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“Upscale Grocer” Coming to 14th and Belmont St, NW in Columbia Heights

by Prince Of Petworth November 13, 2012 at 10:30 am 82 Comments

14th and Belmont St, NW

A reader sends huge news about the retail spaces in the new Capitol View building from the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association:

Capitol View on 14th, 2420 14th Street, NW, planned uses for retail space – George Levin of UDR and Chris Wilkinson of commercial broker JBG Rosenfeld Realty reported that the building is nearing completion, has eight retail spaces totaling 16,110 SF ranging from 1,008 SF to 3,977 SF, some of which can be consolidated to larger units at build-out, and 225 residential units; UDR is close to signing a lease with an upscale grocer for a 4,952 SF space on the corner of 14th and Belmont Streets; for spaces north of the residential entrance on 14th Street they are in discussions with a bank and drycleaner; and a mid/high-end restaurant has expressed interest in the commercial unit at the corner of 14th and Chapin Street and the space at the corner of 14th and Florida Avenue in the View 14 building across the street, which is also owned by UDR.

Any guesses on who the “upscale grocer” could be? Maybe something like Dean & Deluca?

  • Anonymous

    14th and Belmont is much closer to U Street than it is to Columbia Heights, but an upscale grocer and the trader joes that is already going in is great news

  • DCEric

    Is this in addition to Trader Joes, around U street? What will happen to Georgia Ave corridor from Howard U, up? Is that just slated for continued ghetto retail (corner stores, t shirts, beauty parlors, liquor, carryouts)? These developers need to note change in these areas, too.

    • adam

      actually, they are opening a brand new safeway at the georgia ave metro

    • Anonymous

      You want better retail, the residents have to come first. GA ave has sigfnicantly less population than this area of 14th street. And less “luxury” residential units. the opening of the “Avenue” on GA ave was great but its 100% low income so do you really think that will attract an upscale grocery store? In retail, its about location and “heads in beds”–as the first step.

      • RozCat

        “Ghetto” retail is better than none at all. At least people are trying…. geesh.

        • Anonymous

          100% disagree with lowering the bar to “better than nothing”..most retail leases are a minimum of 5 years but often 10-15 years. So once you get another check cashing joint, bullet proof corner store, Mr Yums carry out, you are gonna be stuck with it for a very long time. This is why retail always turns over well after residential. I would rather see a lot of spaces stay empty (but maintained) so that better neighborhood serving retail could actually thrive at some point.

          • pru

            Thanks for that explanation of residential vs retail turn over. Super interesting.

          • Nolo


      • If you want more development in the area than you can’t have council members reserving the best real estate for low income residents. Retail goes where the money is and right now its not on GA ave. Let the yuppies in and that area will flourish.

        • Basic

          Personally I don’t find a contingency with “ghetto retail” in its vocabulary to be especially attractive. What could be more benign then any of those places listed?

      • Anonymous

        Soon we’ll be seeing organic, free range, locally raised chicken bones on the streets and sidewalks!

        • Anonymous


        • Sorry – but that’s just a really funny comment!

    • Anonymous


      Careful what you wish for? Those neighborhood *spots* are what give neighborhoods character. Do you want to trade that in for upscale grocers, whatever that may mean?

      • Farnsworth

        I personally don’t think a contingency with “ghetto retail” in its vocabulary is especially attractive.

        • jqh

          Racists! Racism! Race! Swagger-Jacking! White people!

          • Farnsworth

            What is your point?

    • UStreetSharon

      A Harris Teeters is supposed to be coming near Howard U.

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Once the area becomes an historic district, there will be a requirement for all new businesses that a certain percentage of space be covered up with bulletproof glass.

    • DCSteve

      From howard U up? let’s see…

      Yes Organic
      Qualia Coffee
      Three Little Pigs
      Chez Billy

      not to mention, fish in the hood and other similar ‘ghetto retail’ is pretty great, not all liquor stores are gross (Lion’s is amazing), and thank goodness that petworth isn’t quite ready to turn into cleveland park.

      • Anonymous

        Both Lyons and Fish in the Hood renovated to acknowledge the changes in the neighborhood. Lyons used to be a total ghetto, dirty store and they did a 100% renovation. Including stocking items that would serve more people. Their business is doing much better now! Fish in the Hood has new signs, tables etc. That place is awesome but they too realize there is a very diverse market in Parkview and they want to capture it. Its call being a successful business.

  • Anonymous

    They are also opening a Harris Teeter adjacent to Howard near the 930 Club.

  • RozCat

    Dean and Deluca sux. A place that is able to sustain fresh produce and carries a few specialty items would be great. Oh, wait Yes! market across the street got that covered. Is another upscale grocer really going to make it.

    • Anonymous

      Hell yeah! For those of us closer to Chapin and Clifton, I am not walking down to Yes Market when I can walk out my front door and find a grocery store right there.

  • Anonymous

    If we get a Dean and Deluca outside of Georgetown, that will be the sure sign that DC has crossed the line in the upward climb from burned out slum ghetto into the shining gem of the Nation once again. As the great President Obama says, Change – Forward.

    Has anybody that has lived here for at least 5 years really believe how the city is changing and moving into a more civil place? It is almost unbelievable. I think it is a power that will not be stopped. I can’t even imagine what this city will be in 10 years.

    • Hopefully the city stops slowing down progress. Its next concern is keeping these new residents in the city. Eventually your kid is going to have to go to high school and do you really trust your son or daughter in DC public school.

    • just sayin’

      We will still be a third world slum until the city deals with the rat population.

  • Anonymous

    At the meeting the developers had with residents of Meridian Hill, they said that it was NOT Dean and Deluca.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously? On principle, I would avoid a grocer that defined itself as “upscale.” Oy-vey, what is this world coming to?

    • brian

      Seriously, let’s continue to reinforce the stereotype that everyone in DC is a sheltered, yuppie jackass who can’t shop at a regular market.

      • Anonymous

        Excuse me, brian, but what in my response gave you the impression that I was reinforcing X stereotype? On principle, whether or not I could afford to shop at defined upscale grocery would make me inclined to go elsewhere.

        • Anonymous

          i thought he was agreeing with you.

  • Jimi

    Dope. I move from View 14 to Capitol View on 14th in Dec. Hopefully these retail spots are ready to go sooner than later. I feel like by the time these are done, I’ll be already planning to move to NYC or not renewing the lease. It took three years to get the WMCA in at View 14 (14th & Belmont), and the MMA studio at 14th & Florida is no where near done. It doesn’t even look like they’re continuing to build it out lolz.

    • Anonymous

      Just an FYI – 2400 14th St. NW: UDR Inc. will install a Gunite swimming pool on the 9th floor of its Capitol View on 14th apartment building on the U Street corridor. The 7,720-gallon pool will be 12 feet 6 inches wide by 29 feet 10 inches long and only 3 feet deep throughout.

    • sbc

      If you’re talking about BETA academy, I am a member and they are definitely still working on the new space.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q_flcdspZM is a video from June and since then the owners have been working on the place and dealing with contractors and permits (not an easy process in DC!). They’ve apparently ordered all the new mats and equipment and are making steady progress. Since they’re presumably paying rent on the old and the new location, they have a lot of incentive to get it done as soon as possible. Given all the red tape involved with construction and the fact that it’s owned by individuals and not a major corporation with experience building in DC, I think it’s going slower than anyone had hoped.

  • Chris


    • Anonnie

      I hope so!! I love that place.

  • Anonymous

    Could it be a Whole Foods? Is 4,952 square feet big enough for something like that? I assume there are tons of parking spaces beneath the building, which will be necessary for any type of “upscale grocery.”

    • AP

      Ummm…no. A typical Whole Foods is at least 40,000-50,000 sq.ft. In comparison, the Yes! Organic Market down the street is almost 6,000 sq.ft.

    • I doubt it; there’s a Whole Foods less than a mile away on P Street.

  • anon

    That is no where near enough space for a Whole Foods.

  • Some people won’t be satisfied until this entire town is gentrified and becomes lily white. The talk of getting rid the “ghetto retail” and the “free range chicken bone” comments are pretty offensive. I for one hope that the ghetto retail and chicken bone people get to stay in at least some part of this fair city. The idea of spoiled yuppies “sanitizing” and “civilizing” this city with even more upscale grocers, too many saloons, $600,000 studio condos, and organic wine bars make me want to hurl.

    • AP

      I’d just like to walk down the street without constant fear of being mugged. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

      • Farnsworth

        What does that have to do with beauty parlors, carry outs, t-shirt vendors, and liquor stores?

      • washingtonian

        constant fear?

        like whenever you’re outside?

        you may need therapy.

        • AP

          When walking in certain areas…yes. Sorry, but I don’t feel that way while walking through Georgetown. I wonder what the difference could possibly be?!

          • Farnsworth

            You’re asking us to speculate on your own personal feelings?

          • So you don’t fear uber privileged college kids and millionaires that own homes in Georgetown? However, everyone else is looking to take your iPhone?

          • Rich

            Then move to Georgetown and quit bothering the rest of us.

          • AP

            @Rich – Yeah, that’s it…let’s continue to have this great divide between east and west. Moving to Georgetown would solve everyone’s problems! Geez…you people are missing the point of my post. I’m simply saying that I feel safer (and the crime stats support my claim) in the areas with a good mix of retail and market-rate housing. You can’t look me in the eye and say that there’s no correlation between gentrified neighborhoods and crime.

      • Anonymous

        I think everyone would like to walk down the street without fear of being mugged, but there’s not necessarily a correlation between type and (perceived) quality of retail and crime–or at least, there doesn’t have to be. I can’t buy into the logic (which surfaces every now and then in these discussions) that people of color/low-income people/affordable housing/”ghetto” retail/crime all automatically go hand in hand, nor that that gentrification/upscale retail are the antidote. Personally, I don’t like fried chicken, and I sometimes enjoy the types of “upscale” establishments that DCguy mentions–but that doesn’t mean that I think EVERY establishment needs to cater to my individual tastes and preferences, and in fact I actually think that a mix of residents and retail establishments is more interesting than a homogenous all-“upscale” community.

        I’ve lived in neighborhoods that had a mix of income levels, ethnicities, older and newer/”upscale” businesses and were quite vibrant. Yes, gentrification issues were still present, yes there was occasional crime, and no it wasn’t all rainbows and group hugs and racial/class harmony 100% of the time. But it IS possible for different people and different interests to coexist and thrive (and without blatant hostility toward either the old-timers or the newcomers).

    • Anonymous

      You want to know what makes me hurl? Being called a “faggot cracker” and to go back to where I came from.

      • Farnsworth

        That’s more offensive than a broad invective in response to people who patronize beauty parlors over salons and buy brandless, inexpensive subs, wings, and t-shirts?

        • jqh

          Farnsworth, well, I guess that depends on your perspective. I would say that yes, it is more offensive to actually have “faggot cracker” yelled at you in person, or to be beaten to the point of hospitalization while people yell “faggot cracker” at you than to read a broad remark on overall retail trends on a website. Do you disagree? Do you think race and gender based violence in this city is an acceptable response to perceived gentrification?

          • Farnsworth

            If your entire way of life can be disrupted because you remind people with money of someone that called you a slur based on tenuous connections like patronizing perfectly fine businesses, and of course being black, then certainly that’s worse.

          • Farnsworth

            Also I doubt the casually dissmissive attutide towards the entirety of people who patronize “ghetto retail” is a response to “go back to where you came from” instead of the other way around. I’m not sure why people who openly want anti-gentrifier natives to “get out of the way” balk at native backlash and accuse them of misinterpreting their intentions.

      • The thought of another farmers market makes me want to hurl. Going to farmers markets to buy fresh chard and other over priced produce is cool and hip. Please, may I have another?

        • Anonymous

          too bad for you.

    • Anonymous

      If you’re such a fan of chicken bones feel free to give out your address — I’ll stop by and dump a big pile outside your door so you can revel in your little unsanitized patch of the city.

      To see people defending littering as a positive feature of city life and something to be maintained is pretty insane.

      • anon


    • Anonymous


    • I don’t why people bring up race all of the time. I think its more of class thing. I’m black and I’m genetically pre-disposed to loving the fried chicken wings at these carry out places but difference is between me and some other residents in this city. I just don’t throw my bones in the street.

      • saf

        2 reasons –
        It’s lazy shorthand for a large variety of cultural differences
        There are still plenty of bigots out there

      • Anonymous

        Because class and race intersect when discussing social policies.

      • Nolo

        Because in DC race is a proxy for class, unfortunately.

  • Anonymous

    If you hear that it’s going to be an Ellwood Thompson’s, don’t believe it!

  • GreenThumb

    Was at this particular neighborhood association meeting last month when the developer presented — this isn’t news, really. They clarified and said it was not a Dean & Deluca, though I would have loved that. They hinted at a bakery and they availability of prepared foods, and said this was a DC based retailer. My guess is a Marvelous Market, which I’d also be quite pleased to see.

    Apparently a bank and another dry cleaner are looking at space elsewhere in the building. There was talk of interest from a NY based restauant, too.

    • Jason

      Another bank? I know somebody has to be using brick and mortar branches or they would not keep building them. Isn’t most banking done by ATM and online now? I probably only go into my branch a few times a year. How is this profitable?
      Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a few cell phone stores there too.

  • Matt

    There used to be a Bank of America at this site, I hope they bring it back so I have an ATM, there isn’t a BoA ATM anywhere near U Street and I hate paying the fees

    • I don’t think any major bank has an ATM machine around U St.

      • Citibank ATM is in 7-11, CVS has USAA (I think) and Rite Aid has Chase (I think)

      • ggdc

        Suntrust ATM right outside the 13th and U St. Metro stop

  • RE

    AMAZING, out of so many comments only a handful addressed the question: Any guesses on who the “upscale grocer” could be? Maybe something like Dean & Deluca?

    The commentary on PoP is not much better than the vitriol found on CNN.

    It would be nice to see FEAST! from Charlottesville open another location in that spot. Especially since it’s across the street from where I live.

    • AP

      Well, what do you expect when you put the word “upscale” on something coming to a rapidly gentrifying area? The company could have simply said they are looking to add a small grocer and all of this “ghetto retail” talk could have been avoided.

  • Honestly, I think Dean and Deluca sucks. They are pretty much the last retailer I would want in that space. A Marvelous Market or a proper Jewish grocer (like Zabar’s, omgz) would be so much better. Dean and Deluca is just so ridiculously overpriced and their selection of items sucks. There’s no variety and they usually leave you with just one or two expensive options.

    • Anonymous

      The “LAST” retailer????? Would you prefer that Leather Rack opens there?

      • No, I’ve never bought 100 feet of bondage rope at the Leather Rack.

        No, I’ve never grabbed lube and condoms at the Leather Rack on the way home from work.

        No, I’ve never picked up a “surprise” gift for my girlfriend at the Leather Rack.

        Dude, a 5000 sq foot Leather Rack three blocks from my house would be my dream. Don’t make me promises you can’t keep.

        • 100 FEET of bondage rope? What are you doing – keelhauling your lover?

  • z

    it’s obviously going to be a Murry’s or an Aldi….


  • I’m willing to bet it will be a My Organic Market, or a Marvelous Market.

  • UStreetSharon

    It’s way too small for a MOMs market. I wish though. Not one in the city.

    • I would LOVE a MOM’s in DC. But at less than 5,000 sq ft., probably not.


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