Friday, July 28, 2006

"Big Box" housewares coming to City Place?

- Silver Spring Scene reports that Shitty Place, ur, um I mean City Place, is in negotiations with a major retailer of housewares. Linens-N-Things? Bed, Bath & Beyond? Anyone got the 411?

What I think would be great is if the old AMC City Place 10 was converted into a Landmark Theatre (like the ones currently in Bethesda & D.C.) that showed limited release films. Like, by tomorrow, so I can go there and see A Scanner Darkly.

UPDATE: Per WashingtonGardener, the chain in question is Bed, Bath & Beyond. I can finally use my 20% off coupons without going to Rockville!



23 comments:

Nate said...

A store like that is exactly what City Place needs to kickstart a turnaround. Currently, even when Ellsworth is simply crawling with people no one bothers to go into the mall. Lechters and discount clothing stores aren't enough to pull people in, or get them to overlook the fact that the majority of the stores in there are utter crap. A big, popular homewares retailer would bring a lot more people through the mall hallways, and convince other more desirable stores to join them.

I like the idea of finding a way to save the old AMC 10 theaters, but given the close proximity of the AFI, and the fact that Majestic's 20 screens allow them to generally have one or two indie/artsy films on the roster at any given time, Landmark is not likely to see the location as all that desirable.

Sligo said...

There's barely even a sign over the rear (Ellsworth) entrance to City Place. How about a cool "CITY PLACE" neon sign? Right now they have a really crappy looking banner for one of the restaurants hanging over the door. It looks really amateur.

groovything said...

Wasn't there talk of turing the old City Place theatre into a spa? I'd take either.

WashingtonGardener said...

Yes, BB&B is the retail chain they are courting. If you've been to the new one at Gallery Place - check it out. It has a much wider inventory range than just sheets & towels -- aisles full of drugstore items and cosmetics.
I'd welcome it - everyone needs a new shower curtain eventually.

Anonymous said...

What! No one here is ranting that we don't want a "big box chain retailer that's part of some corporate behemoth" in City Place? Nobody is calling for a bunch of small shops in there that sell unique items, hand-made -- with a ban on anything that smacks of mass consumption?

What is happening? Is Silver Spring becoming "like the rest of America?" :-)

Hey, bring on BB&B or whatever!

Twoste said...

Yes! Finally. I spend so much time in Rockville anyways going to BB&B. Mmmmm, I can smell the Jojoba candles now.
But I'd be up for a limited release theater as well...the fact that you could only see "The Proposition" in Arlington was a crime.

perrik said...

I'd love to see more useful stores at City Place. Nifty boutiques are all well and fine, but what we could really use are stores that sell practical day-to-day items. BB&B is a great start - now let's get a hardware store! (no, not Home Despot - I mean an Ace Hardware affiliate or maybe a branch of Strosniders).

The AMC site is a puzzle. I'd love it if Landmark moved in, but it seems unlikely with the Majestic plus AFI Silver there. How about a second-run theatre that shows off-release films at low ticket prices?

thecourtyard said...

I would like to see a nightclub or even a concert venue in the theatre space - something that isn't reliant on street-level traffic, but it would be hard to get people up there if the rest of the mall were closed.

What I would really like though are a couple of nice stores in City Place. I don't want to gentrify the mall, but being able to buy some undies when I go to Silver Spring would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Perfect to buy stuff for all the new condos -- although I hope they never get rid of Marshall's (I love digging through the racks there).

Perrik - are you serious? Strosnider's is right across the street!! A much better location than inside a mall...

Anonymous said...

If this does turn out to be BB&B and they do indeed move into City Place this would be a big shot in the arm for the mall. Overrall I believe that the mall has potential - it's not a bad physical plant, it just needs better quality retailers. By that I mean local independents and chains (yes, they can coexist) that provide an enjoyable and useful shopping experience. The majority of the retailers in the mall, and I'm talking both the local independents and the chains, do not currently offer much of either.

Anonymous said...

Here's another thought - how come there's no Discovery Channel store in CP mall or anywhere else in DTSS for that matter?
Oh, and am I the only person who thinks McGinty's is a little disappointing? The food's ok-ish, the beer selection is so-so, the service is fine, but the real problem is that the actual design and layout of the pub is impersonal and lacks, dare I say, the "cute" factor! Where are the little nooks and crannies etc?

YoungNBrave said...

Agreed on McGintys! It needs to be beaten up. BB&B? Could be worse - like a Target.

Nate said...

The Strosniders next to Whole Foods is actually a really nice hardware store with surprisingly reasonable prices. No need for another one inside the mall, as someone else already mentioned. I think the mall needs more clothing shops both chain (Gap, Victoria's Secret, etc.) and unique, a decent CD/Video store, a major upgrade to the toy store, and more quirky/interesting shops. Something like a Circuit City or Best Buy would be great, too, but I doubt there's enough room. Maybe Grafitti Audio could come back to SS, they used to have that shop over on 16th Street . . .

perrik said...

What? I can't believe I've gone past the Strosniders so many times without my brain ever registering that it's there. Am I also missing a good pet supply store?

makes appointment with optometrist, evidently I need a stronger prescription!

WashingtonGardener said...

Yes, downtown SS needs a pet supply place - right now I go to Big Bad Wood on the DC-Takoma Park border. They are great - maybe they;ll open up a 2nd location on Georgia Ave?
I second the notion of the old AMC as a second-run or "$2.50" movie house. Ever since the $1 theater (name escapes me) on Georgia Ave got converted into a church and the theater on Flower Ave closed as well - this has been really lacking from our movie landscape. It would complete our selection of art films at AFI, mainstream at Majestic, then second-run or odd-ball stuff at the former-AMC.

Sligo said...

How about another drug store. I realize there's a CVS and Rite Aid ont the other side of the Metro, but who wants to walk that far in this kind of heat?

Anonymous said...

A lot of you have some good ideas--did you go to the community meeting about City Place mall a few weeks ago?

Anonymous said...

Big Box housewares are great in City Place - just what the mall needs - but we should keep them outside of the Ellsworth strip. Otherwise, we risk making Silver Spring another unidentifiable suburb.

A Gap or Old Navy would also be great inside the mall.

Unfortunately, the design of the mall is terrible (too few stores per store and the elevator is slow) - so it's hard for people to browse.

I disagree with folks about McGintys - I love the menu and the live music is great. There's a great "nook and cranny" to play darts on the first floor.

I'm The Decider said...

There are two factors that make City Place Mall (and, in fact, all of downtown Silver Spring) a hard sell for national retailers: 1) Retailers base their location decisions primarily on demographics. The top-line number is, of course, income. Silver Spring's demographic profile, I'm sure, presents executives with a great deal of confusion. Within a 1/2 mile of Downtown SS, there are million-dollar homes *and* public housing projects. Corporate expansion departments prefer monolithic areas, regions, neighbors. That's mostly because companies like to position themselves as appealing to either "upscale" or "discount" shoppers. There's very little in between. And Silver Spring is an "in-between" kind of place.

Opening a store in an area like Silver Spring means a chain store operator is taking a bit of a gamble. They might not find their target demographic here. It's not a sure thing. So, in the end, the economic, cultural, and racial diversity that makes Silver Spring such an attractive place to live for many of us, is--unfortunately-- exactly the thing that makes many retailers hesitant.

2) The second factor hindering expansion: Silver Spring's identity crisis. Who are we, and what do we want to be? There's so much hand-wringing here (and in the Gazette) about downtown SS "not becoming Bethesda" or some other "bland suburb" as a result of the mix of stores. These are unfounded fears. TO BE CONTINUED...

I'm The Decider said...

CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS POST...

Anyway, there are a lot of ideas for want we don't want Downtown to become, but I haven't seen any models for what the shopping district *could* be. (And as an aside, let me just say, Downtown Bethesda sucks. It's not because of the mix of stores (what stores!?). It's because Bethesda is one of these monolithic suburbs I mentioned above. To me that makes it a little boring. On the other hand, I hate "downtown" Takoma Park too. But we don't have to fear that SS will become like either of those places, because, as I mentioned above, the mix of people here ensures that we'll always get a quirky mix of chain retail establishments and local shops.

Anonymous said...

To "I'm the Decider" -- right on! Where have you been the past 21 years when many of us have been saying all this to our neighbors, to no avail!

Anonymous said...

To all those who gripe about Bethesda, what exactly don't you like about it? There's nothing terribly offensive about it--other than the general vibe of upscale-yness. But that has more to do with the people there than the mix of retailers.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about this proposal lately? Is BB and B still a possible addition to DTSS? On that subject, any word on the proposal to recruit Crate and Barrel? Finally, does anyone know who is taking over the IA Etc. space?