D.C. wants to host pop-up retail bazaar at St. Elizabeths

District officials spent part of their time at the annual Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas this week trying to line up retailers for a pop-up event at the St. Elizabeths site this fall.

They are going to let major retailers erect pop-up stores in the fields and parking lots between the St. E.’s east campus entrance at Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE and the Metro station, according to Victor Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development.

“We’ve spoken to a number of soft goods, big box and electronic retailers about putting up pop-up stores there Sept. 1 to Jan. 1,” he said.

Hoskins declined to identify the retailers the city has been talking to, but did say that the companies would be putting up the temporary structures for the stores, and the District would provide the utilities, such as water, electricity and high-speed Internet with Wi-Fi .

Those pop-ups would serve the employees moving into the new Coast Guard headquarters at St. E.’s, as well as the adjacent neighborhood, which is lacking in retail, Hoskins said.

The pop-up stores will work in tandem with the food pavilion the District is planning for the site. That pavilion will have a mix of food trucks, local food providers and national, fast-casual chains, including some that met with the D.C. delegation at the Las Vegas convention.

Construction is set to begin on the pavilion May 29 and should be done by Aug. 31, Hoskins said.

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