The Washington Post

Environmental hurdles cleared, work to start on first Costco in D.C.

The Costco store in Arlington, Va., where Herman Cain met with voters last fall. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The Shops at Dakota Crossing, as the new development is called, will bring a total of 430,000 square feet of retail and 2,000 parking spaces to a 44-acre site in the Fort Lincoln neighborhood, at the corner of New York and South Dakota avenues in Northeast. Between the building and opreating of the center, officials to create 1,200 jobs.

It will be the biggest new retail center in the District since 2008, when the 500,000-square-foot DC-USA shopping center on 14th Street Northwest in Columbia Heights opened. It was originally planned to include a Target, as DC-USA does, but Target pulled out the project last year. Costco, however, has been making in-roads in the area, as it plans wholesale stores in Wheaton and Alexandria as well.

The District government has been trying to stem the flow of tax dollars to shopping centers in Maryland and Virginia, and agreed to provide $17.3 million in financing, public improvements and site work, including $10 million in tax increment financing to make the project happen. The $17.3 million constitutes about 29 percent of the project’s $60 million cost. TD Bank provided private construction financing.

The project endured multiple delays as the developers sought environmental approval to build over existing wetlands on the site. In the end, through an agreement with the D.C. Department of the Environment, 1.83 acres of new wetlands will be built on the site to replace 0.90 acres that will be destroyed.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

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



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