Two of the proposals are for multi-story, mixed-use buildings with apartments on upper floors and underground parking. One proposal fits snuggly into a neighborhood main street. Another anchors a large town center development. The last two are more traditionally suburban, with parking lots out front.

(Dan Malouff)

Surely the corporate office will compare sales at the D.C. stores. Surely they will notice which ones attract the most customers. Surely they will cite their successes and failures in the District when planning stores in other central cities.

Get ready to be a guinea pig, D.C. Wal-Mart will be watching.

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.