Housing Complex

Grocery Invasion Comes to Capitol Hill

Back in May, I wrote about the grocery invasion taking place in the greater Shaw area. A new Trader Joe's on 14th Street NW, a Giant at CityMarket at O, a Harris Teeter at 965 Florida Ave. NW, and a Fresh Grocer at the Howard Town Center on Georgia Avenue NW were set to join the Yes! Organic Market on 14th, the Whole Foods on P Street NW, and the Safeway at 5th and L streets NW that had opened in recent years. Well, so long for that. Plans for the Harris Teeter fell through when the favored developer for the Florida Avenue site was passed over, and plans for the Fresh Grocer were put on hold when the agreement between Howard University and the site's developer collapsed.

But to the southeast, a proper invasion is now taking hold, in parts of the Capitol Hill area that were mostly considered too unhip and economically depressed for high-end grocery until recently. Whole Foods announced today that it's signed a lease to open a location on H Street NE, joining another planned store in the Capitol Riverfront. A slightly-more-upscale-than-typical Giant opened this spring on H Street; in the past three years, a Harris Teeter in NoMa and relocated Yes! Organic Market on Barracks Row have also come to the area. And a Walmart with ample grocery offerings is expected to open at 1st and H streets NW by year's end.

So here, in its full glory, is a map of the state of chain supermarkets in the booming greater Capitol Hill area. Green means a store opened in the past three years; red means it's coming soon. Note that there are zero chain supermarkets on the map that existed in their current locations three years ago.

grocery invasion

Illustration by Aaron Wiener

  • http://www.davidgarber.com David Garber

    Also the new Harris Teeter under construction at 4th and M SE, opening next summer.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/ Aaron Wiener

    True -- though it does fall slightly off the map.

  • NE John

    Who goes to Walmart?

  • http://southwestquadrant.blogspot.com SWill

    If you're counting the H Street NW/NE stores and NoMa as "Greater Capitol Hill," then you should include the existing Safeway on 14th Street, SE and Harris Teeter on Potomac Avenue, SE, both just one block outside the Capitol Hill Historic District boundaries. http://dc.gov/DC/Planning/Historic+Preservation/Maps+and+Information/Landmarks+and+Districts/Historic+District+Maps/Capitol+Hill+Historic+District+Map

  • bm

    And the Aldi at Hechinger Mall

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  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbidae St. Move

    "in parts of the Capitol Hill area that were mostly considered too unhip and economically depressed for high-end grocery until recently

    I don't think that hipness is an indicator of where high-end grocery stories go, if it were you would say that Foggy Bottom, Chevy Chase, and Tennlytown are definitely the hippest parts of DC. And I think everyone in the world would argue with that.

    No, they go where the money and real estate deals are, and the real estate deals are sweet in Cap Hill by the "Riverfront" now. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are moving into new large scale developments that are being built around Cap Hill, that was not happening in the overwhelmingly "historically preserved" neighborhood until very recently.