Grocery Stores Make Neighborhoods Explode

by Will Smith

Whole Foods in Logan Circle. Photo courtesy M.V. Jantzen.

“The consumer really follows the shopping cart. When the grocery store happens, it just explodes.”

So says David Mayhood, recognized in local real estate circles as the father of new condo marketing and sales. He was quoted by Housing Complex’s Lydia DePillis in a post about how grocery stores in DC are better integrated within neighborhoods than their counterparts in Northern Virginia and Maryland, where grocery stores are typically the anchor of standalone strip malls.

Mayhood’s point is that a grocery store is oxygen for new or resurgent areas, and causes the real estate to — pardon the pun — fly off the shelves. Recent examples abound: the “urban lifestyle” Safeway in the ground floor of CityVista at 5th and L Street NW is always one of the first amenities cited by residents of Mount Vernon Triangle. In rapidly changing but oft-overlooked Southwest, the neighborhood is abuzz over the sparkling new renovation of an existing Safeway that was long derided as sloppy and understocked. The Jenkins Row Harris Teeter on Pennsylvania Avenue in Capitol Hill helped sell the 250+ units in that condo project.

And of course, the most obvious example of all, Whole Foods on P Street in Logan Circle, which is widely credited with catalyzing the redevelopment of what has become one of DC’s hottest neighborhoods.

At risk of stating the obvious, homebuyers currently shopping DC should keep Mayhood’s observation in mind, especially those who will view their place not only as a home but as an investment. Buying in an area with a planned but not-yet-built grocery store would seem like a good strategy. (H Street, anyone?)

See other articles related to: mayhood, grocery stores, editors choice

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/grocery_stores_make_neighborhoods_explode/2020


  1. roots said at 3:01 pm on Wednesday April 28, 2010:

    any update/news on potential grocery story/commercial/residential development near Howard U?

  1. Buyer said at 4:32 pm on Wednesday April 28, 2010:

    The Giant going in at 3rd and H will definitely have a greater impact than the Aldi by the Starburst. In fact buying on the west side of SoFlo has the best of both worlds. Giant to the south and Harris Teeter to the North. It’s a shame there are practically no houses listed near there.

  1. wdc said at 5:05 pm on Wednesday April 28, 2010:

    Great piece.  The coming grocery store on H is a really exciting development over there.  It’s not just the grocery, but another couple hundred folks who will live on H Street and support new businesses opening up each month.

  1. JohnDC said at 6:49 pm on Wednesday April 28, 2010:

    Don’t forgot the Harris Teeter that’s opening up at 1st & N St NE this fall!

  1. Mike said at 11:24 am on Thursday April 29, 2010:

    Don’t forget the longer range plans (or just rumor) of the HT at The Yards in SE

  1. Jamie said at 2:37 pm on Thursday April 29, 2010:

    I agree with the point of the article, but Logan Circle (and 15 & P is practically Dupont) was hot long before that Whole Foods opened up. They weren’t exactly pioneers in that location.

  1. Ryan said at 2:58 pm on Thursday April 29, 2010:

    the largest YES organic market in DC will soon be moving into the first floor of the apt building “The Grays” being built on penn ave just across the anacostia river.  will be interesting to see what effect that has on the neighborhood.

  1. Eliza said at 3:25 pm on Thursday April 29, 2010:

    @ Jamie—First off, 15th and P is Logan Circle, not practically Dupont. Second, ask any long-time resident of Logan and they will tell you that the arrival of Whole Foods in 2000 drove development in that area.

  1. joshua said at 5:59 pm on Thursday April 29, 2010:

    I cannot wait for the grocery stores to open in the H st and NOMA neighborhood. While there is a lot of nice restaurants between 12th and 14th H St there is not much development between 1st and 11th H St. These grocery stores will build this neighborhood.

  1. Jamie said at 8:55 am on Friday April 30, 2010:

    @Eliza, I am one of those longtime residents. I have lived in the area since 1992.


    “By the early 1990s, a ripping economy was pushing the affluence of Dupont Circle eastward. Construction of a new downtown convention center started to push revitalization from the other direction. Sandwiched in between was a residential real estate market gone atomic. A former methadone clinic at 14th and Q streets NW was turned into $300,000 luxury condo units that sold out in four hours.”

    White affluent residents of the neighborhood actually lobbied WF to open at that location. The came into DC to capitalize on the rapid change in the neighborhood that had begun in the late 80’s.

    It wasn’t the other way around. That would be, for example, Giant at Rhode Island Avenue or Columbia Heights.

  1. JoeEsq 74 said at 10:16 am on Saturday May 1, 2010:

    @ roots Howard Town Center “Fresh Grocer”  PA based store I likely - When will they break ground? Who knows.
    @Jamie I appreciate the link.

    I get Mayhood’s point but it is a slight oversimplification.  If all you needed to turn a neighborhood around was a good market DC would have been great years ago.
    I think the Metro had a little something to do with the development in Columbia heights.  This theory will really be tested with the planned development near Fort Totten.

Comments are closed.

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