The Walmart at 1st and H Streets NW opened this morning at 8am. I stopped in for a few minutes and did a lap through the store before work. As expected it looks like a typical generic Walmart inside but smaller. The highlight was the Dunbar High School band playing at the opening event.
According to the Washington Business Journal, Walmart is set to open its stores on Georgia Ave and nearby at 77 H Street on Wednesday December 4th at 8am. The store at 1st & H Street NW is just shy of 75,000 sqft and will have grocery and pharmacy departments in addition to the other typical Walmart offerings.
Please welcome Cassie as a new contributor to the Triangle blog. She lives in the Meridian at 5th & Mass and will be writing under the handle MagnifyingMass.
Six Walmart stores are scheduled to open in D.C. in the next few years, and as announced in late 2010, one will be just steps away from our hood. Late last month DC Mud reported that JBG will break ground this spring for the construction of the project on the corner of New Jersey Ave and H St NW. The mixed use complex will house an 80,000 sq. foot Wal-Mart store with 300 apartments above. (editor’s note: I believe DCMud has it wrong and it is actually one block east at 1st & H)
The openings of these proposed stores are with much controversy.
@OccupyWalmartDC tweets: “Walmart intends to open six big box stores in a 68-square mile city. RT if you think that’s too many. #occupydc.”
The user then tweets again: “The city government is complicit in inviting Walmart to exploit DC. Many would shop there, unwittingly undermining their own communities.”
The latter is probably true. Many will shop there. The store will be convenient, cheap, and most likely open at odd hours when other small businesses are closed.
ANC Commissioner Keith Silver forwarded me an email entitled “ANC 6C01 Impact Study Committee on Walmart” on Friday. Below is the body of the message.
On behalf of ANC 6C01 Commissioner Keith Silver and committee co-chairs, I want to share with you the details for the next meeting of the ANC 6C01 Impact Study Committee on Walmart:
Tuesday, April 12th
St. Aloysius Church
North Capitol and I St NW
Enter through parking area on I Street next to football field.
We will be continuing our conversations about evaluating the impact of the proposed development at 801 New Jersey Ave and developing a community benefits plan. We’ll have reports from all our subcommittees (listed below).
Sorry for the short notice- we had trouble securing a location. Please rsvp to Mackenzie at this email or 202-213-6476 to let me know if you can make it.
- Infrastructure and Impact: Joel Kelty and Stan Burgess
- Local Business: Bobbi Krengel and Bill Sisolak (co-chairs), Kasia Tarczynska, Frank Glaslon
- Outreach: Tonya Allen (chair), Deborah Mitchell, Wendy Weiner
- Community Benefits Agreement: Mackenzie Baris (chair), Frank Glaslon, Kevin Rogers
We will hopefull have some new committee members with us on Tuesday night.
On the heels of the recent community meeting our ANC 6C01 single member district commissioner Keith Silver has authored an Washingtonpost op-ed about the impending arrival of Walmart to the district. The piece is entitled Hold Wal-Mart to its promises in D.C. and argues that no matter how careful Walmart has been to select “matter-of-right” development opportunities the District should not welcome the retail giant unconditionally. He alleges Walmart has a record of low wages, environmental abuse, discrimination against women and African Americans and labor violations.
I’ll just add a little color commentary. Over a dozen people in attendance asking the same questions about Community Benefits Agreements despite Councilmember Brown saying currently the project is “by right” and not seeking any public assistance or zoning variances so the District has no opportunity for leverage. Walmart was not in attendance but the developer (The Bennett Group) was and their spokesperson was a former Washington Redskins great named Brig Owens.
When the news of the proposed Walmart at 1st & H Streets NW first broke we ran a poll to gauge reaction from our readership. The results were divided nearly 50-50 as to whether we liked the idea of Walmart arriving so close. One thing we did seem to agree on is that the renderings of the mixed use structure were quite impressive.
Here we are a few months later and Walmart has engaged the communities of each of the other 3 proposed locations with a public forum. Our community has yet to be extended the same courtesy.
ANC 6C01 commissioner Keith Silver is organizing a community meeting to gather resident input regarding the proposed Walmart. The meeting will he held at St. Aloysius Church (corner of I St NW & North Capitol) on Tuesday February 15th beginning at 7pm. At the present time Walmart has yet to commit to send a representative.
A few preliminary details are starting to shape up from the media coverage and renderings. The Walmart entrance would be at 1st & H Street NW which signifies that 1st Street is planned be restored. The renderings also suggest 5 stories of red brick to complement the historic government buildings in the area. The store would be 75,000 to 80,000 SF with underground parking and additional small retail bays along H Street NW. Approximately 315 residential units would sit atop the store.
In yesterday’s Washingtonpost it was announced that Walmart plans to open four locations inside the District. This includes a location just across the street from Triangle at New Jersey and H Streets NW (801 New Jersey Ave NW). It has been suggested that Walmart has a strategy for a more urban friendly format. (UPDATE: Walmart press release)
The three other DC locations mentioned by the WaPo article are in areas of the district (Upper Georgia, Deanwood and Bladensburg Ave) that are starving for retail. Will our neighborhood really benefit from this? Do you expect it to be a catalyst like the Target in Columbia Heights or adversely impact local retailers such as Fifth Street Hardware?