After more than a decade, DC’s first new supermarket ‘east of the river’ breaks ground

Residents “east of the river” will get their first new supermarket in over a decade.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and District council members held shovels to break ground on a new Lidl supermarket at the Skyland Town Center in Southeast D.C. on Saturday.

The supermarket will straddle Wards 7 and 8 at 2704 Good Hope Road SE, and is likely to attract customers who live near the Harris Teeter’s grocery store, which is due to close in a couple of weeks.

“This is really going to help a lot,” said resident Jeffery White. “The fruit seem to be pretty cheap at Lidl. I like a lot of fresh fruit.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and District council members held shovels to break ground on a new Lidl supermarket at the Skyland Town Center in Southeast D.C. on Saturday. (Photo WTOP/Gigi Barnett)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, over the years, countless residents and six of her predecessors have worked to complete the Skyland project, which includes the new grocery store. Her office describes it as a multiyear, multiphase development, designed to bring stores, shops and residential space to the area.

Resident Racine Randolph says the community has needed competition between food stores in order to cut prices.

“I think it’s wonderful to have a new grocery store, and one that’s moderately priced,” Randolph said.

The new Lidl grocery store will be constructed in a mostly-Black area, commonly called “east of the river.”

Randolph said her family often travel across the Anacostia River to enjoy a bigger selection of restaurants their area lacks.

“The convenience and amenities offered to other wards in the city — we would love to have that here,” she said.

Bowser said the new, full-service supermarket will create about 45 jobs, with wages starting at $16.50 an hour. Having a new source for affordable and healthy food may help address childhood obesity and food desert issues residents have grappled with for years, Bowser said.

“People want to be able to walk to shopping and dining, just like they do everywhere else,” she added.

The Lidl grocery store is due to open at the end of 2022. Completion on the Skyland development project is scheduled for 2026.

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