Stinky Safeway Getting Renovated, And Other News From the Golden Age of Grocery Stores
Jonathan O'Connell reports this morning that Lowe Enterprises, which brought the Sexy Safeway to Mount Vernon Square along with an almost sold-out condo and apartment complex, is hoping to do the same with the long-neglected Stinky Safeway at 3830 Georgia Avenue. If it's as well-designed as CityVista, the planned 210 housing units and new 50,000 square-foot store would be a huge boost to that stretch of Georgia Avenue, which is directly north of the Park Place development above the Georgia Avenue metro stop.
Anything could still happen to that deal. But look at the bigger picture: In a doozy of a rundown on Friday, the Washington Business Journal declared that we are entering a "new golden age for D.C. supermarkets." New Giants, Safeways, Whole Foods stores, and Harris Teeters are in place or on their way to developments across the District, from Tenleytown to the Riverfront (noticeably absent from the list are new locations in Wards 7 and 8, with the exception of the soon-to-open Yes! Organic Market at the Grays). The article doesn't mention the fate of the Secret Safeway at 1800 20th Street, which closed earlier this month, but listserv chatter indicates that the landlord is in negotiations with two up-market grocery stores to replace it (Housing Complex's multiple calls to the leasing agent have gone unreturned).
The one thing you probably won't see coming to D.C. anytime soon: That white whale of D.C. foodies, Wegmans. The Journal article reports that the gourmet grocer requires 120,000 to 140,000 square feet, or 12 to 15 acres, to display its wares. No place in D.C. has the right combination of land and wealthy clientele to make the Wegmans cut.