Monday, December 8, 2008

10-Year Tax Bill Helped Bring Grocer to DCUSA

The Ellwood Thompson's Local Market decision to open a store at Columbia Heights' DC USA was helped along by an emergency bill passed by DC Council. Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham an Ward Two Councilmember Jack Evans co-sponsored the bill.

The new emergency bill (NEIGHBORHOOD SUPERMARKET TAX RELIEF CLARIFICATION EMERGENCY DECLARATION RESOLUTION OF 2009 - PDF [updated 2009 version of the bill]) clarified an existing piece of legislation which gave stand alone full service supermarkets ten years of property tax and sales tax incentives for operating in DC. The new legislation broadens the scope to include supermarkets which open as a part of a larger development. Ellwood Thompson's will occupy 15,000 square feet on the first floor of DC USA, a 500,000+ square foot development at the corner of 14th and Irving Streets NW. The face of the store will be on the Irving Street side under Best Buy.

Ellwood Thomposn's joins YES! Organic Market stores in Adams Morgan and U Street, Whole Foods on P Street, and Everlasting Life at Howard as another health food store option for mid city residents. They will to employ about 100 staff members and offer credits to customers who bike/walk/mass transit to the store and for those who use their own bags. Ellwood's was one of the first, if not the first grocery in Richmond to give a bag credit (5¢) to its customers. Also, mimicking the policy of the Richmond store, Ellwood's will buy local produce and other products from within a 100 mile radius. Luckily it looks to be a vegan/vegetarian paradise with the choice of vegan cookbook author and chef Jannequin Bennett to head the prepared foods section. The store should open late 2009 or early 2010.