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The District's First Costco Opens

11/29/2012, 6:30 p.m.

Hundreds of people, including Vice President Joe Biden, attended the grand opening Thursday, Nov. 29 of the new Costco, located in Ward 5 in the vicinity of South Dakota and New York avenues.

The 154,000-square-foot membership facility marks the District's first big-box retailer to open its doors at The Shops at Dakota Crossing. The highly anticipated wholesale warehouse, which will serve as an anchor among shops at the Northeast center, brings a variety of specialty departments.

"I thought they would have put a Walmart here for sure," said Reginald Evans, 45, of Northwest, who was browsing the aisles stocked with UGG boots and Kenneth Cole wallets. Evans said he usually shopped at Costco inBrandywine, Md.

Sandra Green, another District resident, said she was happy she can shop here in the city.

"I usually go to the one in Crystal City [Virginia]," Green added as she lifted her twin toddlers into the cart, and pushed it into the store. The parking lot was full of cars with District of Columbia license plates.

Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden were among the store's first shoppers. They loaded an apple pie, cookies, children's books, and a 32-inch TV in their cart. The vice president even tried food samples, much to the delight of the other shoppers who were flashing cell phone cameras as the Bidens browsed through the store.

In addition to offering name-brand and private-label merchandise, the area's newest Costco will feature a bakery, meats and produce, a variety of liquours and wines, as well as an optical department, tire center and food court.

"Costco Wholesale's opening today signals a huge milestone for retail in the District," said Mayor Vincent Gray, who joined other District government leaders and Costco officials at the opening celebration. "Having the big-box retailer call the District home as this shopping center's anchor tenant means that many more District residents can partake in its discount shopping options here, thereby slowing retail leakage and keeping tax dollars in our jurisdiction--two critical elements of my administration's economic-development strategy."

Costco is situated on a 44-acre site for which ground was broken in February. Besides Costco, the center will house 430,000 square feet of retail space and 2,000 parking spaces.

The project, part of more than $2 billion that has been recently poured into District-affiliated efforts, is also expected to create 1,200 new jobs and generate $634 million in tax revenues for the city over the next 30 years.