Community group launches retail survey

Foggy Bottom residents are hungry – for a place to buy groceries.

Community members expressed their desire for a new supermarket and other retail options, like casual restaurants and nail salons, as part of a community poll held online over the summer. The results of the consumer-retail survey were explained at a community meeting Tuesday.

“Our mission is to create a long-term retailing development plan as well as market area retailers effectively within the neighborhood”, said Greg Snyder, chairman of the Committee for Foggy Bottom and West End Neighborhood Retail.

The Foggy Bottom Association chartered the committee earlier this year to gather input from the community on its preferences for the future development of retail goods and service offerings in the area, according to a news release about the meeting.

The survey comes as the retail fates of several development projects, including the Stevens School site, the West End Library and Square 54 are in various stages of development.

The most popular request put forth by the survey was the addition of a conveniently located grocery store. A total of 122 people out of the 233 surveyed mentioned the need for another grocer besides Trader Joe’s in Foggy Bottom. Attendees also expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of a grocery store to be included in the upcoming Square 54.

The second-largest concern among the surveyed Foggy Bottom and West End residents was over the lack of mid-priced casual eateries. Also discussed was the need for additional service retailers such as nail salons, yoga studios and pet care/supply shops.

A few residents voiced their desire for a “nice hair salon” in Foggy Bottom, but many sought other mid to low-level priced services, including a Curves health studio and “affordable yoga classes.”

The committee plans to finalize the survey results – which will remain available online until Friday – by early January, and compile the data and present it to various organizations including the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership, the Foggy Bottom Association, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, and the D.C. Mayor’s office.

The committee hopes to partner with various local organizations to improve the retail atmosphere of Foggy Bottom and West End, and to better market and promote already existing retailers in the area to increase consumerism.

In response to comments about the state of the economy and the difficulty of adding new retail at a time when retail areas, including The Shops at 2000 Penn, have vacancies, Greg Snyder said, “We’re just trying to be proactive here.”

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