Site where Wal-Mart plans store on New York Avenue in D.C. goes up for sale


The site where Wal-Mart would like to open on New York Avenue in Northeast. (Courtesy of Transwestern.)

A family that owns 15 acres of land in Northeast Washington, where Wal-Mart has planned to open a store for more than three years, has put the property up for sale.

The Schaeffers, owners of a large local taxi company, recently hired real estate services firm Transwestern to begin marketing the property.

The property at 1801 New York Ave. NE comprises most of the triangular area between New York Avenue, Bladensburg Road and Montana Avenue.

An advertisement issued by Transwestern says the site is 14.73 acres, much of which has been razed and prepared for development. It is about two miles northeast of Union Station.

Developers have coveted the land for its visibility and access to the high-volume traffic going by, and more than once a developer has signed a contract with the Schaeffers and tried to put a project together there with no success.

Washington's new Wal-Mart on H Street caused a stir on opening day, as D.C. residents flocked to take a look at the store's new digs. The Post's Clinton Yates takes us there. (Nicki Demarco/The Fold/The Washington Post)

The family had contracted with D.C. developer Jim Abdo on a plan to build a massive housing and retail complex on the site, but the deal fell through after the real estate and credit markets collapsed.

More recently, developer Rick Walker signed a contract to build a retail complex anchored by Wal-Mart there, but Andrew Schaeffer said last fall that the deal had expired. Andrew Schaeffer and his brothers Dave and Jerry are major players in the city’s taxicab industry.

Whatever the Schaeffers earned on those contracts has not been disclosed, but they retained the land when the developments failed to commence.

Wal-Mart has opened two stores in the District, and a third is under construction. Company officials have said they would still like to open a store off New York Avenue should a project materialize.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community.

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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