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Archive for the ‘Merchants’ Category

By Randy Rieland

From the February 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

If you asked people in Glover Park what they’d like to see on the Wisconsin Avenue strip, it’s a good bet not many would say two drug stores.

But that’s what we’ll have soon when a new Rite Aid moves into 2251 Wisconsin Avenue, pretty much across the street from the CVS. For the past 10 years that space has been occupied by Glover Park Hardware. It closed in mid-January after it lost its lease.

The store’s owner, Gina Schaefer, said she found out in November that the landlord, Chesapeake Realty Partners, was not going to renew the lease and instead had chosen to rent the space to another business. That surprised Schaefer because she thought they had reached an agreement—although she says she did start to get suspicious when there was one delay after another in closing the deal.

Schaefer speculated that even though the Glover Park store was one of nine Ace Hardware franchise outlets she owns in DC and Baltimore, she lost out to a “nationally accredited tenant” because it would, in the eyes of the bank, bring more value to the property if Chesapeake Realty wants to sell the building. Chesapeake, based in Owings Mills, MD, is constructing an 82-unit apartment building in what used to be the parking lot behind the former hardware store and Washington Sports Club.

Glover Park ANC Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal confirmed that a Rite Aid will be going into the space. “Losing an Ace Hardware store is a big setback for the community,” she said. “Ace to Rite Aid is a terrible tradeoff.”

Blumenthal pointed out that as much as people in the neighborhood may want to see more independent businesses on Wisconsin Avenue, the relatively small Glover Park business community has very little leverage in influencing who outside property owners rent to. By contrast, she said, the much more robust business community in Georgetown is working together to try to slow the pace of national brands replacing independent businesses there.

“We have some really good businesspeople here,” Blumenthal added. “But you’d like to have a really dynamic business community. It’s adequate, but it’s getting less interesting.”

For her part, Schaefer wants to try to stay a part of it. She’s looking at another property elsewhere on Wisconsin but she didn’t want to reveal a location. As of this writing, no deal has been done. She regrets that she lost the space in the heart of the Glover Park business district. “It was a great store,” she said, noting that before it lost its parking lot to the apartment construction project, Glover Park Hardware ranked behind only her Tenleytown operation in terms of business.

Schaefer also said she’s been touched by the outpouring of support she’s heard from Glover Parkers. Someone actually wrote, “Can we lay down in the street for you?”

“It does make you feel good to know that the community was bummed about this because we definitely were bummed. We have absolutely loved this neighborhood.”

Schaefer said the store’s 24 employees will be shifted to her other hardware stores, including the ones in Tenleytown and Woodley Park.

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The owners of Glover Park Hardware (2251 Wisconsin Ave.) thought they had a deal to renew their lease, owner Gina Schaefer told the Georgetown Current. “The landlord decided at the last minute to lease to someone else. It felt like the worst part of business.”  The store, which opened in 2005, plans to close in mid-January.

Schafer said the shop is actively looking for a nearby location, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal told reporter Brady Holt that she was looking for ways to help make that happen. “This will be a terrible thing for the neighborhood if they go,” Blumenthal said.

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Glover Park Hardware (2251 Wisconsin Ave.) will close in mid-January because it was not able to come to terms with its landlord on a new lease. But the store’s owners are looking for another location nearby, assistant manager Olen Hopkins tells us: “They are trying diligently to keep us in this area, but it’s all still kind of up in the air.”

The hardware store negotiated its original lease with the building’s previous owner before opening in early 2005. But the complex was sold in 2013 and is now a joint venture of Altus Realty, Chesapeake Realty Partners and Ellisdale Construction. The three partners are building an apartment complex at the rear of the property, on what was formerly the hardware store’s parking lot.

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From the December 2014-January 2015 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Columbia Mirror & Glass of Georgetown (2212 Wisconsin Ave.) will close its Glover Park location by the end of this month after 34 years. A planned rent increase was the reason, according to an employee. The business has found a new home in Springfield, Virginia.

The storefront won’t remain empty, though. Next door neighbor Georgetown Carpet (2208 Wisconsin Ave.) will be expanding into the space, its manager tells us. Both buildings are owned by KBK Associates of Potomac, according to city property records.

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From the October 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The Holiday Inn Georgetown (2101 Wisconsin Ave.) is on the market, according to Bisnow. “Interested buyers have redevelopment in mind,” the real-estate news site reports. The hotel, which sits midway between Safeway (1855 Wisconsin Ave.) and Whole Foods (2323 Wisconsin Ave.), could become home to “a mixed-use, grocery-anchored project,” the site states.

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On June 25, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted to extend alcohol sales at Safeway (1855 Wisconsin Ave.) by two hours in the morning. The grocer is now approved to sell beer and wine from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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Beginning Monday, June 16, Whole Foods (2323 Wisconsin Ave.) will deliver orders over $30 for free between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

“Currently we have an email alias, inahurrygtn@wholefoods.com, which you can use to set up an order for pick-up and, starting tomorrow, delivery,” explains customer service associate team leader Oliver Joslin. “Basically you send us your shopping list, and we will shop the order for you. We usually end up having questions, so we call or email the customer after we finish shopping and to finalize payment.” The delivery radius is approximately 1.5 miles.

Would-be delivery customers must register with the store by filling out a “Bike Delivery Profile” and a credit-card authorization and reading a list of frequently asked questions. The forms can be mailed to the store, dropped off, or emailed to Joslin at oliver.joslin@wholefoods.com. Or, Joslin says, the delivery person can collect the forms when making the first delivery.

“Right now I only have one delivery man/woman scheduled for these shifts per day,” Joslin notes. “If the community really supports this and it grows in popularity I will receive more funding for more shifts and extend the delivery days and times. Also I will be rewarding customers who successfully refer others in the community with gift cards and free products.” (Hyperlocal Glover Park does not accept compensation for coverage.)

If you have questions, you can contact Joslin by email or at 202-333-5393.

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