Safeway’s Townhouse supermarket at 21st and L streets is scheduled to close by the end of the year. The store, one of few supermarkets in the area that serves GW students, will be replaced by a CVS pharmacy.
Several CVS stores are within walking distance of campus, but the only other options for grocery shopping are the Safeway in the Watergate complex and the Safeway on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.
“It’s a shame that this is closing because its location is ideal for many GW students and Washington residents,” said Danielle Pearlberg, who lives in The Aston. “The last thing we need is another CVS.”
GW students and D.C. residents are upset about the store’s closing, and have expressed their concern to city officials at meetings and on fliers in the Foggy Bottom and West End neighborhoods.
Local efforts to save the Safeway have not been successful. According to Adam Kinsinger, vice president for community affairs for the Student Association, the contract with CVS was negotiated in October and the community was not informed of the decision in time to revert the contract.
“There is nothing left to do except petition and protest,” Kinsinger said. “This does present a good opportunity, though, for students and the community to work together on a common issue.”
The store’s closing may force many elderly residents who live in Foggy Bottom and West End to travel farther for their groceries.
“(The residents) are very upset, especially the elderly, since they depend on that store exclusively for their food,” said Eric Caswell, manager of the Carriage House apartment building on L Street and New Hampshire Avenue.
The Foggy Bottom Association discussed the store’s closing at a meeting Nov. 24. Kinsinger said a proposal was made by Foggy Bottom residents to create a co-op store where students and community members could work together to provide a service for the neighborhood.