Trader Joe’s to Capitol Hill? Not yet

There was plenty of buzz that a new Trader Joe’s outlet could be headed to Capitol Hill, but those hopes were dealt a blow last week when the city picked a different developer for a key site.

A development group that will refurbish Hine Junior High School, which sits between Eastern Market and Pennsylvania Avenue, has not had discussions with the California-based chain. But, a spokesman said, no plans are finalized.

Last week, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) announced that a partnership led by Washington-based companies Stanton Development Corp. and EastBanc would lead the project, bypassing another group that had proposed moving Trader Joe’s into the space.

Instead, the new site is expected to have more than 200,000 square feet of office space — including the consolidated offices of the Shakespeare Theater Co. — and new apartments on the Eighth Street side.

A spokesman for EastBanc cautioned that the first tenant in the redeveloped space will not move in for several years, and said they have not held discussions with Trader Joe’s.

The store would be slightly larger than what the partnership laid out in its plans, but if Trader Joe’s approaches the winning bidders, they would have a discussion, the spokesman said.

A spokeswoman for Trader Joe’s sought to end the rumors, telling ITK, “A Capitol Hill location is not in our two-year plan at this time.”