Clarendon Trader Joe’s Receives Building Permit

by ARLnow.com July 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm 7,009 75 Comments

Interior work on the new Clarendon Trader Joe’s is expected to finally get underway soon, after Arlington officials approved the store’s building permit today.

The store was originally slated to open “mid-2011,” but that hoped-for opening has been pushed back due to an unexplained delay in applying for (and getting) the necessary permits and inspections. In May, a Trader Joe’s rep told ARLnow.com that the store is expected to open by the end of the year.

In addition to the building permit, Trader Joe’s has also received a zoning permit that will allow it to modify the building’s first floor facade (pictured) for use as a grocery store. The only other regulatory hurdles that remain, for now, concern the store’s fire prevention plan.

The new Trader Joe’s will be located at 1109 N. Highland Street, one block from the Clarendon Metro station.

  • LP


  • charlie

    oh praise be!!
    when will they open? when will they open? when will they open? when will they open? when will they open? when will they open?

    • gonzo

      Don’t burst a blood vessel. Wow!!!

      • charlie

        full mocking. don’t plan to go there. it is browsing, not shopping.

        • steve85

          Yes u was. You know you’re going there. Probably be the 1st customer

  • KalashniKEV

    I want it now.

  • Tapeworm

    TJ is just a poor man’s A-Whole Foods.

    • bob

      No, it’s a Rich Man’s ALDI

      • Tapeworm

        Aldi is just an Austrian man’s Shoppers Food Warehouse.

        • Society

          Aldi is a German company.

          Trader Joe’s in the USA is part of the Aldi family of companies.

  • Thes

    What great news. Thanks for letting us know, ArlNow!

    • Thank you for saying thank you.

      • charlie

        get a room.

        • Maria

          That just made me laugh so hard.

        • CW

          Who needs a room when you have a new mixed-use tunnel?

  • RosRes


  • Chris Slatt

    William Jeffery Tavern has started their build-out also.

    • FrenchyB

      Now this is good news!

  • ry guy

    sounds like a parking nightmare…

    • samsonite

      Only if you drive.

      • Why are you shopping at non union grocery stores? Hypocrite.

        • Jenn

          I bought a cupcake from a non-union shop the other day. It was delicious, and I felt no guilt.

          • gonzo

            Wow u brought a cupcake good for u

          • Jenn

            I’d rather you buy them for me.

          • gonzo

            Sure let me know when.

        • samsonite

          Did I say I shop there? Did I say I shop only at union stores at all?

          You’re the hypocrite for bashing unions and then expecting our economy not to turn to crap.

          • No, you’re the hypocrite for saying Arlington shouldn’t bring in a non union business like Walmart because they are non union, then in the very same thread suggest that in lieu of Walmart another non union business goes in it’s stead.

            And I’m nor surprised if you belong to a union. Your reading abilities suggest a substandard education.

          • steve85

            Wrong article for this topic

          • Charlie

            You are both wrong . . . the square footage needed for a Wal*Mart is too expensive for Wal*Mart’s bottom line.

          • samsonite

            Except I never said Arlington shouldn’t let Walmart in. Not once. I only said it wouldn’t bring new jobs with it, nor would the jobs pay very well or have good benefits.

            I also never said I belong to a union.

            Funny how you bash my reading skills though.

    • Louise

      I think there’s a parking garage on site.

      • CW

        I like turtles.

        • Shredder

          I hate the little bastards.

  • Rory McIlroy’s Big Package

    No more treks to Baileys Crossroads or Tyson’s Corner!

  • Southeast Ben

    Who cares? The one in Alexandria doesn’t sell aluminum foil or cold beer. I could really care less about a Trader Joe’s coming to the area.

    • Maria

      Is your refrigerator broken?

  • steve85

    Boring news of the day so far…..

  • Mkt Common

    I’m originally from Cali & have been surrounded by TJ acolytes for decades. I’ve never, ever, understood the love.

    • Gabe

      Have you ever entered one?

  • BerryBerryCold

    Good news…but….

    I got stuck on Garfield Street the other day at 5pm. It took forever to cross Clarendon to get to Wilson. The signal is about 10 seconds long to cross. Unless Arlington County adjusts the timing, there will be gridlock enter and leaving that garage.

    • M

      Easy fix: Walk.

  • steve85

    And I saved 10% on my car insurance today by switching to Geico

  • ArlForester

    Just making sure all of your granola eaters know that Trader Joe’s is part of a large corporation. Yes, one of those horrible giant corporations you so often loathe.

    • Hattie McDaniel


    • samsonite

      I love corporations. They make my granola.

      • Hikin’ the Pike


  • steve85

    I think we should close out this topic. next one please

  • rosslynite

    I hope the idiot squad that approved the Whole Foods parking plan pays attention this time. If not, a trip down Clarendon will be a nightmare (I know, only if you drive!).

    • BerryBerryCold

      They haven’t. It’s going to be a nightmare for anyone that drives to that area. Ask CW, he lives around there (I think.)

      • CW

        It’s been the calm before the storm up until now…yes, when TJ’s opens the other shoe will drop and all hell will break loose. A couple things may need to be done depending on how big of a crowd draw it is. The right turn even on green off of clarendon onto garfield will.be scary as there are a lot of pedestrians and, even now, only a couple cars can turn right there per light cycle at peak hours. If a lot of people are coming from the wilson side, the block of garfield between wilson and clarendon (pete’s, cell phone store, bank) may actually back up, potentially even onto wilson, between light cycles. The 4-way stop at the intersection of 11st and garfield is atrocious as it is; everyone blows the stop signs and people use 11th as an expressway to bypass the weird washington/10th intersection. Finally, the intersection of 11th and highland is scary because cars fly onto highland from washington blvd and also come down highland from the Clarendon boulevard side, and you can’t see them because the stree parking there runs all the way up to the corner on either side.

        So in short, if this is really a big of a draw as people are making it out to be, with people driving in from all over, yes, there could be serious traffic problems. The side streets there are set up like a quiet little neighborhood, not a high-density area, and the traffic controls may need some reworking.

        That said, they’ve been screwing around in that space for a couple weeks now. They have been moving a bunch of random materials into the Garfield side space (they have two spaces as one will see on the lease plan; the bigger one on the highland/clarendon corner and another on garfield next to the lyon place entrance). They also managed to somehow flood said space screwing around with the plumbing; not sure if that was coincidence – I assumed that the time they were trying to tie in the pipes that TJ’s will be using.

        • steve85

          Trader joes won’t be that special to cause that long reply u just gave. Personally I think things will remain normal. C’mon is just Trader Joe’s

          • ArlForester

            But they sell organic!! There will be a traffic jam of Vespa’s and Prius’s as far as the eye can see.

          • Traitors and Hoes

            Dude–have you been to the one at 7 Corners on a weekend afternoon? Pretty full parking lot.

          • Thes

            What percentage of their customers at 7 Corners do you think: 1) walk, 2) bike, 3) take a bus, 4) take metro, or 5) park at nearby parking lot when they’re doing other shopping? And what percentage do you think will do those things at the Clarendon location?

            (And if your answer is “none” or “almost all” because you think a person always needs to bring their car directly to shop at the Trader Joes, then consider how many you think do that at this location:)

            View Larger Map

          • T&H

            What percentage? I would say 99% of them drive. Some may park nearby, but I don’t think many. How many people stop into Best Buy while buying groceries? Anyway, what are we debating here? No one disputes it’s gonna be a ton more cars in Clarendon.

          • Plunkitt of 2150

            “What percentage of their customers at 7 Corners ”

            zero….there isn’t a TJ at 7 Corners.

          • Thes

            T&H, I agree that 99% of the customers at 7-corners (as you put it, I was presuming you meant the one at Bailey’s Xroads) get that one by car. However if you think 99% of the ones at Clarendon will need to drive, I think you’re crazy. There are about 2000 people whose *homes* are closer to the Clarendon Trader Joes than the is the farthest *parking space* in the other TJ’s parking lot. There are probably an additional 5k to 6k people within the distance to carry groceries back home on foot. Yes, there will be more cars coming to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s but probably not enough to cause all traffic in the neighborhood to seize up and stop moving, as some appear to fear.

          • Stu Pendus

            The thing about TJ’s clientele is they will drive to the closest one because they love TJ’s. I don’t care how many thousands of people live across the street. They’re going to have to stand in line with the car-drivers like everyone else, because their parking spaces will probably be mostly full all the time.

          • doodly

            I will stop driving to Bailey’s and start walking to this new one on my way home on Metro instead.

            It will be like a farmer’s market stop. I’ll pick up just a few items, as often as I need to, conveniently.

          • CW

            Also, keep in mind, the public levels of the garage comprise something less than 100 spots in total. So if fewer than 100 individuals or families in the entire eastern portion of the county want to go to TJ’s at a given time, there you go. That’s not even considering the fact that it is also a public garage that anyone can park in (not sure how the reserved TJ’s spaces played out but at the height of their demands I believe TJ’s was requesting 72).

        • BerryBerryCold

          I haven’t been on Garfield much, but from what you say, it sounds like it’s going to be worse than Whole Foods during TJ peak hours.

      • charlie

        the trader joe’s in Old Town is PACKED with cars despite hundreds of people living nearby. But that garage is very orderly and well designed with ONE LEVEL designed JUST for retail users so it not only doesn’t compete with other uses it also has its OWN entrance. The building has THREE garage entrances to get cars in and out in an efficient way — something that building in Clarendon SORELY lacks.

  • I Am So Brilliant

    Let’s tear down Ballston Mall and replace it with a Wegman’s, next to a dog park. (Putting on manic 1996 Tom Cruise expression.) Who’s with me!?

    • steve85

      No dog park. I’m not with u on that

      • Calibrator

        I continue to maintain that your humor / sarcasm detector is in serious need of recalibration.

  • Jake

    Who cares – trader joes is low class 1993
    I hope the workers shower

    • yipeee

      I shop at both Trader Joe’s in Falls Church, and now I’ll finally be able to walk to my favorite grocery store! They’re non-union, they shower (unlike some customers, Jake must be one of them), and they manage to stay happier, cleaner, and stock better food than anything in the area. I’m counting down the days, but I do hope their manager from the Baileys Crossroads store isn’t coming to Clarendon. I’ve seen him argue with customers and laugh about it, not the man they need to lead their new store. Hurry up and open, and all you grumpy people and tj haters, just stay away or go shop at Whole Foods/Giant, etc. Totally agree with B-real.

  • karzai

    Downtown Clarendon has already become undriveable, and it will be even more so now. But, hey, as a property owner in Clarendon, I take the good with the bad, and this is, overall, a net positive.

  • YTK

    NOW……. how long is it going to take Bronx Pizza to finally open???????
    God bless the slow syrupy southern way of doing business here.

    • doodly

      Mmm, syrup.

      • CW

        I prefer syrup, actually.

  • B-Real

    This new Arlington store is projected to compete with the DC store’s sales. We’re talking 3500 customers on a weekday and close to 4500 on a weekend. The staff is being hand picked from the entire region, so things inside the store should run smoothly. And by the way, Treder Joes isn’t a poor man’s or rich man’s anything. It’s Trader Joes. It’s NOT a large corporation, rather privately owned by the Albrechs. They take amazing care of their staff, and people/organizations in need. You don’t have to be a hippy to shop there, but enjoying interaction with positive people helps. Reading some of you posts leads me to believe a couple of you need more of that in your life.

    • John Fontain

      “It’s NOT a large corporation, rather privately owned by the Albrechs.”

      A large corporation can’t be privately owned?

      From the August Fortune article about TJ’s:

      “It now boasts 344 stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C.”

      “The privately held company’s sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods’ (WFMI, Fortune 500) and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list.”

      Therefore, it is so large that if it were a public company it would be in the middle of the Fortune 500. It is absolutely a large corporation and it is privately held. And our family loves the store.

  • Gabe

    Cheap good wine. Cheap good meals. Cheap good beer. What’s not to like?

    • John Fontain

      If the workers at Walmart wore Hawaiian shirts, maybe the uppity yuppies would embrace it like they embrace TJ’s.

      To win over the County Board, maybe Walmart should promise Hawaiian-clad employees for it’s potential Shirlington location.


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