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First DC Wegmans Confirmed for Fannie Mae site on Wisconsin Ave!!!

by Prince Of Petworth May 22, 2017 at 8:30 am 32 Comments


3900 Wisconsin Ave, NW

If you will it is no dream Vol. 820. Following a week we willed a Wawa and an indoor competitive Axe Throwing option to the District, I was sure we’d be talking about dog poop and doors this week. Boy was I wrong. (Well the week is young…) But last night around 10pm, while I was too engrossed in Netflix’s Who Murdered Sister Cathy? to post, WDCEP (Washington DC Economic Partnership) tweeted us:

“It’s true! @Wegmans is coming to #DC.”

“Old Fannie Mae HQ!!”

This confirms our first report of a Wegmans possibly coming to the future, former Fannie Mae site back in March.

The Washington Post reports:

“Fannie Mae is scheduled to move out of the complex late next year, clearing the way for Wegmans to open by 2022, according to Richard Lake, founding partner of Roadside Development. The grocery store, which is expected to take up about 80,000 square feet, will be located on the lower level, with an entrance at the back of the building, Lake said.”

And there was great joy in PoPville. STAY TUNED.

  • Idontgetit

    Awesome news! Finally!

  • OP Anon

    Any details on the residential component of this development. We’re very interested – it’s a great location if you’re doing the kid thing.

    • JP

      At the meeting last week w/ Roadside they said 600-700 units – mix of apartments, townhomes, condos… still being worked out.

    • anon

      If you (like me) would never move into much of the neighborhood of Spring Valley because of the terrible, cancer-causing WWI bombs and toxic waste from the Army’s chemical warfare mess there (and on the AU campus as well) that pops up now and then (do goggle this toxic waste dump the Army left all over the area if you aren’t familiar with it), then you might want to know that the map of the area with chemical wastes in the soil (which waste included mustard gas and many other gasses the Army experimented with there for chemical weapons), which map you will find online if you research the issue, clearly INCLUDES this property in the site of toxic waste. NOT living there, no way, no how.

  • Anonymous

    Very cool — too bad it couldn’t come to the Walter Reed site. This part of Wisconsin Avenue has the new Giant at Newark, and the Whole Foods at Albemarle – half a mile away on either end. The Walter Reed site only has that Safeway at Piney Branch and Georgia that is within that same radius, and I hate that Safeway. The lines are terrible – you go in for 2 things thinking you’ll be in and out, and you’re there for 45 minutes.

    • anondad

      I’d be ok with one at the Walter Reed site too! But they don’t seem to do rapid expansion. :(
      It’s only ~5 minutes more for me to get to Wisconsin than Walter Reed, so I guess that’s ok.

    • G. Ave

      This is what’s called institution racism! Leaving poor folk and people of color in food deserts.

      • Anony

        Don’t feed the troll

        • danger dave

          +1 Anony

        • Anony2

          A solid point, when was the last time Popville ran a pic of a new grocery store and apts going up ‘east of the river’? A lot of folks have to travel to PG or NE/NW to get decent food; plenty of fast food over there though.

          • danger dave

            Just because supermarkets don’t go in ABC neighborhood doesn’t show there was institutional racism. There aren’t &pizza shops east of the river. That information by itself doesn’t make them racist… they just chose to open in other locations because it made more sense to them. Accusing any party, including popville, of institutional racism without substantiating it is pathetic. Learn about what that means before throwing that phrase around.

          • textdoc

            The lack of new grocery stores east of the Anacostia is more complicated than just being about race and economic demographics — the Washington City Paper had an interesting article a while back about poor conditions at the one Safeway in Ward 7 and how for a long time Safeway had a covenant with the city that prevented other grocery stores from opening in Ward 7.
            .
            http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20856627/safeways-ward-7-monopoly-explained

          • danger dave

            Thank you textdoc!

          • Uptown Girl

            And how about the 79,000 residents in Ward 8 who use one grocery store? Oh wait, they’re still waiting on that Walmart, right? Oh wait…

            I love how calling out glaring inequity gets one labeled as “a troll.” This city is starting to sicken me more and more…

          • textdoc

            Danger Dave, you might be thanking me prematurely. I don’t think the absence of new supermarkets in Ward 7 constitutes “institutional racism” per se… but in D.C., race tends to be a proxy for socioeconomic status, and it’s pretty easy to see that blacker/poorer neighborhoods aren’t anywhere near as well served as whiter/more well-to-do neighborhoods.
            .
            Maybe some of that is purely economics… but it’s also a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. IMO, it’s not “institutional racism” per se… but there are subtler, more complex factors at work. The upshot is that D.C.’s blacker neighborhoods have much less in the way of supermarkets and non-takeout joints than do D.C.’s whiter neighborhoods.

          • textdoc

            And some of these disparities reflect the legacy of redlining. And that _was_ institutional racism.
            .
            it was pretty shocking to me when I learned a couple of years ago that regular mortgages were not available to black people in the decades after WWII when America’s housing boom took place. Homeownership has perhaps the single most important means of building wealth since (if not before) WWII, and not having access to a mortgage shut out many black people from this avenue of upward mobility.
            .
            Instead, many black people with the means to make monthly payments were stuck on what was essentially a sort of “rent to own” system, without having any ownership or equity until all payments were completed.

          • anon

            It went way beyond not getting mortgages – it was US government policy specifically TO SEGREGATE neighborhoods all over the country until the US outlawed restrictive covenants in deeds in the 1960’s.
            .
            I’ve been hearing radio interviews this past week with Richard Rothstein, who just came out with a new book called “The Color Of Law: A Forgotten History Of How Our Government Segregated America.” FHA policy was totally and completely FOR total and complete segregation – and they were the ones who funded new housing development, so they were in control of the entire market.
            .
            The transcript of the NPR news interview with him is online to read – I just googled it to the get exact name of the book – and I heard others interviewing him as well – worth a google and a read. There’s also a separate interview with Terry Gross of Fresh Air on NPR’s site to read as well. (You can probably find them to listen to if you prefer that.) Not much about racism I hear about shocks me (I know it is, and has been, pervasive), but I was shocked by some of what he reports in his book, that you can read about in the interviews.
            .
            So, yeah, it was our federal government-policy of institutionalized racism that resulted in our segregated neighborhoods, which has everything to do with where grocery stores can be found today. There isn’t anything subtle about it at all.

          • danger dave

            textdoc and anon – you are both right that institutional racism has occurred to shape everything from mortgages to schools that will continue to have implications. It’s awful.
            .
            However, claiming institutional racism because a wegmans happens to be going here over another location where X prefers is pathetic. Wegmans will go where it makes economic sense for them to go. I don’t believe they don’t want to make a profit in ABC neighborhood because the residents are a certain color. Unless anyone has any support for it, calling a company racist is messed up and shouldn’t be tolerated.
            .
            Neighborhoods aren’t equal… Fridaygirl’s glaring passive aggressive position on inequality highlights the mindset many people have. In a city that has been plagued DC government problems since I far before I was born here 33 years ago…. what do you want? Not everyone has the exact same access to everything, and until communism starts, it they never will.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Agreed. The scenario you just described (go into Safeway at Piney Branch for 2 things and lines and end up waiting in line for 45 minutes) has played out for me several times. If I really only have a couple things and haven’t spent a substantial amount of time picking out my items, if there are only 2 or 3 lines long and they go all the way back to the store, I abandon my items, leave, and run (yes, actually run, on foot) to either Walmart or the Silver Spring Safeway (much smaller but usually has the stuff I buy), and get my stuff there instead. Given typical waits at SS Safeway, this likely works out to take about the same total amount of time or perhaps slightly less, but I get the satisfaction of not allowing the Piney Branch Safeway to monetize my time.
      .
      There’s supposed to be a Harris Teeter coming to Georgia & Eastern eventually. Now they’re saying 2019. I Think the original date was something like October 2016 (obviously didn’t happen) or October 2017 (obviously won’t happen), but I’m hoping that happens eventually. If there were a Harris Teeter there, it is haile unlikely that I’d ever go to the Piney Branch Safeway again.

      • quincy dude

        If you want that Harris Teeter to come to fruition, I implore you to express your opinion to the DC Council and Brandon Todd. There are a sufficient number of NIMBYs in the surrounding houses that are small in number, but loud in voice. They may just get the project killed before it happens. Those of us who support it in the neighborhood are trying our best, but it’s hard to know if we’ll get shouted down by 4 or 5 enthusiastic detractors.

    • Bobert

      Hate to point out the obvious, but there’s a lot more money around the Fannie Mae site than around Walter Reed. It’s not even close.

      • Anonymous

        Alas you’re right, but still a bummer. The 16th Street side of Walter Reed definitely has a lot of money, but it’s not as dense as the area around the Wisconsin part of town. I wonder if the new Walter Reed retail site will allow traffic through and on both sides!

      • anon

        Per capita maybe. There are a lot more people and more apparent room for growth around Walter Reed.

        • Bobert

          “maybe” – lol, there’s MUCH more money there any way you cut it. Per capita, per HH, accumulated wealth, expendable income, etc. Census data is readily available if you need to prove this to yourself. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not even close.

  • I’d be a lot more excited if it weren’t four years out…

  • Anony

    Really excited for this! Glad they are building housing along with it. A hotel on the grounds would be a nice addition. Perhaps they can utilize the green space for the community

  • kapitolhill

    Would love to see them come to the NewCityDC development at NY/Montana/WV Aves.

    • Dan

      The NY/MT/WV triangle is probably too close (by car) to the existing Wegmans in Landover.

  • Count Pheasant

    Get ready for further announcements of stores in DC. They open stores slowly, in order to get it right each time, but now that they’ve struck a deal to get into DC, they won’t stop with one.

  • Raya

    Really awesome! Since rumor has it that Total Wine is coming to the 4000 block when that’s redeveloped, this area will have some great retail choices.

    2022 for Wegman’s may be optimistic, though – I’ve heard through the grapevine that the first lawsuit – concerning aspects of this development (traffic patterns, esp.?) – has already been filed. It’ll be a shame if this turns into a furor like the development of Cathedral Commons. Everyone I know who has attended Roadside’s neighborhood presentations has had good things to say about how effective their community outreach has been.

  • Jakeondc

    Grocery Utopia… it seems this won’t be ready till like 2020 though…

  • Sam

    I’m excited about Wegmans but they will need to do some creative traffic planning. Wisconsin from Mass. Ave. to almost Friendship Heights is backed up pretty frequently, and not just at rush hour. It’s hard to think about all of the retail and housing using a single driveway onto Wisconsin Ave. What if they opened 39th St. through the back of the complex and 4000 Wisconsin, which is also being redeveloped next door? This would provide convenient access to Van Ness and Nebraska, as well as Massachusetts a few blocks away and attract more customers.

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