Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Write the Power: Retail Edition

Since "the community" will get to decide what music will be allowed at The Fillmore, I think it's only fair that we get our say with regard to what new stores are added to the downtown area.

Petrie Ross Ventures' purchase of City Place last summer provided a glimmer of hope that the mall wouldn't remain craptacular in perpetuity. So far, however, there hasn't been a lot of visible progress in that regard. There's the addition of Steve & Barry's, although reaction to that has been mixed. At least this management company instills a little confidence with a professional website; the one from the previous owners was a complete joke. Of course, half of the featured stores listed (Moby Dick, Ben & Jerry’s, Noodles & Co. and Chipotle) can't REALLY be considered part of City Place, since you don't actually have to go into the mall. I bet if you did, their revenues would be cut in half.

According to their website, "A complete new merchandising, re-tenanting and face lift is already underway." I'd like to think that was true, but it couldn't hurt to provide them with some suggestions as to the kind of retailers the locals would like to see. You can use their contact form or give them a call at 410-573-3800.



Based on the empty storefronts I've seen like the one pictured above, the Downtown Silver Spring development still has a few open retail spaces, so it wouldn't hurt to provide suggestions to them, as well.

Thanks to Springvale Roader for the idea for this post.



26 comments:

Anonymous said...

My wife and I had this exact conversation during dinner tonight. A Gap? Something that might have some appeal to everyone. I can't tell you how many times I thought to myself "Gee, honey, let's check out Bombay & Co.". A guy can't even buy a pair of boxers in DTSS!

b said...

Nice City Place web site.They seem to be in the dark when it comes to their own tenants. Moby Dick Seafood? It's an Iranian Kebab house. An Iranian seafood restaurant would be something though.

rd said...

I kind of get the feeling Petrie Ross is waiting until they get more foot traffic through the mall by way of the planned tower before they kick it into HIGH gear with tenant rates and attempt to lure some better stores. Kick out Burlington and bring in Crate & Barrel, or better yet CB2...

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a Gamestop or EBGames type store.

Anonymous said...

We've all said it already: a crafts store, a fabric store, a Bed Bath and Beyond, a pharmacy, Old Navy, the Gap, nice clothing stores, etc. Anything other than the junk that is in there now. I live less than mile from City Place yet have not set foot in it in years. There is nothing there to bring me inside and the continuing presence of those stores tells me that the management is uninterested in change. I'd rather drive to the mall in Columbia if I have to go to a mall. In nearly 20 years of living in Silver Spring, that has been a constant--driving elsewhere to shop or obtain services.

DMZ said...

I, too, would love a GameStop. There's no place to buy new games, and the used selection at Hollywood Video and CDGX isn't very good.

Sligo said...

I think a GameStop would do well there. Right now you have to go all the way to Cherry Hill Road or Wheaton Plaza.

Springvale Roader said...

"A guy can't even buy a pair of boxers in DTSS!a' - Anonymous.

Truly, that says it all.

Say Sligo, have you contacted your fellow Silver Spring bloggers about this? A joint effort might pay off bigger dividends, since companies tend to pay attention when they're getting critical P.R. (like the Majestic, even though that fizzled out, the rat b*stards).

Anonymous said...

Whatever goes in should not be a chain. Rents should be based on ability to pay (subsidized by the county), and the distribution of space should reflect the ethnic, social, political and gender diversity of SS. No animal products should be sold and anyone operating there must strictly adhere to certain political viewpoints.

Dan Reed said...

Burnt Mills complained and letter-wrote their way to a Trader Joe's opening in their neighborhood. Surely, the Blogging Collective - with the help of our Commenting Collective - could do something even greater.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can letter-write our way into abolishing the ridiculous county-owned liquor stores. It's embarrasing that we can't buy beer & wine at a grocery store like the REST OF THE COUNTRY.

Sligo said...

And you can't buy 40's either, I believe. Cause that extra 8 ounces will make all the difference.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the arcade return, only better.

Springvale Roader said...

I agree with Anonymous @11:00 a.m., who wrote about potential stores:

"No animal products should be sold."

And here I thought I was the only vegan around.

City Palace said...

I certainly shop less than I would be inclined to because it is so freakin inconvenient to get to a decent mall or set of boutiques. I would gladly, gladly shop in DTSS rather than pull my hair out on the Rockville Pike, wonder why on earth the belt way is a parking lot on a Saturday, or fight with a 16 year old in a Mercedes for the only parking spot left at the Mongtomery Mall. The population density can support another shopping center. Retailers are missing an opportunity to do more business.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the lease plan, it shows that an Auntie Anne's Pretzels may be coming to City Place. However, the space where Gold's Gym and Ruby Tuesday are listed as blank, TBD, or just says Major Tenant. They could be gone soon.

Jimmy said...

"Burnt Mills complained and letter-wrote their way to a Trader Joe's opening in their neighborhood. Surely, the Blogging Collective - with the help of our Commenting Collective - could do something even greater."

Like Dean & DeLuca?

Terry in Silver Spring said...

I'd be thrilled if they could lure Nordstrom Rack back. Those were the days. ::sigh::

Thayer Ave., too said...

Has anyone mentioned the idea of bringing a Rodman's to the DTSS area?

And by the way, I was *hoping* that Anonymous at 11AM was writing with tongue in cheek. I would hope no one is proposing to check voter registration cards of potential merchants!

To follow Anonymous' very precise prescription, you'd have to allow Republicans a token Brooks Brothers, to represent their segment of the diverse SS population. And I'd bet we could expect to see our local blog commenter IHateYuppies. camped out with a bag of rotten tomatoes!

Sligo said...

I can only assume that the anonymous poster was joking.

As far as Rodman's, the problem is that the county would emasculate them by not permitting them to sell beer & wine, which is one of their strongest areas.

WB said...

"Since "the community" will get to decide what music will be allowed at The Fillmore"...

Just to clear this specific point up: the community will have zero legal say in deciding what music is played at the Fillmore.

The wording of the recently signed lease is very specific about this. In the section labeled "Tenant Indemnification for Artistic Content" the lease states: "The Landlord (i.e. the County) hereby acknowledges and agrees that it will have no approval rights with respect to the artistic content of the use of the Premises."

That silly "Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee" reports to the County Executive and has no legal teeth whatsover.

Anonymous said...

Yes, "Anonymous 11:00" was joking. But only from his own perspective. If you've been here long enough, you'll know that such limits are on some people's wish lists. There are "committed progressives" in SS who want no corporate ownership of retail, no politically incorrect shops (according to THEIR poltiics) and certainly no Republicans! Thankfully, the more I read this blog (and others around town) the more I begin to think that we're evolving into a more truly tolerant and inclusive (dare I call it "truly progressive?") community than we had a few years ago (the one that some people pine for, with its small array of dirty shops, its smelly alleys and its roach-infested "community-centered" restaurants. Let's pray that its so (oops! can we pray in SS without making some of the old-timers mad? :-) )

Niko said...

CB2 would be my dream. Has anyone tried calling or sending an e-mail

Rock Creek Villager said...

So how can we organize a letter writing campaign?

gobi said...

Just for the record, you can buy boxers in DTSS. If you go up to Burlington on a Saturday afternoon, you can see the selection in a big pile on the floor by the cash registers. Similarly, there's a big bin filled with boxers and other crap down at Marshalls, but you'll have to climb over piles of stuff all over the floor to get at it.

I was excited to go into the new Steve & Barry the other day, only to be confronted by the City Place shopping standard: loser shoppers making the biggest mess imaginable, and an understaffed store. It's revolting (and at least a little embarrassing). Ann Taylor doesn't have that problem. Pier 1 doesn't have that problem. Bombay didn't have that problem. Marimekko doesn't have that problem. The boutiques cropping up on Georgia don't have that problem. Heck, there are some stores in City Place that actually look nice. Granted, all of those stores don't cater to "discount shoppers," but christ on a mountainbike, can't people control themselves at all?

The stores in City Place aren't even all that busy, but most look like they just had a tornado.

end_rant

mkarns said...

While I think the county liquor store system should be abolished (who supports it except county bureaucrats, which may explain why it still exists?) the lack of beer and wine in most supermarkets is a statewide rule, not a county one. (BTW, I live close to and shop at the Gaithersburg Magruders which does have such beverages.) And 40 ouncers of all kinds of booze are sold in the county; if you're only finding 32's just look at another store.

Regarding City Place, the only places there I've bothered to go to are McGinty's and Taste of Morocco. Looking at the stores there, they're not necessarily awful but not mostly worth the trip for anyone not in the immediate vicinity, and from what I read here maybe not even for them.