I agree – the HT experience is 1000 times better than Giant or Safeway. If unions cared about their impact on their customers, I would support them. But, they mostly make life more difficult for people trying to use their services and I think they have outlived their usefulness.

        I worked at HT in southern Virginia in high school and their wages were better than a lot of the other jobs available. I love HT.

        • wylie coyote

          I’m not trying to start an online argument, but I think you’re a bit confused about the nature of unions when you say unions don’t care “their impact on their customers’. Unions don’t have customers and they don’t train their members on how to provide customer service, that’s management’s job. If you’re encountering poor customer service, it’s because the store you’re in is poorly managed, which has nothing to do with unions.

          • Anonymous

            Not really true. yes, the store should do a better job to train employees. But that same store should have the ability to fire (easily if need be) any employee who is not doing that job the best they can. Thats where unions eff up. Its why we have so much dead weight at Metro. Its why workers at Giant can be such lazy dicks and still keep their job. Its why DCPS used to keep teachers on payroll for years but not in the classroom because the union protected them. Maybe, just maybe, the folks at HT, work harder and are more pleasant because they know part of keeping their job is to actually do that part of their job!

  • Anonymous

    After all the efforts to make Sherman Ave more residential (going from four lanes to two), I think this is a horrible move and will create a lot of traffic congestion. It would make more sense a few blocks south.

    • Anonymous

      LOL!!!! You gotta be kidding, right!!??

    • Anonymous

      You are aware that the density of the city between GA Av and 14th Street is on track to increase by several thousand residents over the next 5 years?

      • Anonymous

        Not saying there isn’t a need…

      • Anonymous

        I did not know that, but with that many new residents they will need a place to shop nearby. Bring on HT!!!

  • This should be a good thing, although I wish it were further north. (The U Street area is already fairly revitalized, whereas Park View or eastern Columbia Heights could really use the revitalization that a project like this would spur.)

    A couple of commenters have mentioned the Howard Town Center… what is it?

    • Anonymous

      Howard Town Center (awful name) is a long delayed plan by Howard University to build large new buildings Between W and V and Georgia Ave and 8th Street, possibly all the way up to Barry Place.

  • OhHellYes


  • The HT and TJs is desperately needed. I’m sick of borrowing my girlfriend’s car to make TJ runs!

  • we live in North Petworth and still drive to the Kalorama Rd or NoMa teeter, despite being much closer to the piney branch safeway or Col Heights Giant. We’ve found the prices are nearly identical to safeway, but the quality of produce and meats seems to be far superior. For whatever reason, the fresh groceries from HT seem to keep for nearly twice as long as safeway goods.

    Also, as everyone else has mentioned, the customer service at HT is just unmatched at any other grocery store. I expect grocery store employeees to be kind of surly and disinterested, because that’s brutally uninteresting work for middling pay, but the HT employees have always been consistently pleasant and helpful, which due to the industry standard is pretty remarkable.

    Anyhow, great store, look forward to having one marginally closer, hope one day to get one in our neck of the woods.

    • Anonymous

      +1 –I have been shopping at the HT in Adams Morgan ever since they opened. It is a GREAT store. Yeah, it may not have the fancy fresh-baked pizza like the HTs in Virginia do, but it is far, far, far better than Safeway or Giant. The employees ALWAYS super helpful and friendly.

  • 9thSt

    This is great news for the 9th and U St. area!

  • My current Harris Teeter (Kalorama) is so convenient, but I’m never really sure that they’re doing a bang-up business. It might be just the times that I might go, but it’s never seems busy. That said, I hope a new HT doesn’t siphon too many shoppers from the Kalorama store (and the Trader Joe’s for that matter) and then somehow nudge the company to close it because of lack of volume.

  • Love love love HT! The NoMa HT is our regular grocery store and as all the others have said, the customer service is so much better than most other chain grocery stores.

  • Anonymous

    the comments here stress me out only because i read “HT” as Harry Thomas, one of our esteemed local politicriminals.

  • RozCat

    What kind of “customer service” do folks expect to be getting in a grocery store? Other than the fish counter and the two-three minutes with checker, my interaction with grocery store workers is minimal. I’m sympathetic to folks to who have to be on their feet all day…even moreso when I see them getting a hard time from some rude customer.

    • Anonymous

      When I go to HT I don’t interact with anyone except maybe the self checkout guy if there’s a problem (and he’s always available and very nice). I used to work at a grocery store and know what a hellish job it can be.

      • Anonymous

        Same here!! I worked at a grocery store as a teen and some customers were so rude. As a matter of fact, it was usually the same customers being rude everytime they came in the store. In my opinion, everyone in America should be required by law to work 1 year in some sort of customer service job. I think it would make the world a “friendlier” place to live in the long run because we will have been in the shoes of that grocery store worker, waiter, bank teller, etc..at some point.

  • roots

    I too will wait until JBG closes the deal. I’m not sure it matters in DC that there will be 2 grocery stores a mile from this proposed HT. Just in the Floridian and the Rhapsody condos you have over 500 instant customers, then throw in the Howard U kids, and then the 2-3000 new tenants along the U street corridor and business will be fine.

    Next project needs to be a hotel within a few blocks of 9th and U.


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