|DC USA Walkthrough|
|Written by Columbia Heights News|
|Saturday, 01 March 2008|
Michael Wilkinson of Windsor Consulting, had the privilege of touring the DC USA retail complex with developers on Friday. He snapped some photos and uploaded them here. The following is a detailed account of Wilkinson's walkthrough of DC USA.
DC USA Walkthrough
Written by Michael Wilkinson
Sidewalk along 14th Street has a lot of the small retailers. Very pedestrian-friendly and likely to add an urban bustle to the whole streetscape. Enter the building through the main entrance on 14th Street. Doors to fairly large retailers on right and left. Escalator directly in front of you. View to the third floor. Wide open in front here. Move toward the rear of the main hallway/entry, on the right is a bank of four elevators. At the rear is the Marshall's. Two smaller retailers in between the main 3-story entry and the Marshall's -- these were to be Maggy Moo's and Quizno's. They are probably going to divide the former Quizno's space into two smaller spots.
Similarly, the Best Buy, located at the rear of the second floor along Irving Street, lacks any windows. (It's situated in the part of the building above the old Post Office facade, where from the street you see a fairly large swath of Best Buy Blue). Despite the lack of windows, what I like about the Best Buy space is that it starts out kind of narrow as you enter it from the lobby, then opens up substantially to what looks like a regular Best Buy. In the absence of any cash registers or merchandise, my impression was that this narrow entrance kind of humanized the space, gave it a more manageable feel, downplayed the "big box" feel. Better than Bed Bath & Beyond. One other thing I like better about BB over BB&B: while both use greenish-white kinds of light fixtures, BB uses the gymnasium-style high-intensity discharge bulbs -- much more appealing than the old-school florescent tubes in BB&B.
Interestingly, the escalator stops at the second floor. Rather than extend the escalator all the way to the third floor, the developer built a glass and steel staircase that switches back two or three times. Up here, to the right, the Target store is inaccessible to the public (second floor is the public entrance) but employees arrive and punch in up here. Target takes up half of the second and third floors of the building. To the left, the Washington Sports Club. If you're going to work out, why not take the stairs? Of course, the elevators are always an option. The stairs were an interesting choice for changing things up.
There is a large, empty space at the rear of the third floor. Greenwald is hoping for one of the upscale retailers to take that space.
Each retailer has its own flooring, but the public spaces in the facility have a very nice terrazzo flooring material. And, the elevator banks in the garage levels are tiled in bright blue (level -1) and red (level -2). The garage is very well lit, and features security cameras and the much smoother payment system where you pay at a machine near the elevators, rather than waiting in a line with your engine idling at the exit.
Overall, a great tour. I was kind of surprised that there were not more small retailers with entrances off of the interior lobby, but I guess most of the smaller spaces face the street.
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|Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 March 2008 )|