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Retail Incubator Debuts in Congress Heights, D.C.

The Retail Village at Sycamore & Oak features 13 local businesses





The Retail Village at Sycamore & Oak, a transformative new community-led development, has opened in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The 23,000 square foot the complex features 13 local businesses, including streetwear brands, beauty and skincare shops, art boutiques, a fitness operator, food vendors and a fresh food market.

“Today, we celebrate 13 businesses that are all owned by residents of Wards 7 and 8. We celebrate keeping a promise to bring jobs, opportunity and amenities to Ward 8 — right here on the St. Elizabeths East campus,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser at the complex’s opening ceremonies. “Now, when people come to the ESA to watch the Mystics, or for boxing, or high school graduations, or any of the fantastic events we have going on, you can also eat, shop, and support local businesses while you’re here.”

The Retail Village incubates food and retail concepts for emerging Black entrepreneurs and local business owners by providing technical and marketing support, along with training to help scale and sustain their businesses. The village also offers a “Chefs-In-Residence” program, where the food and beverage operators will receive operational support and mentoring from the Jose Andres Group.

Built using FSC-certified, sustainably harvested mass timber, the Retail Village “demonstrates the versatility, beauty and sustainability of carbon-sequestering,” the projects backers say. “It is the largest free-standing structure of its sort in the District and demonstrates the flexibility, economy, and sustainability of this ancient building material in its new, high-tech form. An all-electric building, it will demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of solar energy, battery storage, heat pumps and induction cooking.”

The specific businesses opening at The Retail Village at Sycamore & Oak include:

• Black Bella Spa & Wellness Center
• Soufside Creative
• Chris Pyrate & Friends
• LoveMore Brand,
• Paradyce Clothing Co. Inc.
• Vaya Beauty
• The Museum DC,
• WeFitDC
• Dionne’s Good Food
• Glizzy’s DC
• Triecy’s DC
• Buna Talk Café
• The Fresh Food Factory Market.


The Retail Village is the first phase of a larger proposed Sycamore & Oak project – a 650,000 square feet complex that’s eventually expected to include a hotel, affordable housing units, more retail, restaurants and meeting/convention spaces.



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