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Trader Joe's Expanding In D.C. With New Brookland Store

The corner at Monroe Street Market where Trader Joe's plans to open.

Residents of the Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods have long sought a grocer on Monroe Street to fill a gap in the neighborhood, and they are now poised to get one of the most coveted chains. 

Trader Joe's is planning to open a store in the Monroe Street Market development, according to an alcoholic beverage license notice posted on social media by Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Aru Sahni. 

The notice says the license application is for a full-service Trader Joe's grocery store at 701 Monroe St. NE, a building owned by Pritzker Realty Group. A public hearing is scheduled for July 29. 

The plan was first revealed by local blog PoPville, which published an anonymous letter from a reader who spoke to a building staff member as they were unloading items from the space. 

The store is slated for a corner space in the final phase of the five-building Monroe Street Market development, which opened in 2021. 

The building, branded as The Everton, hasn't welcomed any tenants to its retail space yet, but an H&R Retail flyer for the development says it is "At Lease" for 14,623 SF on the corner of Seventh and Monroe streets, a space that has long been slated for a grocery store.

H&R Retail manages the development's retail leasing, while Bozzuto manages the residential buildings. H&R declined to comment on the Trader Joe's deal, while Bozzuto and Pritzker didn't respond to a request for comment.

“We are actively looking at hundreds of neighborhoods across the country, including in the DC area, as we hope to open more new neighborhood stores each year,” Trader Joe's spokesperson Nakia Rohde wrote in an email. “We do not yet have a location in Edgewood/Brookland to confirm.” 

The first four apartment buildings with retail opened in 2013, sitting steps from The Catholic University of America and the Brookland Metro station. Abdo Development and Bozzuto partnered on the project's previous phases, but Pritzker Realty developed and owns the final phase, where Trader Joe's will open. 

The development's other retail tenants include Brookland Pint, Busboys and PoetsStarbucks, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Chipotle, &Pizza, BGR Burgers, Wardman Wines and dozens of small art studios. The Barnes & Noble at The Catholic University of America bookstore in the development is scheduled to close this week. 

The development for years has courted tenants with leasing flyers that previewed a potential grocery store anchor, but a tenant proved elusive. 

In 2019 when bicycle shop The Bike Rack closed its location at Monroe Street Market, its owner told Bisnow the lack of an expected grocery store anchor contributed to foot traffic being lower than he had first hoped. 

The nearest grocery stores to Monroe Street Market are the Yes! Organic Market a half-mile away on 12th Street Northeast and the Giant Food a mile away on Brentwood Road. 

The closest Trader Joe's is the Union Market-area store at 350 Florida Ave. NE, roughly 2.5 miles away. The grocer's other D.C. locations are at Eastern Market, on 14th Street Northwest, on 25th Street Northwest near Foggy Bottom and on Wisconsin Avenue Northwest in Glover Park. It also has several stores in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.