District's Pact with Developer Moves Anacostia Shopping Center Project

Article excerpt

Plans to bring a major grocery store and shopping center to Camp Simms in Anacostia took a big step forward Friday when District officials signed an agreement with a private development team.

D.C.-based Dominion Development Corp. and Columbia, Md.-based Manekin Corp. want to build a 100,000-square-foot shopping center at Alabama Avenue and 15th Street SE. Officials from both companies could not be reached for comment late Friday.

The project depends on Super Fresh committing to the project at the city-owned site, which was historically occupied by the National Guard. Supermarket officials said the Minneapolis-based chain is interested in moving into the site.

The $20 million project would help the District reach a 30-year-old goal of revitalizing the property, and helping the neighborhood which has long needed additional retail services, and is now growing.

If all goes as planned, the developers will break ground this summer and open the first stores 18 months later, D.C. officials said. The entire complex is expected to take two years to build.

The shopping center would include a 56,000-square-foot grocery store facing Alabama Avenue, a 24,000-square-foot clothing store, and 26,000 square feet of additional retail space. Two restaurants are included in the plan.

While other parts of the city have seen some retail expansion and thriving office development, D.C. officials have had more trouble trying to persuade private developers to cross the Anacostia River.

"No one wanted to buy land east of the river," said one D. …