A lot has changed since we surveyed readers four years ago about the kinds of retail the neighborhood needs and wants at Van Ness.
Many of you wanted a bakery. Now we have Bread Furst. Thai Pad and Laliguras have all opened since the survey and have added more of the global flavor respondents requested. Soapstone Market checks a lot of boxes: A neighborhood tavern, late night hangout, deli. Sfoglina has become a fine dining destination.
A recent Van Ness Main Street newsletter reveals that our Main Street, UDC, and 4250 Connecticut Avenue owner Bernstein Management are supporting the development of a retail study for Van Ness. It’s currently under way, and VNMS says “[t]he study will help us meet the community’s goal of creating a stronger retail market in Van Ness by maximizing the retail potential, needs, and desires of our diverse constituencies.”
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In four years, how much have the Van Ness constituencies’ “retail potential, needs and desires” changed? Many of the food needs and desires are now covered. What’s still missing? Our old survey saw a lot of interest in gifts, clothing, housewares, hardware and office supply stores. And the most popular request of them all: a Trader Joe’s.
At some point we’ll see what the pros doing the current study can tell us about what Van Ness wants and can support. Until then, we thought it would be fun to ask the question: Does Van Ness still want a Trader Joe’s?
If the embedded survey doesn’t load, you can also find it here.