District Dogs is gearing up to get tails wagging at its newest location in Arlington’s Metropolitan Park.
The storefront for the local, full-service pet care company is the first phase of Amazon’s new HQ2 and is set to offer grooming, overnight boarding, and training classes. The location will begin construction in the fall and is aiming to be open to the public come next spring.
GTM‘s Robin Menge, principal and LEED Accredited Professional, and Megan Milawski, associate, are designing the District Dogs storefront — a 6,000-square-foot space located at the base of one of the Metropolitan Park office buildings, offering opportunities for dog training, canine enrichment activities, and events to help local dog owners connect with a community of fellow pet lovers.
“Our partnership with District Dogs all started from a longstanding relationship with an existing client,” says Menge. “From the first storefront in 2016, our design team has really bonded with owner Jacob Hensley, and together we have become a fantastic team.”
“My goal [with District Dogs] was to create a business that was a home away from home for dogs,” says Hensley. “People want a place they feel safe and comfortable taking their dogs to, and I want to be that place.”
Hensley originally started District Dogs as a dog walking business, and as the business grew and began to garner a solid reputation for pet care, he decided to open his first storefront in DC’s Park View neighborhood in 2016.
It has since expanded to three locations in the DC-area, with one more in the works, as well as two upcoming Virginia locations.
“It feels pretty surreal to be opening my sixth store on the Amazon HQ2 campus,” Hensley says. “I started District Dogs as a solo dog walker in 2014, and to think I’ve come this far is pretty incredible.”
The Metropolitan Park location is set to be the largest yet, as well as the first to have two levels.
“It was too incredible of an opportunity to pass up,” says Hensley. “Amazon is known to have a very dog-friendly office policy and being able to provide on-campus daycare and other dog services to the employees of Amazon is a dream come true.”
“We were able to have some fun with it being a double-height space,” adds Milawski of the design. “We included a custom stair design and guardrail, and there’s some fun panels hanging down that kind of become like artwork, as well as help with acoustics.”
Milawski says they designed this location to have a playroom and training yard space along the window line, allowing for those passing by to look in and see the activity right off the street.
The color scheme will remain the same — yellow, black, and dark grey — but with a slightly updated look.
“We muted the yellow a bit so it’s not so bright,” explains Milawski. “It kind of gives the color scheme a more mature feel.”
The new location will also be the first to have a recessed ceiling with an illuminated paw print.
“We have a fantastic community of dogs and dog lovers, and we are so excited to continue growing our family at the Amazon HQ2 campus,” Hensley adds.
Megan Herr is an editor and writer residing in the Shenandoah Valley. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State University.