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Most Prevalent New Neighborhood Amenity in 2019—Food Halls Everywhere

by Nena Perry-Brown

It's that time of year again when UrbanTurf reflects on some of DC’s most interesting real estate topics from the last 12 months. This week, we refresh your memory on some of the best, most intriguing and most peculiar things we came across throughout 2019. Enjoy.


While the food hall/market wave has been observed in the DC region in recent years, the pace of food hall announcements shifted up a gear in 2019. Below UrbanTurf reflects on new food halls in the region that made headlines this year.

Note: For the purposes of this article, multi-vendor markets with restaurant-style vendors are included in the "food hall" category. 

Benning Market; broke ground earlier this month. Click to enlarge.
  • Benning Market, the first multi-stall market east of the Anacostia River, broke ground earlier this month (map). The project benefited from over $250,000 in crowdfunding. Ward 7's Market 7 will curate the 7,000 square-foot first floor, including a grocery store.
  • Prince George's County's first food hall opened two months ago, complete with seven food and retail vendors and space for events and pop-ups. Established by culinary entrepreneur April Richardson, Savor at Studio 3807 (map) is one of a few recent markets to occupy the ground-floor space of a multifamily building.
  • Silver Spring's first food hall is expected to break ground as part of the Solaire 8200 Dixon project in 2020 (map). The apartment development was previously expected to have a grocer in the 15,000 square foot space; the food hall will be curated by Colicchio Consulting, which has done food halls around the country.
Food hall planned at Solaire 8200 Dixon.
  • Less than a mile from Eastern Market, which was originally constructed in the 19th century as one of the city's first markets, The Roost is expected to open in the first quarter of 2020. The 12,500 square foot market will also be in a multifamily building (the Blackbird) (map), and its offerings will include an indoor/outdoor beer hall and a Red Apron Butcher outpost.
  • The conversion of the former Coast Guard Headquarters at Buzzard Point (map) is an especially unique food hall-under-housing project, further diversified by a pending application to have WhyHotel run nearly a third of the 480-plus rental units. In addition to delivering a restaurant, Chef Spike Gjerde will deliver a 20,000 square foot food hall, dubbed Peaceable Kingdom, in mid-2020.
  • Blocks from Eisenhower Avenue Metro station, another office-to-residential conversion is delivering an indoor/outdoor food hall by Scott Shaw and ALX Community beneath loft apartments (map)
  • Even office buildings and grocery stores are getting in the food hall business: A food hall has leased a two-story space at 8th and K Streets NW (map), in an office building being repositioned as Anthem Row. The largest Whole Foods location in the region opened in Tysons this fall as part of The Boro mixed-use development (map), and has a ground-floor food hall featuring several known entities including a Rappahannock Oyster Co., a Jrink juice bar, and a concept from Michelin star-winning chef Nicholas Stefanelli. 
  • Suburban shopping centers are also seeing some food hall action, with a second location of The Block (map) soft-opening earlier this month at Pike and Rose (the first location opened in Annandale last year). The newer Block is less than two miles down Rockville Pike from Pike Kitchen (map), which itself is less than two miles down Rockville Pike from The Spot (map); all three are collections of outlets inspired by different countries and cultures in Asia.
  • Proximity was even less of a concern for two food halls in the works at Rosslyn's mixed-use Central Place development, one of which (the two-story Happy Endings Eatery, which focuses on Vietnamese cuisines) opened last week (map). On the other side of the building, the Common Ground food hall is expected to open above the McDonald's by mid-2020. If those aren't enough options, a third hall is scheduled to open around the same time a block away at Rosslyn City Center (map), delivering 12 vendors and an indoor/outdoor terrace.
La Cosecha. Photo by Rey Lopez.
  • In another case of specialized side-by-side food halls, EDENS opened La Cosecha a few months ago. The multi-national, multi-stall Latin market is right next door to Union Market (map), which has served as a reference point for several of the markets mentioned in this article. 
  • There are also a couple of food halls planned in the city as part of larger infill developments. Less than a half-mile from Fort Totten Metro, the second phase of Art Place may break ground next year (map). This block of the mixed-use development will deliver an Aldi, income-restricted artists' units, and a building with a curved bill, the latter housing a food hall beneath a children's museum and a Meow Wolf.
Food hall planned at Art Place. Click to enlarge.
  • While details about this development are still forthcoming, Howard University's planned conversion of the historic WRECO and Bond Bread Buildings at Georgia and V Streets NW will include a market (map). A solicitation for development proposals for the site envisioned the project as including a 24-hour destination.
  • George Washington University is also getting into the food hall game as they reposition the Shops at 2000 Penn/Red Lion Row office/retail development (map). The renovations are expected to resuscitate Western Market at its original 1802-1856 location. 
  • In another repositioning, this spring also saw the opening of Quarter Market (map), which replaced the food court at Ballston Quarter (the mall formerly known as Ballston Common).

If you think, based on this article, that there are a lot of food halls in the mix, it doesn't seem like the wave is losing steam any time soon: residents in neighborhoods without food halls are inquiring (see: AU Park's Superfresh site), development teams are including them in preliminary plans (see: Wheaton's Comunidad Food Hall at University Boulevard and Viers Mill Road), and property owners are floating them as an adaptive reuse option (see: Loudoun County's potential "Latino Mercado" at Regal Countryside theater).

Let us know if there are any food halls we may have missed!

Other 2019 Year in Review Articles:

See other articles related to: year in review 2019, food hall, best of 2019

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/most-prevalent-neighborhood-amenity-the-food-hall/16228

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