A look at what's going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill.

Friday, February 01, 2013

PoP: Whole Foods Looking on H Street?

Popville (the blog formerly known as Prince of Petworth) is floating a rumor that either Whole Foods is "very close to signing a letter of intent" for a space near 7th and H, or just looking in the area, but any action is "way way way in the future." Hmm...

My take is that we won't see a Whole Foods anytime in the near future, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were keeping a close watch on the area. If the streetcar really does get up and running soon, we will likely see an acceleration of the already rapid pace of local development. Practically every week brings a new business opening (and those are just the ones I actually notice). I looked at Twitter this morning only to see that a house a few doors down from me has been listed for close to a million dollars. So, Whole Foods looking I buy. Signing a letter of intent? I'm skeptical.


Blogger cevd said...

We really could use a Whole Foods on this side of town.

Feb 1, 2013, 11:19:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with cevd. I live next to Eastern Market, and have a lot of good grocery options nearby, but occasionally I want to do a Whole Foods run and the current locations are so far away. I think this would bring in a lot of people from the Eastern side of DC as well as those that are conveniently connected by the 90 buses. A Whole Foods presence would also help to clean up H Street's midsection (though, if this is way off in the future that section will probably be better developed by then anyway). With the condos planned for the H Street Connection it would be a smart move for Whole Foods to move in across the street.

Feb 1, 2013, 11:27:00 AM

Blogger Michael said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your take; it's going to be a long time before that happens. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but Trader Joe's would be much more appropriate in terms of scale, indirect competition with Giant and the likelihood of customers picking up groceries via streetcar rather than the customary Whole Foods Volvo or Mercedes SUVs.

Feb 1, 2013, 11:30:00 AM

Anonymous JJ said...

Whole Foods should have signed onto the 360 Development at 4 and H St. when it had the chance. It would have complimented nicely with the Walmart coming in just over the Hopscotch Bridge (WF's providing high end goods, Walmart providing staples, low-end goods). Now we'll have a Giant and a Walmart directly competing within a few blocks of each other.

Poor foresight by the 360 people and WFs...

Feb 1, 2013, 12:12:00 PM

Anonymous grr said...

Giant is a good "everyday" grocery store for everyday items, for everyday income people, at reasonable prices. It's just what H street needs right now. Nothing expensive like Whole Foods and nothing specialty-ish like Trader Joe's. If Whole Foods or Trader Joe's eventually pops up on H, then great, but something normal like Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, etc is just what a neighborhood needs. IMO.

Feb 1, 2013, 12:48:00 PM

Anonymous Farmboy said...

If I can get in my car and willingly drive 30 miles to all of the farms in Loudoun County for my fresh food needs, surely you can drive 2 miles to the Whole Foods on P st.

Feb 1, 2013, 4:28:00 PM

Blogger Mark said...

If they are talking about the Murry's/H St. Storage site, then yes they are courting a big grocery store, but that project won't happen for a long time. Murry's has a lease until 2017, and they won't even own H St. Storage until their zoning application is approved

P.S. I agree with grr... I'm much more excited about the Giant than a Whole Foods.

Feb 1, 2013, 5:27:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I live at 12th & Maryland and do all my grocery shopping at Whole Foods on P st or in Silver Springs. I would welcome a store close by.

Feb 1, 2013, 8:45:00 PM

Anonymous litigatrix said...

I also live on Maryland and do all my shopping at Whole Foods (in Foggy Bottom). I think there is a huge untapped market for a more upscale grocery near the Hill. I really hope this happens (sometime before I sell my house).

Feb 1, 2013, 9:33:00 PM

Anonymous Nearby H said...

While I agree with others that WF isn't likely to come soon, I think it's encouraging if they are indeed looking at H Street properties. Given the level of activity along the corridor, it would make sense to me that they would be scouting out potential locations even if they don't plan to open a store in the next five years.

Again, if this is true, it's good news even if we have to wait longer than we'd like.

Feb 1, 2013, 10:13:00 PM

Anonymous Righteous Foodie said...

The food at Giant is DISGUSTING! How can anyone make an edible meal with that crap! The potatoes are mass-produced and shipped all the way from Idaho, have dirt and non-hypo-allergenic skins on them, and are sold in SACKS! I like my potatoes raised sustainably in small efficient hand-brushed batches right here in NE DC, thank you very much.

MY sophisticated dinner guests--I cook and bake from scratch for friends at least four times a week--know Whole Food tomatoes from run-of-the-mill "super market" tomatoes.

"Super market" tomatoes may have been good enough for my mother, but then she used a stove from SEARS! You need premium ingredients to wring maximum performance out of a Viking.

And the SERVICE. Don't get me started. I like my check-out clerks deferential and benign, and is it so much to ask that they be trained to politely laugh at my self-conscious little jokes?

Feb 1, 2013, 11:10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not a Whole Foods at Hechinger Mall? Or a Trader Joe's in place of Aldi?

Feb 1, 2013, 11:23:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah why not a Tiffany's on Bladensburg Rd?

Feb 2, 2013, 12:10:00 AM

Blogger Robby Mann-Thompson said...

Anon 11:23 read my mind. As for the tomatoes comment, I'm kinda flabbergast, Whole foods does a very good marketing and branding campaign. But as a gardener WF tomatoes are no different than the on the vine tomatoes you can get at Harris Teeter or any grocery store. I submit the regular tasteless beef steaks you see at a lot of stores are crap, but WF doesn't own the market on good fresh produce.

Strangely, odd ball places like the Murry's has some decent produce. We could also venture to the Union Market, or Mexican Fruit. Point is I do want a WF, and want it at Heck Mall, in place of the Safeway, but not because it's better really, but because it gets a particular class of people to come. Folkes who will spend 2X as much for an orange may also do the same for other commodities and housing.

Feb 2, 2013, 12:13:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor foresight or is hindsight 20/20? Walmart was announced at least a year after the Giant at 360 H was made public. Whole Foods was also interested in larger footprint stores than the urban model Giant is pursuing.

Feb 2, 2013, 12:14:00 AM

Anonymous wylie coyote said...

Bring on the retail. I would welcome them. I hope some of the residential properties planned on H St break ground soon. Murray's lease till 2017? Gosh, that means whatever goes up there might not be standing/open until 2019. Ouch. Hopefully they can be bought out?

Feb 2, 2013, 12:24:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep beatIng that dead horse! I agree with your point of view. A Trader Joe's would be a great fit for the area. There are enough traditional grocery stores in the area now.

Feb 2, 2013, 7:39:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe within 5 years, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Also, DCStreetcar tweets aside, if the streetcars are running by the end of this year I'll eat my hat. Absolutely ridiculous. Of course, I would love for them to prove me wrong.

Feb 2, 2013, 10:25:00 AM

Blogger pat said...

So would they take over murrays or the self storage or for the love of God, take over the Rite-Aid site?

Feb 2, 2013, 11:37:00 AM

Anonymous reflexive said...

i assumed this was in reference to the h street connection site. whats going on with that anyway?

Feb 2, 2013, 2:10:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PoP "scuttlebutt" shouldn't be trusted. Those posts are often debunked by people who do actual reporting. See the post about the Old Dominion Brewhouse or the two he wrote on H Street restaurants that turned out to be laughably false.

He just runs with these rumors to gin up his pageviews. That's his business now, along with providing a forum fore scared white people who have lived in D.C. for two weeks but think they know everything about the place.

Feb 2, 2013, 7:08:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if you call him out on his irresponsible rumor-mongering in the comments -- pointing him to posts that refute what he has written -- he deletes them.

That blog is such a joke.

Feb 2, 2013, 7:11:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zing! I hope the Prince's minions alert him to this thread.

Feb 2, 2013, 8:30:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haters gonna hate

Feb 3, 2013, 8:49:00 AM

Blogger Alan Page said...

Anon @ 10:25

DDOT expects to be making test runs on the line by October.

It took, what, 18 months to lay the track they laid from 3rd street out to around 24th & Benning. In nine months, they arguably could finish trackwork from 3rd & H to Union Station *and* 24th and Benning out to Minnesota Ave Station, assuming they have a committed contractor all lined up with a hefty bonus for timely completion. We'll see. 2014 is an election year. I bet Gray will want to have a completed streetcar on his resume when he hits the campaign trail in 2014, especially if he's running against Wells, who will *hammer* him on that.

Feb 3, 2013, 10:56:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, the PoP model of arbitrary and hidden censorship is the professional equivalent of what goes on with this site.

Feb 3, 2013, 12:03:00 PM

Anonymous bill oreilly said...

PoP is the faux news of the blogosphere

Feb 3, 2013, 1:11:00 PM

Anonymous reflexive said...

i don't get the hate. i like princeofpetworth.
more valuable for local news that any other site.
it's the epitome of DIY, which i still respect.

but everything has haters, even a simple blog. jeesh.

Feb 3, 2013, 2:34:00 PM

Anonymous grr said...

i don't understand the hate either. it's not like there is a rivalry or competition between frozen tropics and prince of petworth. both blogs are valuable forms of local news and development. prince of petworth is just broader in terms of neighborhoods and topics he covers. if someone can justify the hate, please do so. otherwise, y'all are trolling...

Feb 3, 2013, 4:23:00 PM

Anonymous oboe said...

I'm much more excited about the Giant than a Whole Foods.

I wouldn't mind a Giant, so long as we get one of the decent Giants that wealthy people in the suburbs get, rather than one of the shitty ones they've been foisting off on the urban poor for decades.

(Same happens Safeway. Visit a Safeway in Bethesda, then visit the Safeway at Hechinger Mall. After that, If you ever patronized a Safeway again, you have a serious lack of self-respect. Disgusting.)

Feb 3, 2013, 4:30:00 PM

Blogger caroline said...

I wouldn't mind a Giant, so long as we get one of the decent Giants that wealthy people in the suburbs get, rather than one of the shitty ones they've been foisting off on the urban poor for decades.

I guess there are some nice Giants in the suburbs, but I've lived in some of the yuppier parts of NoVA (Alrington, Old Town, Fairfax) and there are some terrible Giants and Safeways out there that are worse than what we have in the city.

My biggest problem with Giant is that it's so expensive. On the other hand, I was just in a Whole Foods this past weekend and did not find the prices bad at all: apples for $1.49/lb, yellow onions for $1.29/lb, packages of tofu for $1.19. I'm not sure where people are shopping if they think this is outrageously expensive in comparison. And if you care about things like cage-free eggs they're cheaper at Whole Foods than anywhere else. I hope this rumor turns out to be true!

Feb 4, 2013, 12:38:00 PM

Anonymous curmudgeon said...

Cage-free eggs? Aren't all eggs cage free? Why in the world would anyone put eggs in a cage?

Feb 4, 2013, 12:55:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


S&M chickens

Feb 4, 2013, 3:33:00 PM

Blogger charles said...

The only part of this neighborhood that has the kind of density one sees around P Street is the NoMA area with the new buildings. And if you look at a map you realize that those buildings are almost as close to the P Street WF as they would be to something in the middle of H Street.

In other words, it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense from their perspective. I expect something near the ballpark/Waterfront would be more likely.

Feb 4, 2013, 4:31:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WF is going to Stanton's Hine School redevelopment

Feb 4, 2013, 11:06:00 PM

Anonymous while we're at it... said...

Jair will likely line up Trader Joe's and another drug store to compete with Rite Aid

H Street self-storage is still a ways away from anything but they will likley bring a large gym

Rappaport isn't doing anything until either of the above projects gets going and/or the streetcar is up and running

And for the bonus round...

There is a slight...and I mean slight, chance that upon selling their HQ at 15th and L, WP will relocate to Uline

...have fun

Feb 4, 2013, 11:14:00 PM

Blogger Saeed Zia said...

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Feb 5, 2013, 7:59:00 AM

Blogger Andrew said...

Worth noting: The RI Ave Giant must have a new manager, or be feeling some competition from Harris Teeter. It's gotten a lot better than it used to be.

I ran in there yesterday after a trip to Home Depot, and most of their fresh produce looked considerably better than the stuff that Harris Teeter's been stocking lately (and was cheaper too).

The store was also cleaner and better-staffed than I ever remember seeing it.

On the other hand, the Columbia Heights Giant seems to be aiming for the trifecta of high prices, low quality, and extreme overcrowding.

Feb 5, 2013, 1:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@11:14 while we're at it's post...

It would be AWESOME if self-storage were converted to a gym. A good large gym is one thing that is sorely lacking on the NE/H Street side of the hill. I'm happy with the free machines at the Rosedale community center, but they aren't open early in the mornings or on Sundays, so a gym would be nice.

Feb 5, 2013, 5:56:00 PM

Blogger Derek said...

Anon 5:56,
That is the proposal that Insight Properties has been putting forward. I do know that they were looking for a boutique hotel and a small gourmet food store. There is no room for a store like WF or TJ. No room for loading and the square footage is not there.

Feb 6, 2013, 7:20:00 PM

Blogger Antonia Thompson said...

well somethings is going on because, my daughter goes to the daycare behind Murray's and I heard they have to be out by July or August. And it's looks like their spring cleaning right now.

Mar 19, 2013, 12:52:00 PM

Blogger Antonia Thompson said...

well, my daughter goes to the daycare behind Murrays, and it's look like they're cleaning house. I heard the have to move by July or August. Maybe there is some truth to the story of Whole Foods coming to H Street.

Mar 19, 2013, 12:54:00 PM


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