Updates on the Shops at Dakota Crossing.  

The excitement is building as many Fort Lincoln Residents as well as others anticipate the eventual opening of the shopping center.  The following is the latest available information.  As always, this information is subject to change.  It’s not final until grand opening.

Building 10


Chipotle – Still Pending

Mid Range Fast Casual – Call your favorite restaurant and tell them to  hurry to Fort Lincoln before it’s too late!

Building 9

Panda Express

Jersey Mikes

Possible Small Fast Casual – Call your favorite take out and tell them to hurry to Fort Lincoln before it’s too late!

Building 8

Pending Small Fast Casual

Pending Cosmetic Related

Pending Cleaning Services Related

Building 7

Vitamin Shoppe


Vision Works

Pending – Financial Related

Buildings 6 & 11

Let’s play a game called your best guest, the winner will be recognized for their retail speculation expertise!  The prize will be the boost to your confidence.  These are Hot locations but unfortunately no finalized decisions.  So call your favorite restaurant and tell them to make like a politician and run… to the Shops At Dakota Crossing!

91 thoughts on “Updates on the Shops at Dakota Crossing.  ”

  1. Well….you didn’t mention the TGI Fridays “concept” so I’m assuming that’s still a go for lot 6. And what about a bank for lot 11? Go/no go? I would prefer something else tlike a Walgreen or CVS for that lot since it is the only space left to accommodate the size. Maybe someone can reach out to Ledo Pizza or Paisanos Pizza for some of the mid shops. Both have been looking to expand in the DC area.

  2. Thx much for the update! Personally, I’m fine with the no-go for Fridays because I do not care for some of the crowds I’ve seen drawn to their Greenbelt location. For example, I’ve seen some folks hanging out in the parking lot during late hours and, on occasion, I’ve seen their restrooms a total mess, toilet paper and water everywhere. I love their foods too but It’s for reasons like these that I no longer go there. (Sorry if I offended any TGIF die-hards.)

    1. fmakle – no offense taken. I’m not a die hard TGIF fan. When it was mentioned that it was a possibility, I was just happy that a sat-down restaurant that serve alcohol was coming. I didn’t care what kind. Now it’s looking like we won’t get any.

      1. Any sit-down restaurant with a bar, would help make up for the lack of a grocery store, gym, and CVS. It pretty much has to a be restaurants that exhausted all other options and is not on the decline. There are many hot, wealthy, and denser neighborhoods in DC that will get the first look. The next census is 2020. I really wonder what the sales people at Ryan homes have been telling people for the past 4 years.

  3. This thought just came to mind….It may be hard to find a sit-down restaurant that would stay open later after all the surrounding businesses at the shopping center have closed. It’s pretty lonely out there when I come through from Route 50, around.10-11 pm. I noticed that Panda Express in the DC/MD area has flexible closing times (seems to be determined by their locations) but all area Jersey Mike’s have a set closing time of 9 pm. Unless there are at least 2 businesses that stay open later together, I suspect if we get a restaurant, it may close somewhere around 9pm or when the last nearby business closes. We might have better luck hoping for a Chinese Food carry-out which tends to stay open late. Although it would be in competition with Panda Express during the day, it would probably get good pick up and delivery business from our community because I’m sure there are folks who miss the New Century carry-out located on Bladensburg Road that closed last year. Just a thought.

  4. No. Since they were the closest carry out to Fort Lincoln and I’ve often seen cars picking up there, I thought they were somewhat popular.

  5. Great rundown; Starbucks and Chipotle is positive news. With TGIF out, and the mid range restaurant having limited space, I hope there’s sit-down restaurant soon. We should keep in mind that Busboys & Poets went to Arts District Hyattsville. The dynamics there are similar to Dakota Crossing, with smaller fast casual restaurants that close early and a non-dense community. Busboys appears to do well and is now the go-to restaurant in that part of Hyattsville. I suspect that if we dig deeper, the real issue is that the lot is small for a restaurant and they’re charging a very high rate per sq. ft. I’ve been told by a biz owner that a Dakota Crossing lease cost more than a commercial lease near the Verizon Center, which seems absurd to me (but I’m a lay person). I believe a quality restaurant would kill it and be profitable because there’s only fastfood in the area right now. If this keeps the going the way it is, I might lose my mind, quit my dayjob, and open this restaurant myself.

  6. Pierre, Thanks for sharing the interesting info. I wonder if the high square footage rate is dampening the interests of potential restaurants. I like B & P! Great idea. But, while we’re all waiting, if you take the leap of faith and open a restaurant yourself, I will patronize your business to support having a restaurant in our community. 🙂

  7. That is the biggest Starbucks I have ever seen inside the beltway. I am glad they are opening though.

  8. I want to reach out to some of my favorite places to invite them to come check out our area. What contact information can I share with them to contact the shops leasing office? Specific phone number or website or emails anyone can recommend ?

  9. Would love to see a sit down, authentic, non-carryout Chinese restaurant; but I’m sure that’s a stretch and not a good fit for this location.

  10. I would love to see a Panera Bread as well. A CVS would also be nice. What is the contact information for those shops at Dakota crossings? So if we do call our favorite restaurants/stores we have a number to direct them to.

  11. The real question is how long can the Vitamin Shoppe survive. Hopefully, they can can gain some traffic as other stores open.

      1. I spoke to the manager who is a cool is actually quite a cool dude… he said they are meeting expectations, there’s a grand opening this weekend I’ll post more details tomorrow.

  12. That’s good to know. I hope they get the traffic they expect. Will be looking forward to the details. As always, thank you.

    1. I was also worried about their longevity, we were thinking of having them sponsor a community walk around the shops in the evening and provide a discount on sports drinks to the participants.

  13. Wow, absolutely depressing to hear that the long awaited “upscale” TGIF that was supposed to be is no longer in the offing

    It was the last, best hope for a neighborhood restaurant where Fort Lincoln residents of all ages and incomes could interact, hold events and build a much needed sense of cross cultural neighborhood identity.

    The last thing we need is more Bladensburg Avenue-quality fast food joints. Even a Starbucks is a poor-cousin substitute for an all-ages, family oriented sit down restaurant that this long suffering, and growing, community of 3,000+ folks deserves.

    A tragic opportunity lost.

  14. Odd that the size of the site would not be immediately obvious, and that the community would be led to believe — for so long — that an upscale TGIF was on the way.

    Sorry to say that more ineptness (or greed) by the developer is a far more compelling explanation for why obvious win-win deals for this attractive site never seem to close.

    The list of grocery stores, etc. that were supposed to be coming, but got away is depressingly long. And the loss of those property value, quality of community life, assets will have a permanently depressing impact on the Fort Lincoln that could-have been.

    (Be nice, by the way, if a rep for the developer provided some ongoing updates and responses for your blog. They obviously know of the existence of the blog, and presumably closely monitor it . A commitment to some dialogue and transparency would evidence some basic respect for the impact of the shopping center on Fort Lincoln residents.)

  15. I hear, from a reliable source, that Costco negotiated a clause in its lease, or in some sort of agreement with the developer, that bars the developer from signing a grocery store on as a tenant for The Shops at Dakota Crossing.

    I don’t know if its true (although again the source is very, very reliable) because there are a Costco and Wegmans, side by side, just up the road in Maryland. And both seem to be thriving.

    Costco clearly sells food in quantities attractive only to wholesale shoppers while a grocery store sells food in quantities that target individuals and families. It therefore astounds me that the developer (or even Costco) would conspire (for lack of a better term) to deprive all of northeast D.C. of a desperately needed quality grocery store.

    I can ask my source to allow me to reveal her name, and her inside source. But I wanted to ask you first, Robert, what you know about this?

    1. I don’t know of any agreements of this nature, it mostly boils down to median income and profitability… The way we change that is to support the business that’s here? We do our part by going to the events and spending your money there, not just expecting others to come in and do it for us. Disposable income brings retail… it’s that simple.

  16. @Roy Pearson, it is not that bad. I agree with @Robert. There are better options out there. I have lived in the neighborhood long enough to have zero confidence in the property managers of site. There is an upcoming development on New York and Bladensburg road called NewCityDC. I am pretty sure it will have restaurants and a decent grocery store and as it is being handling by Douglas Development.

    I am not sure what the real estate sales people told you but there was never a plan for a grocery store. They are too busy opening stores in other parts of the city with higher density and foot traffic.

    1. Au contraire, Suburban D.C.

      I have lived in Ft. Lincoln since 1999, and I was active in the Ft. Lincoln Civic Association for a number of my early and recent years here. I can assure you that talk of a grocery store has been in the mix since before ground was broken for the Costco.

      In fact, initially, Fort Lincoln residents were made to understand that the Shoppers on Bladensburg Road would be closed and replaced with a suburban-scaled Shoppers at the Shops at Dakota Crossing.

      Type the word “grocery” into the search engine for this blog and read how recently (2014-2015) commenters on this site were still talking about alternative grocery store options.

      I think it is still true that the majority of Ft. Lincoln residents (because they live in the senior buildings) — like me — don’t own cars. And so the potential (or actual) opening of stores miles from here is of little consolation.

      That’s why it would be helpful to have a rep from the developer actively engaged with this blog. They obviously can best explain their own thinking, and what has and has not been pursued.

      1. The developer has engaged in multiple community meetings. Not getting the answer you were hoping for doesn’t translate to non engagement. If you know of a retailer ready to invest In Fort Lincoln you can email to trammel crown at any time. You know who the key players are… retailers want to make money, not make residents feel good about stores that they don’t spend money at. I do know that there was no absence of trying.

      2. You are correct about Shoppers. They backed out in 2011. Any serious talks after that were probably speculation, rumors, or real estate marketing. I do even not recall hearing any “lease pending” agreements with names after Shoppers. No retailer would open a store based on the comments written on a neighborhood blog. They use data such as household income.

      3. What I like about Robert’s blog is that it is the closest thing we have to an interactive history of Ft. Lincoln’s development over time.

        Any Ft. Lincoln resident — new or old — can turn to it to track plans and progress at Ft. Lincoln. They need not be one of the always, by definition, small percentage of residents who heard about, were able to attend, and took notes at a particular community update event.

        Instead, a blog is semi-permanent, and accessible to all 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

        But, as you point out, the quality of this, or any other, blog is only as good as the accuracy of the information available to those who make use of it.

        So rather than a blog that depends exclusively on second hand reports, I would prefer straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth updates and responses on this community blog from a salaried representative of Ft. Lincoln’s developer.

        Maybe that’s more than some think we are entitled to. That’s ok! But count me in dissent.

  17. ” . . . it would be helpful to have a rep from the developer actively engaged with this blog. They obviously can best explain their own thinking, and what has and has not been pursued.”

    1. @Roy Pearson, I think you might have misunderstood my previous comment. The quality of the information on this blog was never in question. It does a great service for the community. My point was retailers do not open stores based on the wish list of residents. Being wanted does help but is only a part of the decision. Retailers use data such as demographics to determine if they would be successful. How existing businesses in close proximity are doing is also a major factor. For example, Panera would be cautious about signing a lease if Starbucks and Panda Express were always empty. Basically, if they do not like the numbers, they look elsewhere.

      1. I elided the argumentative portion of your post. I don’t think it helps our community to switch the focus from the things that hopefully unite us (e.g. seeking first hand information) to imputing sentiments (“wish list”) that I did not express and that can polarize and divide us.

        But if you have a big appetite for argument I can accommodate you! Just not on a community blog — let’s reserve it for respectful, constructive communications.

        You have my full name. My phone number can be readily googled. And we can engage in personal attacks endlessly person to person.

      1. You’re right. They’re are probably weeks away. I walked by there this morning. But they’re making moving faster than they were.

    1. I am not sure how long it has been up, but there is a Chipotle sign by the New York avenue entrance.

  18. Hello all. I just wanted to add I’ve been in Fort Lincoln since the 1980s when there was talk about having a community lake on the property. Now, that’s really going back. LOL Well, as we obviously know, it never materialized. So, that made it easier to deal with another disappointment when I heard the prospects for a new Shoppers in Ft. Lincoln had dissolved. As Ron Pierce mentioned earlier, I heard the same too. And I knew Shoppers wasn’t coming when I saw improvements being made to the Bladensburg Rd store.

    I’m so glad to know Chipotle and Panda Express are coming. I hope Jersey Mikes is still coming too. Personally, it would be nice if we could also have just one restaurant like Ruby Tuesday, Bonefish Grill, Olive Garden or Chili’s to join our community stores. Just my thoughts.

  19. Opps. I meant Roy Pearson, not Ron Pierce. Sorry.

    As always, thanks much Commissioner Robert for keeping us informed.

  20. I’m wondering is some retailers are holding out for the proposed retail development at the corner of NY Ave and Bladensburg Road.
    At this point, I’ll take a WaWa since they’re expanding in the DC area.

  21. Yes dakota C, the way it looks now is much better than about 5 or years ago. I had stopped shopping there about 3 or so years because it had become so unkept and unclean. For example, I noticed open bags of nuts in the back of the nuts shelf (in the Baking Goods aisle, I believe.). I reported this to the manager citing that it was a food source for mice and bugs. When I went back about a month later, those opened bags were still on the shelf! It was only within recent years that I ran in there because I needed something immediately that I noticed the renovation in process.

    1. They held off on renovating the Shoppers on Bladensburg Road — for years — while negotiations were underway for construction of a state-of-the art Shoppers for The Shops at Dakota Crossing.

      During that time Shopper was in deplorable condition — dimly lit, unclean, unsanitary, with little in the way of produce, and an extremely limited selection overall. As a consequence I was shocked when I bumped into a neighbor who owned a car shopping there. It had been my experience that car owners, without exception, shopped for groceries elsewhere.

      Fort Lincoln residents realized that Shoppers’ negotiations with the Shops at Dakota Crossing had fallen through when the Shoppers underwent a dramatic (by comparison) overhaul about 3-4 years ago.

      My recollection is that even the facade was changed during that transformation. And there is a night and day difference in the cleanliness, bright lights, signage, variety of fruits and vegetables, and general scope of items throughout the store as compared to before.

      The store now also focuses more on Hispanic shoppers, who have increasingly moved into the area around it.

      1. Yup, we’re on the same page about the renovation of the Shoppers on Bladensburg Rd.

      2. Wow….I’m glad I wasn’t around then because it still looks like it needs some work. I only go there if I really need something; otherwise, I drive out to Wegmans or go to MOMS for some items. I’m surprised that Yes Organics hasn’t tried to put something at Dakota Crossing. I think there’s more than enough residents in the neighborhood to support it.

  22. Robert, I was just listening to a Channel 13 D.C. Council budget discussion and Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie reported something that made my ears perk up.

    He noted that, I think, $8.1 million dollars has been recommended for the capital improvement of the Theodore Hagans Cultural Center in the next fiscal year.

    I checked this blog but there does not appear to be a topic heading for the Theodore Hagans Cutural Center, so that I could see if that multi-million dollar proposal has been previously discussed. So, for lack of anywhere else to inquire about it I am posting here to ask if you know anything about it. That’s a lot of money — almost enough to blow up the current site and start from scratch. (smile)

    [I actually had thought the next big capital project infusion in Fort Lincoln would be directed at the Thurgood Marshall Elementary School. I know you have labored mightily to get the DC government moving on a plan for making use of those hundreds of thousands of unused square feet. ]

  23. Wow…just noticed t\he Chipotle sign on South Dakota. I think that would be the first time they post a sign before working on the build out of the space.

  24. Thanks Roy P. for the interesting info. I hope Commissioner Robert is able to find some info to share about that. Also, thanks for the news about the Chipotle sign, Suburban DC & dakota C. I was wondering if Chipotle was still coming because l believe their projected opening date was back in late April or so. I’m sure that sign would only be there if they are definitely coming. Yeah!

    1. Just a few minutes ago I was watching a e-run, on Ch. 13, of a public hearing on a bill introduced by former Mayor, Vincent Gray.

      The bill is called “The East End Health Care Desert, Retail Desert, And Food Desert Elimination Act Of 2017.”

      Now-Councilmember Gray made a telling point during the hearing when he commented on the success of the Costco at The Shops At Dakota Crossing. He said he personally walked around Costco’s parking lot to count license plates. He found that about 50% of the plates were Maryland license plates.

      The point he was making is that the sucess of the Costco in The Shops at Dakota Crossing has very little to do with the demographics of the immediately surrounding community (ie, Fort Lincoln). As a regional shopping center, that borders major thoroughfares to Maryland (New York Avenue and South Dakota Avenue), it’s success is overwhelmingly based on the volume of traffic it attracts from throughout the rest of DC and from Maryland.

      So unlike the run of the mill neighborhood shopping center — that depends for its success on the demographics of the immediately surrounding neighborhood — we have a very different animal in The Shops at Dakota Crossing.

      Its propitious site makes it a regional shopping center (containing the number one grossing Costco in the entire United States during its first year of operation) and the fact that it borders a food desert as well, understandably has caused its lessors to demand a premium rent from interested grocery stores like Shoppers, and restaurants like TGIF.

      It takes people-skills and and negotiating expertise not to overplay your hand under those circumstances. And what we have seen at the Shops at Dakota Crossing, for many years now, is that the lessors/developer just does not possess those required skills.

      In other words, with Costco as exhibit A, they have a tremendously winning hand but just don’t know how to play their cards.

      Again, if those are not the facts the developer/lessor would demonstrate their respect for the impact of the shopping center on all Lincoln residents by embracing this commmunity and memorializing and sharing their experience, perspective and plans on this blog — first hand — rather than through rumor-ology.

      1. For those who may be new to Ft. Lincoln, it may interest you to know that Ft. Lincoln residents, and other DC taxpayers, contributed $17 million dollars towards making The Shops at Dakota Crossing a reality.

        So asking the dveloper to update us, in writing, is hardly an impertinent request:

        “All incoming retailers will benefit from the $17 million in TIF subsidies from the District, which has supported the Shops at Dakota Crossing development as a neighborhood improvement initiative.”

        –Shops at Dakota Crossing and Costco to Start Now, Open Next Year (Dec. 13, 2011) (dcmud.blogspot.com)

      2. Roy, the developer isn’t withholding information they are trying to prevent the flow of incomplete information until a retailer has signed a contract. Such as with TGI Friday’s which is no longer on the table. There is a bit of a reality that we face and that is that retailers know that we are here, some just aren’t interested in coming… There will
        Be another update at the June SMD Meeting by the developer on contracts signed.

      3. Robert, I have a lot of concerns about the developer but “withholding information” is not one of them. As far as I know, no one has ever asked the developer to contribute to and respond to topics on this blog — as if it, too, were a part of the Ft. Lincoln community.

        So until they refuse to do so it would be premature to accuse them of withholding anything.

        I think I have already exlpained the benefits of written, available to all, updates on this community blog versus oral available-to-a-few (and disappearing into the ether) updates.

        But based on our community’s $17 million dollars stake in the success of The Shops At Dakota Crossing, I don’t see why we are not entitled to both.

        Let the developer speak for itself on this blog and explain it’s communication policy on an interactive blog like this one.

        [I can’t help but contrast how west of the park D.C. communities would laugh at our debating our right to written community updates and blog involvement from a developer who is using $17 million of our funds to negotiate leases with. I have to admit there is a lot of humor there.]

      4. This isn’t anything unique to Fort Lincoln, the city provides this type of tax subsidy of even greater amounts to developers throughout the city. I guess I’m a little confused at your ask. Has the civic association made a request and didn’t receive it? The developer isn’t obligated to speak to this blog because it’s not theirs. This is not a a government funded platform I personally pay for the maintenance of the site and subscription to the site and spend money on developing the graphics out of pocket. When the developer has enough complete information to present they typically report it though the main stream media. Anyone can email, call, or write letters to the developer if they want a response. They are not obligated to this site.

      5. “The developer isn’t obligated to speak to this blog because it’s not theirs. This is not a a government funded platform . . .”

        You won’t find either of those assertions in my post.

        I think you’ve made your position clear.

    2. @fmakle I tried direct contact with the source. Below is the interim response I received today:
      From: “Clapp, Jontae (Council)”
      Date: Jun 5, 2017 10:19 AM
      Subject: RE: Proposed $8.1 Million In Capital Funds For Hagans Cultural Center
      To: “Roy Pearson”

      Good morning Mr. Pearson,

      I am trying to find the study on the proposed $8.1 capital improvement to the Theodore Hagans Cultural Center. I will forward it along once I do.

      Jontae Clapp, Esq.

      Legislative Advisor
      Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5

      1. Great follow up! It would definitely be interesting to see. Thank you, Roy P.

      2. @fmarkle:

        Great news! Councilmember McDuffie sent out an Press Release explaining that the $8.1 million is only a part of a combined $17.18 million that will be expended on improving: (1) the Hagans Cultural Center ($13.8 million) as well as (2) Ft. Lincoln Park ($4 million) over the next two fiscal years.

        The $13.8 million will be spent on the Cultural Center over the next two fiscal years (beginning in October 2017). And the $4 million will be spent on Fort Lincoln Park, beginning in October 2017.

        Talk about completely revamping the Hagans Cultural Center!!

        I am eager to see the study on how that $13.8 million will expand the cramped Hagans Cultural Center into a community center big enough to accommodate the needs of a Fort Lincoln community that is almost doubling in size.
        # # # #
        Councilmember McDuffie

        “$13.18 million for the Theodore Hagans Cultural Center, and $4 million for Fort Lincoln Park. Theodore Hagans Cultural Center and Fort Lincoln Park serve six senior-living buildings, and thousands of residents in the Fort Lincoln and Dakota Crossing communities. Unfortunately, neither can be adequately programmed to serve residents’ needs because of deficiencies in space and design. The initial budget proposal included $5 million for Fort Lincoln Park in Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019, but funding for Theodore Hagans was delayed until Fiscal Year 2023. Councilmember McDuffie worked to accelerate the funding for Theodore Hagans ensuring that both the projects will begin in Fiscal Year 2018, so that this growing community can finally enjoy the amenities they sorely need.”

  25. Robert, this is certainly your personal blog and you can do with it what you wish. But if that is the case you may want to go back and re-visit the sentiments you expressed (and that I relied on) when you made the statements below on Feb. 2nd.

    As one of your constituents I took you seriously and told you exactly what I thought would improve this blog:
    # # # # #
    “When I moved back to Fort Lincoln in 2013 I grew incredibly frustrated on the lack of coverage, engagement, and updates with community development. Even more concerning was the pace and amount of development which had no input from most existing and the majority of new residents. . . . . Part of what will keep us relevant is our ability to be informed residents and I will continuously strive to allow Gatewaytothtecitydc.com to be a platform where residents can get information regarding activity in their community especially as it relates to Fort Lincoln. This is not an opinion blog, although sometimes it gets injected but it is simply a conduit of information for the community to consider and act upon. . . . I now need input from you. What other types of news and updates would you like to see? . . . Provide me your feedback and I will work with you to get us the information we need.”
    –MORE THAN 90,000 VIEWS SINCE 2013. FORT LINCOLN HAS A VOICE. BLOG STATS 2013-2017 (Feb. 2, 2017, Robert Looper)

  26. I was just looking at the CRBRE flyer for Shops at Dakota Crossing and it said that it’s 90% leased with 3 spaces available. Also in the flyer is one of the spaces labeled “Mecho’s Dominican Kitchen.” Has anyone ever heard of this?

    Here’s the link to the flyer:

    Click to access E09E4725-304B-47CE-A0C9-087C08B344D7.pdf

    On another note, this morning I asked one of the workers for the Panda Express his guess on the opening date. He thinks it will be first week of July.

    On another on

      1. Ah. Yes. I read too fast and missed the kitchen part. This comes as a surprise as I expected all chain restaurants.

    1. The flyer is not exactly transparent.

      It shows four leases (including one for a stand-a-lone 4,500 sq. ft. space) are “pending” (what does that mean?) with the pending lessees unidentified. Based on recent history (e.g. TGIF), it appears leases can remain “pending” for years.

      And four (not 3) other spaces are shown as “open” — including two very large spaces of 10,000 and 7,694 square feet each.

      From all that appears the mall is still very much in flux.

      1. I took a closer look at the Ft. Lincoln development map on the CABRE website and was surprised to find two startling developments.

        Where the Hagans Cultural Center should be on the map there are, instead the words: “Thurgood Marshall Education Center.” (Query: Is that what the $13.18 million capital improvement budget will be spent on?)

        And where the Thurgood Marshall School should be on the map there are, instead, the words: “Proposed Marshall Community Center. ” (Query: Are planning and construction funds for that somewhere in the Mayor’s capital improvement budget for a future fiscal year?)

        Robert, can you enlighten us . . . or is this all news to you too?

  27. That’s interesting Roy. I’ve been looking at this overlay for months. In the past it was updated late or not at all. Now it seems to be updated on a monthly basis , which means that whoever is maintaining this site is receiving specific updated information. I suspect that most of this information will be shared at Robert’s next meeting on June 20.

    1. When/if Robert does on June 20th would you reduce that important update to writing on thus blog? (I work evenings.)

      The expenditure of tens of millions of dollars on capital Improvements in the Fort Lincoln community should, I would think, fall within the scope of this blog.

  28. A Copper Canyon restaurant will be nice! I hope someone reaches out to them!! I have left many messages but no call has ever been returned ;(

  29. I just happened to stumble across a March 2012 Washington Post article on the Shops at Dakota Crossing. Five years later it might offer a useful perspective on what was envisioned at the time:
    * * * *
    Fort Lincoln’s stalled plans starting to come together
    By Lori Aratani, Saturday, March 03, 2012

    For decades, developers and District officials promised residents of Fort Lincoln a model planned community with all the amenities — a destination for those who wanted beautiful homes, green space and shopping. But though the homes were built, the shopping center never materialized.

    Finally, after years of false starts and promises, residents of the Northeast Washington neighborhood will be able to shop and dine close to where they live.

    “It was always ‘around the corner,’ ” said Robert King, who has served as the area’s advisory neighborhood commissioner for 29 years. “It was always, ‘It’s coming.’ Well, in the words of the late Etta James, ‘At last, at last, at last.’ ”

    Trees and shrubs that covered the 44-acre hill on the eastern edge of the neighborhood — a spot visible to thousands of daily commuters coming into the District via Route 50 — have been cleared. In coming months, the skeleton of the Shops at Dakota Crossing will rise. The 430,000-square-foot retail center will be home to the District’s first Costco, a Marshalls department store and a Shoppers Food Warehouse.

    Across from the $60 million center, Ryan Homes is constructing 314 townhouses. According to a sign at the sales center, more than 30 have been sold.

    King said the shopping center will be a boost for the community of 3,000-plus residents, a mix of young professionals, seniors and families.

    Stephanie Mwangaza Brown, who moved to Fort Lincoln in 2007, is looking forward to having shops, sit-down restaurants and maybe a bank close by. And although she worries about the traffic the new development may bring, she’s hopeful the center will increase the value of her townhouse.

    The vision for New York Ave.

    City officials see the development as an important visual anchor for their efforts to remake the New York Avenue corridor, a commuter artery traveled by 87,000 vehicles every day. With its mishmash of gas stations, fast-food joints and storage yards, the road is hardly the most scenic introduction to the nation’s capital.

    But with Wal-Mart slated to open a store at New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road and a growing number of upgraded hotel offerings catering to budget-minded tourists and families, the character of the area is changing.

    D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange (D), who represented Ward 5 for two terms before winning an at-large seat on the council in 2011, said he also hopes to bring a bit of Hollywood to the corridor. He envisions studios for film and television production headquartered at a long-vacant Hecht’s distribution center that was purchased by D.C. developer Douglas Jemal in 2011.

    For now, though, the focus is on Costco.

    Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) said the project will bring the kinds of amenities, shops and services that residents in other neighborhoods take for granted. With Costco as its anchor tenant, the center could also become a regional hub for shoppers from all over the area, Brown said.

    “We lose about $1 billion in retail sales a year,” said Victor L. Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development. “Those retail sales are going to Virginia and Maryland. It’s fine that Virginia and Maryland have these stores, but people in D.C. really want to shop in [their] town.”

    ‘A transformative project’

    District officials say development is expected to create 1,200 jobs in construction and retail and bring an estimated $634 million in tax revenue to the city over 30 years.

    Developers say Costco will open by the end of the year. Other stores will come online in 2013.

    The center is a joint project between Fort Lincoln New Town Corp., CSG Urban Partners and Trammell Crow. The D.C. government provided $17.3 million in public financing.

    “This is a transformative project — a great example of economic development that works from all angles,” said Adam Weers, a principal with Trammell Crow. “It will be used by the neighborhood and by people from all parts of the District. You’re getting a combination of both neighborhood-service retail and destination retail.”

    In addition to the larger retailers, Weers said the center will have a “main street” component that could include restaurants and smaller retailers.

    Although the project is a far cry from the original vision for the Northeast neighborhood as a model planned community of 25,000 people, complete with homes, offices, its own monorail system and a lake, residents say they’re glad the long-stalled project is moving forward.

    “We broke the ground,” King said. “Now I want to make sure the train stays on the tracks. I don’t want to lose any of the wheels.”

    Environmental hurdles

    While many have focused on the economic benefits of the project, some have expressed concerns about the environmental impact.

    Fort Lincoln, site of a Civil War fort, is in one of the city’s choicest natural settings. Despite its proximity to Route 50, the neighborhood is nestled along grassy hillsides, and residents speak fondly of the area’s deer and birds.

    Concerns about the loss of valuable wetlands stalled the project for five years as developers negotiated with various agencies. As part of an agreement with the D.C. Department of the Environment, developers will build 1.83 acres of new wetlands on the site to replace the 0.90 acre that will be destroyed.

    The developers believe that’s a fair trade-off, but others have their doubts.

    “Trying to build new wetlands to replace stuff that’s been there, it’s always a risky move,” said Mike Bolinder of Anacostia Riverkeeper. “We can try to build wetlands, but we have no idea how the water will interact with the earth.”

    Others have criticized the planned 2,000-space parking lot, saying the project should be more transit-friendly. The neighborhood is accessible by bus but is not near a Metro station.

    But city officials maintain the project will bring new vibrancy to the corridor.

    “When people drive into the city, [New York Avenue] is going to look beautiful,” said Brown. “They’re going to come into a city where they’ll see Costco, new homes, restaurants; it will be a whole different flavor.”

  30. Below is an update on efforts to obtain a copy of the study underlying the D.C. Council’s recent vote to allocate $12.18 million for the improvement of the Hagans Cultural Center and Fort Lincoln Park:
    * * * *
    Roy Pearson
    Jun 23 (7 days ago)

    to Jontae
    Hi Ms. Clapp,

    I am following up our email correspondence of a few weeks ago regarding a study that led to capital funds being allocated for Ft. Lincoln.

    We’re you able to make any progress in locating the study, or in identifying a person I can follow up with?

    Thank you.
    From: Clapp, Jontae (Council)
    Date: Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:11 AM
    Subject: RE: Proposed $8.1 Million In Capital Funds For Hagans Cultural Center
    To: Roy Pearson

    Hi Mr. Pearson,

    Please follow up with Ms. Molly Hofsommer at molly.hofsommer@dc.gov. I have reached out but they may better understand after talking with you.


    Jontae Clapp, Esq.
    Legislative Advisor
    Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5

    1. My effort to locate a copy of the feasibility study underlying the recommendation for extensive capital improvements to the Hagans Cultural Center and Fort Lincoln Park, in coming years, finally wound its way to the Chief of Staff (Jason Yuckenberg) for the Director of the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.

      Mr. Yuckenberg sent me the email I have pasted, below. It states that no formal written study was done, but he does set forth the anticipated planning timeline for the project and mentions that a draft budget detailing the projected costs was developed. I thought that draft budget might give us some idea of the particulars of the planning, thus far, and requested a copy.

      I held off posting DPR’s email in hopes the draft budget for design and construction would be provided. But, thus far, I have received nothing further.
      # # # #
      From: Yuckenberg, Jason (DPR)
      Date: Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 12:47 PM
      Subject: Re: Recent Study Underlying Capital Fund Proposal for Hagans Cultural Center, etc.
      To: “Trueblood, Andrew (EOM)” , “Hofsommer, Molly (EOM)” , Roy Pearson
      Cc: “Clapp, Jontae (Council)” , “Faulkner, Ella (DPR)” , “Stokes, John (DPR)”

      Good Afternoon Everyone:

      DPR has not conducted a formal feasibility study for the Theodore Hagans Cultural Center. The Capital Projects team at the time of CIP planning looked at current and future demographic projections as well as Office of Planning’s Small Area Plans to help determine areas of transition in the city where our recreation centers are located – i.e areas that have new housing developments and /or will be in need of expanded recreational opportunities. Theodore Hagans Cultural center currently does not have the space to accommodate a variety of programs that DPR would like to offer to this growing and rapidly changing community.

      DPR worked in collaboration with the Department of General Services (DGS) to determine total estimated budgets for design and construction. These estimations are based on construction industry standards and previously built recreation centers in the District.

      Our plan starting with the FY18 budget is to hire an Architectural and Engineering Firm to develop plans, concepts and design drawing based on DPR and Community program needs. The Recreation center project and Ft. Lincoln Park project will be designed together to allow for an efficient and seamless master plan of the site.

      All of DPR’s projects include a robust community engagement process and we look forward to connecting with members of the community once the AE is on board and the project officially commences.

      We anticipate that planning and design will take approximately 12-14 months. Once a solid and confirmed plan is developed a General Contractor will then be hired to build the new facility and complete the Ft. Lincoln Park Improvements.

      I hope this information is helpful and addresses your questions.

      Thank you,

      Jason Yuckenberg
      Chief of Staff

      DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)
      1250 U Street NW | Washington, DC 20009

  31. I’m sure most people know by now, but Panda Express opened 7/16. I thought Robert would’ve announced it like he did for the other stores.

  32. Hello. Thank you for sharing info about Panda Express! I actually received an email notification that a comment was posted earlier about it being open but I can’t locate it in the blog to thank that author too. Anyway, I wasn’t aware that it had opened since I only drive to and from Costco on the road between between Lowe’s and Dick’s about once a week. Last time I drove by, it was still closed. I will check their website to see what their hours are. Also, I’m looking forward to Jersey Mike’s because I love their subs. I stopped going to the one near R. I. Avenue metro because parking was always a problem. Having them in Ft. Lincoln will be a real treat for me. 🙂

  33. I just noticed that it was Suburban DC that sent out the first notice back on 7/16. Thanks to both of you again.

  34. I happened to be on the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) website and learned that on September 23, 2017 Fort Lincoln Retail, LLC filed an application for a zoning variance. The application states that Fort Lincoln Realty has entered into a lease with Chick-Fil-A for the construction of a restaurant at the Shops at Dakota Crossing. The purpose of the variance is to permit Chick-Fil-A to include a drive-in as part of their restaurant.

    The location of the restaurant is the lot the back of the Loew’s, facing New York Avenue, and it is not part of the main drag of restaurants that are across from Costco.

    The hearing on the variance request is scheduled for November 8, 2017. For more information click on: https://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Content/Search/ViewCaseReport.aspx?case_id=19626

  35. Robert,

    In Fort Lincoln Retail’s September 8, 2017 application for a Special Exception to permit them to construct a drive-through for the proposed Chick-Fil-A restaurant they state that they have the “strong support” of “the affected ANC and community groups.” The affected ANC would be ANC 5C03, of which you are the elected representative.

    Special Exception zoning hearings are one of the few opportunities that community residents have to negotiate with developers in exchange for their support for the variance request. Chick-Fil-A will be located closer to New York Avenue than any other retail store at The Shops at Dakota Crossing. I am sure it is counting on that high profile to attract a significant percentage of the 100,000 cars that drive up and down New York Avenue each day. And that of course will greatly increase the volume of traffic in our community.

    Did you seek, and reach, any agreements with Fort Lincoln Retail in exchange for supporting their Special Exception request for Chick-Fil-A?

    One obvious opportunity this Special Exception request presents is leverage to require Fort Lincoln Retail to construct an off ramp directly onto New York Avenue, so that all of the (increased) traffic from the Shops at Dakota Crossing does not continue to exit, exclusively, onto 33rd Street (and from there, in many cases into the Fort Lincoln community).

    In the “Fort Lincoln Comprehensive Plan 2015-2016” that you drafted on Sept. 11, 2015 (found at https://robertlooper3.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/fort-lincoln-comprehensive-plan-draft.pdf), as your third listed priority you proposed that the city: “Provide resources for a study to provide access from the Shops at Dakota Crossing directly to New York Ave (Rt.50) to alleviate congestion of residential streets as well as connection to the
    Urban renewal land south of New York Ave.”

    Did you seek, and obtain, Fort Lincoln Retail’s consent to fund that study, if not to construct the access road to New York Avenue that you have been advocating for two years?

    I checked with Lillie Griffin, who is the longest serving member of the Fort Lincoln Civic Association board, today and she knew nothing about Chick-Fil-A coming to The Shops at Dakota Crossing or its zoning request. She says, as a consequence, the civic association did not support this Special Exception request — and that she would not do so without negotiating benefits for the Fort Lincoln community.

  36. I was just driving through Ft. Lincoln yesterday and noticed the many homes surrounding the new Dakota Crossing development and how wonderful it would be if they had access to a nearby grocery store! Not everyone is a member of Costco and Giant on Rhode Island Ave NE is kinda far from Ft. Lincoln. It really makes sense to build a grocery store at Dakota Crossing…I vote for Harris Teeter!

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