It’s a Grocery Invasion!
With a new Giant supermarket opening tomorrow at 300 H St. NE, this is as good a time as any to explore the massive supermarket influx taking place in the central and east-central part of the city. (Call it greater Mid City East if you like, or don't if you don't.) There's the Trader Joe's opening at 14th and U streets NW. There's the Walmart coming to First and H NW, nearly half of which will be devoted to grocery. There's the Harris Teeter that's rumored to be on the table for the McMillan site and the one that's likely to come to 965 Florida Ave. NW. There's the huge Giant coming to Shaw's CityMarket at O (though that's replacing a decrepit old Giant). There's the 41,000-square-foot Fresh Grocer coming to the Howard Town Center on Georgia Avenue. And, if we stray a bit farther out, there's the Yes! Organic Market that may soon come to the former H Street Playhouse space.
Here's a rough map of the existing (green) and coming or potentially coming (red) supermarkets in the area (excluding small, independent groceries):
So what's going on here? Is supply catching up with demand, or is it outstripping it? On the one hand, the lines at the Columbia Heights Giant and the P Street Whole Foods would seem to indicate that some additional options in the central city are needed. After all, Logan Circle and Columbia Heights are the densest census tracts in the region, and they're only getting denser, what with all the apartment and condo buildings coming to the U Street area. But on the other hand, we're likely to see something on the order of a doubling of chain supermarket supply in the area, and it'll be some time before the population does anything like double.
For the time being, though, this is great news for residents of central/east-central/whatever-you-want-to-call-it D.C., who can expect more options and shorter lines in the coming years. If only neighborhoods in greater need of grocery options could get it on the action...
Update: Thanks to commenter Scott Roberts for pointing out the Fresh Grocer coming to Georgia Avenue. The post and map have been updated to include that store.