Gussini Fashion coming to former Staples space in Columbia Heights?

by Prince Of Petworth January 12, 2017 at 10:40 am 33 Comments

14th between Irving and Park Road, NW

A sources says it it so. Stay tuned for confirmation. Staples closed in DC USA back in March of last year. Here’s who we hoped would take over the space

Gussini’s website says:

“GUSSINI FASHION was founded With a vision of becoming a neighborhood boutique. GUSSINI FASHION grew to over 10 stores. We have over 10 locations and are one of the fastest-growing retailers in the U.S.

GUSSINI FASHION offers a wide assortment of clothing for juniors and plus sizes, as well as an extensive shoe collection. GUSSINI FASHION is about bringing you the very latest in new fashions and styles and our assortment is constantly changing. So, if you see something you like you better grab it quick or you may miss out!

GUSSINI FASHION has also been a pioneer in attractive, well-fitting apparel for plus sizes. We firmly believe that every woman, regardless of shape or size, should enjoy fun, fashionable, and feminine clothing at an affordable price.

GUSSINI FASHION is headquartered in Bladensburg, MD.”

  • Rich

    Didn’t they more or less vanish after having been big in the 80s or 90s?

    • textdoc

      I didn’t realize they’d ever been big — this is the first I’ve heard of them.

    • bje22201

      I thought it sounded familiar. But yeah, that’s the last I had heard of them was from their commercials in the 80’s.

  • stacksp

    Wait, no Harold Pener, or Cavalier lol… Gussini was out when they were open I thought….

    • Mojotron

      I miss Cavalier. and commercials for Mortons, though not Mortons itself.

      • stacksp

        Cavalier was straight growing up as a kid. Cavalier and Up Against the Wall at PG Plaza were very popular until other stores started to pop up and when my taste evolved a bit lol

        • Mojotron

          You reminded me that many years ago someone pulled a “McDowell’s” and opened an imitation “Up Against the Wall” in King George, VA called “Up Against the Grid”. Think it closed a few years back but the building and sign are still there. Guess I’ll have to get my Hypercolor and Body Glove stuff elsewhere.

  • neighbor

    And so begins the decline of that building into an empty hole on 14th street. Columbia Heights is dying before it ever really revived.

    • Rich

      Its as busy and diverse as ever. Clearly, not everyone shares your delicate sensibilities.

    • Anonymous

      If Columbia Heights suffers from anything, it’s unfortunate timing. It should have been planned like the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor: high density residential around the Metro, with commercial space on the ground floors. Instead, prime real estate was devoted to big box stores at a time when Amazon was poised to destroy the model. I don’t know what DC USA’s lease looks like, but it should be torn down as soon as it is up.

      • LittleBluePenguin


      • Rich

        Actually, much of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is dead (esp. the Rosslyn-Courthouse end and around Virginia Square, not to mention Ballston as a dead mall) and the big boxes drove out the Asian restaurants that brought people to the relatively successful Clarendon in the first place. Also there’s high density residential all around the Columbia Heights Metro with ground floor retail. Columbia Heights draws from a far more diverse area, has more subsidized housing nearby and will always be different. Proplr I know who live near Clarendon now complain how sanitized it is and, for the most part, I don’t find much reason to go there any more because so many of the same stores are in DC and some of the more unique ones have closed.Columbia Heights probably will never be Bethesda or even Clarendon–for that matter Rosslyn and Ballston probably will never be Clarendon and Columbia Heights is better planned than some other redevelopment zones like Downtown Silver Spring.

        • Anonymous

          It may be “dead” in terms of being boring or sanitized, but by no means is it dead in terms of the density of residential units. The R-B corridor is considered the gold standard in zoning.

          Columbia Heights does have some high density residential, but there should have been a lot more. DC USA takes up a massive amount of space, and dwarfs the Highland Park, Park Triangle, and Kenyon Square buildings. Even if only half the space was dedicated to residential, you’d be looking at hundreds of units.

          The lack of residents – event if it seems busy – is one of the reasons why DC USA has so many vacancies.

          • Anon

            Columbia Heights is the most densely populated neighborhood in DC. The sidewalks outside DCUSA are some of the most heavy pedestrian traffic in the city. Those stores are vacant because 1. The building does not provide build out costs like other buildings do for new tenants. 2. The leases are written so that if any tenant signs a lease with a lower rate per sq ft than an existing tenant, existing tenant gets to have that rate. So prices are kept high to keep all rates high. 3. The developer gets to write off vacant space as a business loss and potentially makes more money off that than a lower rental rate.

          • Anon

            “Columbia Heights is the most densely populated neighborhood in DC.” – that’s simply not true.

          • anonymous2u

            If not true then what neighborhood is outside of downtown?

          • revitalizer

            The area around 14th and Irving St NW does not have a lack of residents. The census tract that DC USA sits in is 53,000 people per square mile as of the 2015 5-year ACS estimate. The Columbia Heights neighborhood, comprised approximately of 6 census tracts (28.01, 28.02, 29, 30, 36, and 37), has approximately 28,000 residents, a land area of a little more than a half square mile, and a density of approximately 47,000 people per square mile.

            The Ballston/Virginia Square neighborhood: 14,000 people, a little more than a half square mile in land area, and 22, 000 people per square mile.

            The Anon poster below has it right. The vacancy at Columbia Heights deals with how the developer does their leases.

  • AA

    UGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Come on, Old Navy you break my heart not landing here.

    • Gallery Place NW

      Old Navy would’ve been perfect for this location.

      Whatever happened to the Gap Factory store that was supposed to be coming to this property?

  • Anonynon

    DC USA is a hot mess, please take note developers and city planners. This area is a disaster zone that no one wants to partake in, unless they want something cheap from target. Would not want to live anywhere near here, and never want to go on a stroll through this area

    • Anonymous

      I think that everyone was being realistic based on the information at hand when the area was being planned for redevelopment. Namely, that the area was a garbage fire all the way down 14th Street to Thomas Circle. It would have been much better off as a CityCenterDC or even a Courthouse, but I’m sure that someone had a vested interest in bringing in a parking garage and big box stores.

      • stacksp

        For an area that had no retail for miles, those big box stores were heaven sent at the time

      • textdoc

        IIRC, Target insisted that the parking garage be part of the deal, or it wouldn’t commit to the lease.

      • Ward One Resident

        And when you say “someone” had a vested interest would that someone be short, glasses, fondness for bowties?

        • Thought

          Yeah, he was a hot mess. But still miles ahead of Nadeau.
          Really, Brianne, the greatest economic period in US history, and this is what you attract?
          Sadly, what killed Columbia Heights and the whole ward is the growth of H Street and Shaw/Howard. What they both have in common is the absence of Nadeau.

        • anonymous2u

          No, disagree completely. He has vision but respects the integrity of the neighborhood. Nadeau is a disaster who panders and is not focused on smart economic development

  • UGH. There’s a Gussini on New Hampshire Ave in Langley Park and it is an eye-sore. Tacky clothing, big signs about sales that never end, and obnoxious fluorescent lights. A Five Below would have been an improvement over this retailer.

    • stacksp

      I was going to mention this location. Its at least 20 years old.

    • Welshi

      Are you saying this with the knowledge that there is a Five Below in this center already (on the Irving side)?

    • ymous

      Except…there’s a Five Below at DCUSA already.

  • tke98

    That building will not be closing down anytime soon. It can survive on WSC and Target alone.

  • bruno

    I miss the Staple’s. I am not a big consumer but was always here… one of the few stores I loved. And it closed.

  • Priscilla

    This is the best they could do? Really? Check out the web site: http://gussinifashion.com/.
    How could we as residents protest the way DC USA is being managed? It’s such a missed opportunity. Does anyone know if there anything we could do? Does anyone in DC government pay any attention to this situation?
    Or maybe Donald Trump will send someone to help when he gets to town… kidding….


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