Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ellwood Thompson's: If and When...

Yes, the economy sucks. And locally that means plenty of empty retail storefronts. Most are in older buildings in which a former tenant has moved or closed. But some vacancies are in new construction. Like in DCUSA, the massive retail development located three blocks from Mount Pleasant.

One of the original planned tenants was Whole Foods. That deal never materialized and later speculation focused on Ellwood Thompson's, a Richmond, VA heath food store. Then the signs went up. It was official, Ellwood Thompson's was opening a location in DCUSA: target date, winter 2009. That was immediately followed by the realization that the country was already in economic disarray, with many of the problems originating with real estate. So, the move to DC was put on hold. However the company was still spending money. They are paying the rent on the DCUSA space and over the last two years completed a huge expansion of the Richmond store including a stand alone coffee shop located across the parking lot from the store. (They have great vegan breakfast wraps by the way. And a Clover.)

I hope they make it here someday soon. Here's what you'd have to look forward to when and if they can make it happen. The location would be 15,000 sq feet of space in DCUSA on the first floor, directly under the Best Buy store. Elwoods would front on Irving Street and face the Highland Park building. It's unknown if they'd make room for the stand alone coffee shop, but perhaps it'd look like the last photo here. One can hope, right?