After about two years of speculation and rumors — ever since JBG Cos. announced their plans for the Louis residential-retail complex at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW — The Washington Post reported Sunday that a Trader Joe’s grocery store will open in the complex.
The grocery store chain will open its second DC location on the 1900 block of 14th Street NW. There is a mini-Trader Joe’s in Foggy Bottom at 1101 25th Street NW. The chain has six other stores in the DC metro area. The chain has what some might call a near cult-like following — due in part to “Two-Buck Chuck” is the nickname given to the Charles Shaw Wines sold at Trader Joe’s at low prices.
The Louis complex started in February with demolition, and the last tenants left the site a few months ago. The building, developed by JBG Companies, will include 267 apartment units in nine floors, as well as 30,000-square feet of street-level retail. The expected completion date is December 2013.
At present the closest grocery stores in the area are YES! Organic at 2123 14th Street NW and the Best DC Supermarket at 1507 U Street NW.
Will Harris Teeter Follow?
The same Washington Post article reported, “A few blocks northeast of that project, JBG and its retail arm, JBG Rosenfeld, have lined up a commitment from another grocer, Harris Teeter, but it will require winning the rights to some city-owned property on Sherman Avenue.” The possible site for a second Harris Teeter grocery store in DC would be where V Street, Sherman Avenue and Florida Avenue NW connect.
Given the huge population gains in recent years in the Logan, U Street and southern part of Columbia Heights, you have to ask, “What took so long to get more grocery stores in the area?”
Trader Joe’s has a near fanatical following for a number of reasons — cheap but good frozen prepared foods and of course, the vaunted cheap wine that isn’t completely terrible. Given the cult of TJ, it’s not surprising that rumors of a new store in the ‘hood have flown for a year or more.
But Washington City Paper‘s Lydia DePillis has a source that says it could be coming, and soon, to the new apartment-retail project at 14th and U Streets NW. Note: this is a best guess scenario — there are no leases, no approvals and not much else. I’m crossing my fingers and toes and hoping someone else can confirm or deny the rumor.
If you don’t know, “Two-Buck Chuck” is the nickname given to the Charles Shaw Wines sold at Trader Joe’s at low prices.