|Loads of DC USA Retail Updates|
|Written by Columbia Heights News|
|Saturday, 01 March 2008|
Page 1 of 4
As mentioned in the previous article, Michael Wilkinson of Windsor Consulting was given the opportunity to tour the DC USA retail complex this past Friday. During the tour, he had a chance to talk in depth with Drew Greenwald, president of Grid Properties (the lead developer for DC USA), about the latest retail developments at DC USA. Wilkinson was kind enough to share the information he gathered with us.
DC USA Retail Updates
Written by Michael Wilkinson
DC-USA, as most people in the neighborhood are aware, is nearing completion, with a number of the retailers even beginning to stock their shelves. Thirty interior photos here.
Target is holding a VIP reception on Tuesday, March 4th, and the city is hosting a ribbon cutting the following Saturday (the 8th), which is the retailer's "soft opening." That store officially opens to the public on Sunday the 9th. Other retailers will stagger their openings over the subsequent 6-8 weeks. Almost ready: Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshall's, Lane Bryant and Best Buy.
I had a lengthy conversation on Friday February 29th with GRID Properties president Drew Greenwald, and learned some very interesting things while walking through the space with him.
Also, on the heels of some recent reporting, Greenwald told me they are talking to REI, but that REI seems to be reluctant to see past its comfortable suburban market niche. He noted that the neighborhood letters of support to him and to CM Graham have been welcome, but that the pressure should be shifted to REI -- Greenwald is not the one who needs to be convinced. I think the impression he gets is that REI does not think urban shoppers would patronize an outdoors store like suburban shoppers do.
In addition, with about 80,000 SF of retail remaining to lease, GRID has released their initial retail broker and is seeking a new retail broker to finish the job. Specifically, they hope to shift the focus for the final push to higher-end retailers to balance the retail mix out. Greenwald noted that he's been surprised and disappointed at the resistance from two specific categories, outdoors and booksellers, mentioning REI, Barnes & Noble and Borders specifically as retailers he thought would fit in particularly well.
Also of interest: there are some important gaps along the high- profile 14th Street side of the development, representing an opportunity (if the upscale strategy works out) for the developer to change the face of 14th Street. Radio Shack, Lane Bryant, Children's Place, Payless Shoe Source, Mattress Discounters and Vitamin Shoppe are all working on their spaces. Greenwald thought adding some lifestyle retailers such as Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters, in addition to the bookstore and sporting goods/outdoors retailer, would really benefit the retail mix.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 March 2008 )|