Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.

A few years ago the idea of a pedestrian friendly big box store was almost unthinkable, but the idea is catching on, with several examples locally and around the country.

In this region, the Columbia Heights Target is an obvious example, but not the only one. We also have the Tenleytown Best Buy, and of course, the proposed downtown Wal-Mart. In the suburbs, Gaithersburg’s new urbanist “Washingtonian Center” was an urban big box trail-blazer. Designed and built in the late 1990s, it features what may have been the country’s first pedestrian oriented Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Kohl’s.

Below the fold there are pictures of several other examples from around the country, including a Home Depot in Chicago that puts DC’s to shame.




Home Depot, Halsted Street, Chicago. Photo by dmitrybarsky.

Home Depot, Halsted Street, Chicago. Photo by Payton Chung.

Target, Nicollet Street, Minneapolis. Photo by DesertDevil.

Target, Broadway, Chicago. Photo by Chicago Tribune.

Best Buy, Lockwood Place, Baltimore. Photo by Joe Architect.

Best Buy, Clark Street, Chicago. Photo by VivaLFuego.

Proposed Target, East Liberty, Pittsburgh. Photo by City of Pittsburgh.

Proposed Target, 4th and Mission Streets, San Francisco. Photo by SF Redevelopment Agency.


Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

We've just launched our brand new website and are working out some kinks. Find something that looks like a bug? Please help out by sending us an email with the details!

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post .