Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New York Ave: Site of DC's First Walmart?

Map:  Washington DC's first Walmart, new York Avenue
The Walmart coming to Georgia Avenue, NW, may have been the first of the four forthcoming Walmarts with a lease, but the Walmart headed to the planned retail center "The Point @ The Arboretum" on New York Avenue, NE, now looks more likely to be the first Walmart in Washington DC to get built. Because the New York Avenue site is part of a Large Tract real estate development approved by the Office of Planning at the end of August, the entitlement process has passed DC's review – and risk of revision. This summer, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. expected the project to be underway by late fall of this year, however, the several-month-long permit approval process has not yet begun. Designed by Brown Craig Turner, and being developed by Rick Walker/WV Urban Development LLC, – the inaugural store location may depend on whether the Car Barn on Georgia Avenue is deemed historic by the HPRB next week, and if the Walmart construction timeline will be affected.

A construction timeline for The Point project has also been difficult to pin down. The businesses currently on site have been vacated, and Rick Walker stated that the development team has begun preparing plans in order to file for raze/building permits that will accommodate Walmart. Lowe's has also been interested in the site, but has not yet committed to a lease, and just yesterday, news came that Lowe's was deserting the 25th Street Station development in Baltimore, also by WV Urban Development, a $65-million project that also includes a Walmart, still on board. The back-out comes with bigger news of the closure of tens of Lowe's stores nationwide. The 14.8-acre New York Ave. site, a blunt-nosed triangle located north of Montana Avenue, and between New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road, will eventually hold 364,900 s.f. of buildings: three 1-story retail buildings, one 3-story retail building, two bank pads, the 126,200-s.f. Walmart, and either a 126,000-s.f. Lowe's or other big-box retailer. 

The site lacks good karma, however, having been the site of the ill-fated Abdo-Broadway housing complex abandoned last year. With permits still needed for The Point project, the Georgia Avenue Car Barn Walmart is further along in the process. Although a building permit (the most time consuming to secure) was issued to developer Foulger-Pratt on Monday, developers need a raze permit and a potential historic landmark status could stymie that process. Meanwhile, at least one big-box, discount retailer, Ross, is headed to Northeast, at the Hechinger Mall complex on Benning Road. Ross, taking over an existing retail location, will beat both Walmarts by a long stretch, as it opens next week. 

Washington D.C. retail and real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Small correction, the Ross on benning Road has been open for almost two weeks.

SeymoreSaymore on Oct 19, 2011, 10:58:00 AM said...

While a complete disappointment to the urban dogmatist crowd, this is appropriate and realistic development for this site.

Critically Urban on Oct 19, 2011, 11:42:00 AM said...

In the future, the parking elements of this project could be converted to residential if the market ever catches up to this site.

miami ac repair on Dec 15, 2011, 5:01:00 AM said...

The companies currently on site have been left, and John Master reported that the team has began getting ready plans in order to submit for raze/building lets that will provide Wal-mart.

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