Housing Complex

Shops at Dakota Crossing Now Essentially Building On Spec

Remember the Shops at Dakota Crossing retail development in Fort Lincoln, which was supposed to break ground last December, and then in May, and then in August? Well, developer Cell Bernardino told ANC 5A last night that he's now hoping to start site work in November. The holdup, he says, was the wetland permit from the District Department of the Environment, which environmental groups had opposed (for damn good reasons).

Bernardino might have a bigger stresser to lose hair over, though. In promotional materials and news coverage, the developers have consistently touted three big box tenants: Costco, Shoppers Food Warehouse, and Target. But while Costco has signed a lease for one of the planned big box spaces, Shoppers Food Warehouse is still wavering. Target has pulled back as well, as part of what Bernardino called a national move to "reassess" its retail strategy (it already bailed on Skyland).

That's, um, not good news for a development that's just about to clear a bunch of trees and lay down concrete pads.

Bernardino remains confident that somebody will take those spaces, saying that retailers usually "fall all over themselves" to be close to a Costco. It's not going to be Walmart or Lowe's, though, because they've got a spot down the way. It won't be Home Depot, which already has a location in Ward 5. It could be Kohls, which has been looking around for a spot in the District. What else is out there? As Jonathan O'Connell pointed out, not much.

Still, Bernardino says they're going to go ahead with site work, trusting that leases will come together in the nine months that will all take. If they don't, we might have cleared a bunch of wetlands for nothing.

  • er

    where is the lowes going to be?

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Oh jesus, please. Shut this boondoggle down. Don't destroy part of the city so we can have a field of empty big boxes.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    Yes, please, the wetlands there are excellent stopover places for migratory birds, for one.

  • Lydia DePillis

    @er - Lowe's was interested in the Point at Arboretum thing at New York and Bladensburg, but it's not a done deal.

  • Steve

    So we're going to ignore the expense of the wetland mitigation efforts the developer is going to take on and just complain about the wetlands they're disturbing?

    The wetland mitigation efforts are actually more than DOUBLE the amount of forested wetlands the development disturbs. Providing new "stop over" places for birds and other creatures.

    The "wetlands" (of which there's about an acre total scattered across the 42 acre site) are also an excellent "stop over" for illegal dumping and other nefarious actions. It's time for the nogrowthers to wake up and realize this development is great for the city and will actually create a better habitat for wildlife than the one it is redeveloping. All at great expense to the developer.

  • er

    ah. thanks.

  • Let them Build It

    All this complaining about "disturbing the wetlands" is hilarious to me considering the fact that DC itself, especially areas around the National Mall disturbed wetlands from its very creation. That entire area was built on top of a SWAMP. DC's very formation DESTROYED hundreds of acres of wetlands and now "green" Washingtonians are ignorant of the fact that SW DC and parts of downtown are prone to EXTREME FLOODING with the absence of the original wetlands that protected the surrounding areas.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/ Mr T in DC

    Hey, I'm normally very pro-density and growth in the city, which is where development should be concentrated. But this site, on the periphery, isn't near Metro, is surrounded only by low-density housing. The project would consist of around 80% asphalt parking lots and only 20% retail structures. It's an old, outdated model of suburban-style development.

  • Brightwood 34

    @ Mr T in DC I agree.. When they first talked about this back in 2005 it was a good idea, but now with the Walmart being built on New York and Bladensburg its really no point in building another shopping center off South Dakota

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Mr T in DC: Amen. It's funny to read people calling those of us who are opposed to this project (for very sound reasons) "nogrowthers." If they'd actually sit down and take a look at the body of our comments on other things, they'd realize that an epithet like that is silly on its face.

  • Ace in DC

    I oppose this project simply because I hate Kohls.

  • Progentrification

    Building this on spec means we're just going to have a bunch of underutilized buildings sitting around. Maybe DC Brau should go really big and move in...;)

  • stinkinthinkin

    Landlord and Tenant Court is too darn favorable to tenants in DC, especailly low-income poor-performing unappreciative-type Black tenants. And that is why I oppose Walmart,Target,Shopper's Food Warehouse because they attract welfare tenants with too many tattoos and mice in my properties and at the shopping centers in the hood.

  • Cell Bernardino

    A few facts for those who are interested:

    -The existing wetlands at Fort Lincoln are isolated, parially manmade, severely degraded, and unprotected. The new wetlands that will be created will be three times the acreage, very high quality, and preserved and protected in perpetuity.
    -The Shops at Dakota Crossing was redesigned (part of the delay) to incorporate low impact development (LID) measures recommended by DDOE, so for example the large retaining wall along NY Avenue will be a state of the art green wall, with onsite irrigation provided via harvested stormwater from cisterns, etc.
    -There is no shortage of stores anxious to be in this shopping center, but of course we are selective and will make announcements at the appropriate time.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Cell Bernardino: Do you work for the developer?

  • kdsays

    I think that it is important for all environmental concerns to be fully addressed. And if possible, improved on by the developer. The appropriate retail WILL make sense it that area. The residents of the area I am sure will appreciate more offerings that complement and enhance what is already in the area. Costco is a great idea. Grocery, Target, Staples, CVS, moderate-priced restaurants or coffee shops would also be nice--if workable in the area.

  • concerned neighbor

    Bernardino: Would Whole Foods or a more upscale grocery store be interested. There is already a Shoppers around the corner and the produce is the worst in the city. BTW: I am not saying the all of shopper's produce is bad--I am just speaking to the produce at the store at Colmar manner.

  • Dakota Crossing Resident

    I am a resident of Dakota Crossing and to my knowledge most of my neighbors are very excited about this development. (I don't know any neighbors who aren't excited) My household has been very patiently waiting on its arrival since we purchased our property in 2007. We went to a meeting where Michelle Hagan explained her entire vision for the shopping area. We are looking forward to the convenience of having these wonderful shops nearby. Also, it will increase the property values in the area as well as create jobs.

    Note: If any of the developers are reading...a gym would be a WONDERFUL retail addition to the shopping mall. ;)

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Welcome to DC.

  • Dakota Resident 2

    I agree with my fellow residents. A modern development is overdue in this transitional area. And a gym would be nice! Amenities like these will support the growth and appeal of the area.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Dakota Resident 2: What's more "modern" - acres of asphalt, or something walkable and transit-oriented?

  • Dakota Resident 3

    As a fellow resident of Dakota Crossing i agree with my neighbors, we have spent over 500,000 for houses that do not have access to adequate local resources. A gym, a clean grocery store, a sit down restaraunt and upscale shopping. We are forced to spend our money in the Bowie Town Center in MD and in Pentagon City Mall and Pentagon Row in VA and in various other areas besides our own. To the developer, please keep out the mom and pops and low budget retailers. Let's make this area more attractive and just as appealing as the Shops at Gallery Place or the new Columbia Heights shopping center.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Dakota Resident 3: So, you bought an expensive house in a greenfield w/o retail, and now you're discussing lack of "access to adequate local resources"? I mean, you saw that they weren't there when you bought, right?

    By focusing primarily on the price of your purchase, I wonder, are you in this for community, or are you in this for making a buck?

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  • stayurban nice

    We need a gym a l.a. Fitness would be nice...a panera bread..a chipotle..Home Goods..harris teeter...but it should be built urban like columbia heigjts and walkable

  • Dakota Resident 4

    IMGoph - Do you think anyone is moving there for the "community". You are kidding yourself. People are moving there for the price of the homes and the location. The cemetery and warehouse don't really give the feeling of "community"

    Everyone else - I hear they are in negotiations with Harris Teeter to fill the spot where Shoppers was to be. They also got the lease back from Lowes.

    I have no idea when they will start. I thought they would have started months ago.

    Rumor has it LA Fitness wants to come to the Shops....we'll see.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    Dakota Resident 4: Hmmm...I'm helping to organize a Casey Trees planting in your neighborhood this spring. I'm working with the HOA and others - sure seems like there's a community there. I'm sorry if you don't feel the same way. Perhaps you just need to go around the neighborhood, knock on some doors, introduce yourself to some neighbors, and see if you can make friends.

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