Whole Foods opens in Shaw

NEWS   |  July 23, 2021

Washington, DC

WFM Florida Ave

A new 46,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market opened in D.C. Thursday with a Spike Mendelsohn restaurant located inside.

The Whole Foods at 967 Florida Ave. NW in Shaw is part of a mixed-use development, The Wren, that will have 433 apartment units, including 132 units of affordable housing. The Wren at 965 Florida Ave. NW broke ground in 2017 and is a joint venture between MRP Residential, JBG Smith (NYSE: JBGS), Fundrise and Ellis Development. The residential is expected to deliver in the fourth quarter this year.

Inside the Whole Foods lies Mendelsohn’s PLNT Burger restaurant, a plant-based fast-casual spot that first launched in Silver Spring. This store comes less than a month after the chain, which has the backing of Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman, opening the first location outside Greater Washington in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.

“We are super excited about opening our fifth PLNT Burger inside Whole Foods Market,” Mendelsohn said in a statement. “This is the first PLNT Burger location that was specifically designed and opened with our store in mind.”

The Shaw Whole Foods provides a selection of options from local businesses such as fish from Ivy City Smokehouse, beer from Right Proper Brewing and Atlas Brew Works and pastries from Sweet & Natural in Mount Rainier.

The project near 9:30 Club and Howard University has been in the works for more than five years, with the developers first lining up a Harris Teeter grocery store before switching gears and landing Whole Foods.

The Austin-based grocer owned by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has more than 20 stores in Greater Washington, including one in Glover Park that has been closed for three years. Whole Foods is undertaking a full renovation of that store after a protracted court fight with its landlord, though it’s not clear when it will reopen. We’ve reached out to Whole Foods for more information on when Glover Park will reopen and will update this story if we hear back.

The most recent new store opening in the region for Whole Foods was its mid-Atlantic flagship store at The Boro in Tysons.

During the Covid-19 pandemic alone, Whole Foods has opened four other locations across the country in Austin, Colorado, New York City and Baltimore last month.

Whole Foods is the ninth-largest grocer in Greater Washington, with 4.46% market share in 2018, according to WBJ research. It posted $732.9 million in metro-area sales that year according to Food World.

DESIGN BRIEF | July 2020

Staying Creative  – Design Lab, continued …

D.C. has moved into Phase Two of re-opening the city, and it has officially been over three months since MV+A started working remotely. As we continue to work from home, our virtual in-house Design Lab has proven to be a great addition to our creative thinking and team building processes over video chat. In last month’s Design Brief introducing Design Lab, MV+A’s discussion focused on the re-imagination of the mid-rise “residential donut”. We see package delivery systems, building circulation, amenities, and unit design as being impacted as COVID-19 forces a possible evolution in apartment living. Below are a few discussion points that developers, architects, and designers may consider in unit and building design.

This pandemic has forced employers to adopt widespread “work from home” strategies – blurring the line between our decompression spaces and focused attention. We believe this will have a lasting impact on the way we relate to our living spaces. As a result, it is essential that unit designs make full use of its available volume, understanding that multiple occupants may be sharing the apartment for individual work zones. Creating cross-functionality, adding usable built-ins, or constructing niches in found spaces can give residents the flexibility to tailor their home to meet their work and relaxation needs. For example, a simple peninsula kitchen counter doubling as a work space, a Murphy bed allowing for more convertibility and cross-functionality, or even a spacious walk-in closet that can be reconfigured allowing for a private office space with the use of built-in components.

Design Lab 2

Just as unit design could evolve to conscientiously consider work space, so could amenities evolve to consider social distancing and lifestyle changes. We may be saying good-bye to the singular, large common space shared by all of the building’s occupants and instead welcome a more evenly dispersed amenity program throughout the building. The growing popularity of interactive, web-based work outs might result in smaller, but more dispersed fitness rooms, allowing for much smaller groups to exercise while still allowing a mental separation from their living unit. We also foresee the popularity of usable space on rooftops and courtyards will only grow in importance as this allows for more social distancing opportunities while maintaining a connection to nature. The benefit of small gardens, outdoor open spaces, or the enjoyment of a communal landscape will become key elements for individuals and families in helping maintain mental health while working from home.

While we continue to focus our efforts to stay at the forefront of mixed-use residential planning for post-COVID-19, we have expanded our discussions to include housing typologies beyond the more dense mid and high-rise buildings in our portfolio. MV+A’s Design Lab will next examine “Missing Middle Housing”. Stay tuned for a coming Design Brief that examines what is “Missing Middle Housing”, why it has occurred, and how planning can be changed to include this needed type of housing.