It’s been long discussed and now it is here, Costco has opened in Ward 5 and residents flocked to the grand opening where Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance along with several Hill and District leaders.
The giant retail store is the first of its kind to open within District lines and sits in the heart of the Fort Lincoln community in the Shops at Dakota Crossing, located at New York and South Dakota NE. Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie said, “Costco’s opening is indeed a day for celebration and the start of much more to come for our city and Ward 5.” He said the store will be an important visual anchor for our efforts to revitalize the New York Avenue corridor and will provide the residents of Ward 5 with quality amenities and services to our community.
Mayor Gray, who also attended the grand opening, has stated that the store will add jobs directly to the community it serves. Many residents attended the job fair held over the summer and were present for the store’s grand opening.
One hot topic surrounding the store was the community’s decision to have the store sell liquor over opening a 16-pump gas station on the premises. Many Costco stores across the country also sell gas, at discounted rates, but the Fort Lincoln residents decided on a liquor license by the District’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) and this decision didn’t come without a fight.
Longtime Ward 5 ANC 5A12 Commissioner Robert “Bob” King pushed hard for the gas station, with other Ward 5 commissioners accusing him of taking kick-backs in support of the effort. However, the final vote was for the liquor license.
District officials have estimated that the new shopping center will bring in up to $634 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years, because of its potential to bring in new business to the area. Residents believe this will be good for this section of Ward 5 that has been plagued with drugs, strip clubs and prostitution.