The Underground Retail World of DC's Apartment Buildings

  • January 17th 2013

by Shilpi Paul

The Underground Retail World of DC's Apartment Buildings: Figure 1
The Westchester

City living has its perks, with shops and restaurants usually located within walking distance. For residents of new residential buildings in DC, the amenities are even closer with brand name grocery stores, trendy eateries and coffee shops filling out the street-level retail.

But some of the older residential buildings around town have entire retail ecosystems, with grocery stores, restaurants, hair salons and sometimes even dentists, inside. Here is a look at two buildings in DC that try to provide their residents more than just four walls and a roof.

The Underground Retail World of DC's Apartment Buildings: Figure 2
Retail at The Westchester

The Westchester

The Westchester is an improbably large co-op complex located at 4000 Cathedral Avenue NW. With a scope too massive to take in with one glance, the complex spans four buildings and has more than 800 residents — a suitably-sized population to serve the in-house retail amenities, which include a hair salon and a small grocery store that rents DVDs. The Westchester also has its own restaurant and library, and if the basement is too much of a hike, the Westchester Market also has a delivery option.

The Underground Retail World of DC's Apartment Buildings: Figure 3
The Woodner

The Underground Retail World of DC's Apartment Buildings: Figure 4
The grocery store at The Woodner

The Woodner

Unlike The Westchester, a tony complex that harkens back to a more glamorous DC, The Woodner doesn’t have too many frills. Located at 3636 16th Street NW, the apartment building is aging and spare. However, instead of luxury features, the building has several in-house retailers, many with a medical bent. When UrbanTurf stopped by, the current tenants included a preschool, tax preparer, dentist, podiatrist, family doctor, and a small grocery store.

Here are some of the other older buildings in DC that have interesting on-site amenity options:

  • The Towers condominium at 4201 Cathedral Avenue NW has a library, a hair salon, a grocery store, and a tailor.
  • The Kennedy-Warren on Connecticut Avenue doesn’t have much in the way of retail other than a sundry shop in the garage, but does have a piano bar for residents.
  • The Berkshire at 4201 Massachusetts Avenue NW has a convenience store with a diner, and an on-site dentist.
  • The Dorchester House on 16th Street used to have a dry cleaners, grocery store and video store on its subterranean level, but those retailers have all left over the last decade.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_underground_retail_world_of_coops_and_apartments/6483.

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