Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet, We're Getting an Old Davy


It feels like only yesterday that City Place was going to become a outlet mall before it wasn't.

Photoshopping City Place must be some sort of new Internet meme, because there seems to be a new set of concept images popping up every month or so. This latest set of renderings (PDF) dated September 28th comes from Petrie Ross & Hutensky Capital Partners, and shows City Place rebranded generically as the "Galleria" (what, no Silver Plaza?).

In this latest plan, Shitty Place The Galleria will feature such popular anchor tenants as "Old Davy" and "H&W". There's no real info on actual tenants, and everyone's favorite store, Burlington Coat Factory, seems to be part of their plans. Interestingly, the design calls for the entire top floor, empty for years, to be converted into some sort of dinner theater.



45 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the owners put the money in to make Shitty Place actually look like that, It'd have a realistic chance of drawing people inside. I can't believe the current excuse for an entrance at Fenton/Ellsworth - there are tens of thousands of people walking past it every day and yet you wouldn't know what the doors lead to if you weren't already familiar with the space. Such a contrast between the Regal entrance and the mall entrance.

Learn Every Day said...

Interesting - the "GSE Shoe" logo looks a lot like DSW, which is across the street?!

Josh Ourisman said...

That's actually 'Oll Davy', not 'Old Davy'. A much more prestigious chain.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot like the mall in Columbia Heights. I don't mind, just do something with that sweet piece of real estate!

Anonymous said...

I love that the owners are thinking big--as in a nearly complete transformation of Shitty Place to, uh, Pretty Place. Let's hope they can pull it off.

The proposal shows quite a dramatic improvement, though I'm sure some in "the community" will scream that it's too much and we should run for our lives...kind of like the feared gridlock that never materialized after The Fillmore opened.

Question: how can the developer put a new entry & multi-story glass enclosure on the Ellsworth side? I thought that facade was designated historic and couldn't be altered?

P.S. If we ever got a comedy club in there they could call it Witty Place. Groaners, I know, but you try to find words that rhyme with City.

Anonymous said...

And yes, we all know what you could call it if there were a strip club in there : )

Anonymous said...

"some sort of dinner theater" is the most terrifying thing I've heard today.

Clancy said...

Wait a second, is that "10"-era Bo Derek on the sky bridge to the parking garage?

Isayaah Parker said...

This is a joke. We all know this is never going to happen, how many times are they going to come up with plans without action? As long as Shitty Place maintains its historic designation, it will continue to hinder Silver Spring as a DESTINATION for years to come. Bethesda and Rockville have managed to remain destinations due to NEW INVITING buildings while Silver Spring is stuck with a massive prison style concrete box that sits at its core. Yes we have Discovery, the Fillmore, the Civic Center, the new Library and Transit Center, but DOWNTOWN SILVER SPRING desperately needs RETAIL, and not just Rosta's Collections, DSW and American Apparel that are ALL OUTSIDE Shitty Place. That place needs an inviting, MODERN facade to replace that Soviet Union concrete wall. Major Retailers will never show any interest in that abomination as long as it looks like it does. Take it off the historic registry and remodel the facade and interior. It needs to be glass so that outsiders can look into the malls atrium's to see that, wait a minute, there's a mall there!

Anonymous said...

Isayaah, I can understand your skepticism given the past ideas for revitalizing City Place and DTSS in general, but from your comments it seems like you didn't even look at the renderings.

Look at them again and you'll see that most of the exterior is proposed to be completely redone, modernized and brightened with giant windows that allow views and light into the interior. They are even proposing improvements to the part of City Place is deemed 'historic' (it's only the facade, not the interior, of the old Hecht's building; about 35% of the total frontage on three streets). There are multiple new, multi-story glass entrances including on Colesville Rd. and Ellsworth Drive.

Finally, you say that DTSS needs retail and destination-type places. Again, if you just glance at the renderings you will see that is exactly what the developer is proposing.

Silver Spring has finally achieved the critical mass that quality retailers seek so that, along with what appears to be a very solid repositioning plan, hopefully means that City Place can finally reach its potential.

Now, if they can just come up with a more original name than Galleria.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

It would be very nice if this company would modernize City Place and bring in some new and more interesting shops.

That said, unlike Charlie Brown, I'm going to quit trying to kick that football until Lucy demonstrates that she's not going to pull it away.

Rebecca said...

Not very subtle with their fantasy tenants, are they? From the looks of this, it looks like they're hoping to get Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Jo-Ann Fabrics, H&M, Sports Authority, Chico's, DSW (oh wait...we already have that) and PF Chang's, in addition to the "Oll Davy". Since we're already dreaming here, I'd like to put in requests for Target ("Bullseye"?) and Trader Joe's ("Smuggler Jack's"?). Then I'd never have to use my car. Anyway, it'd be great if all this came to fruition, but I have my doubts.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later City Place will look like this. We're too rich of an area and adding too many residents for it to sit underutilized ad infinitum.

Anonymous said...

Redo the interior and the exterior, radically and maybe some decent quality retailers will consider this place as an option. Otherwise it's lipstick on a pig.

Isayaah Parker said...

Anonymous, you do realize that this is just ONE of several plans and this is not a concrete plan that is set for action right? They also have some fantasy about an office tower sitting on top of it and creating a discount outlet store theme within the mall. You fail to understand that a MALL is not the answer to retail in downtown silver spring, we need SHITTY PLACE to shut down as a mall and become some kind of hotel or museum and the new retail needs to be on the streets. You do realize that the blue-ish structure in the rendering that's on the the corner of the prison wall is merely an ADORNMENT and NOT a glass wall. You do realize that the glass structure on the Ellsworth side appears to be a DISPLAY wall and not windows as there are LARGE MANNEKINS. You do realize that this company has SAT on this project for years while giving residents promises that never come to fruition. You do realize that this rendering is NOT to be taken seriously because they are using botched major chain retail names to SHOW that they would HOPE such kind of retailers would fill the spots but as the company has proved, THEY ARE NOT CAPABLE OF LURING RETAILERS LIKE OLD NAVY to Shitty Place because it is far too shitty no matter how much mac make up they put on it or plan to put on it. Wheaton is right up the street anyway with tons of decent retail inside a REAL mall. Different from Wheaton, people come to Silver Spring for it's street life, not to park their cars and shop for wigs in Shitty Place. They want to enjoy the outdoor entertainment, the ice skating rink, the fillmore and hang out by the fountain, they don't want to walk around a drab mall even if Forever 21 is up in there. Put the Forever 21 on FENTON! ENOUGH ALREADY! They need to give up on this dead mall and focus on converting it into another use while luring retailers into street level spaces. END OF STORY.

Anonymous said...

END OF STORY.
Dear Lord I hope so. Quite a rant and a misinformed one at that. Isaayah doesn't understand how the commercial real estate development world works (or that these plans are CONCEPTS). The illustrations are marketing pieces designed to help sell the concept/vision to potential investors, retailers and (to a lesser extent) the community.

You are dreaming if you think any developer is going to tear down City Place without being allowed to build a 30 story building in it's place. Only then could they generate the revenue to justify the expense of removing the existing building (minus the section of facade that is protected).

Yes, we do need more street level retail and this proposal hels that cause by opening up the building to the outside (even better than what was done with Mazza Gallerie a few years back). There is still ample room for ground level retail in Fenton Village and virtually all the proposed devlepements there feature it.

This is the best proposal we've had for City Place in a long, long time and the developers are well-respected for their strong track record in successfully turning around distressed shopping centers like this.

Show some support, educate yourself on the development process and stop the enless negativity without being able to justify it.

Perry said...

Hopefully one of the Gazette reporters will contact Walter Petrie on what the latest plans are. The August 3rd Gazette article stated that they were going to make a decision on a new vision in the next 2 months.

Clearly that time is now.

Mr Wang said...

Malls are dead. The latest stats show mall vacancies at an all time high now. This place needs to be torn down and we can bring the big green rug back finally.so I can have my faux Chipotle picnic.

Anonymous said...

Malls are dead. The latest stats show mall vacancies at an all time high now

Don't be so quick to count out City Place. The statistic you cite is national but all real estate is hyper local. 95% of malls are in outlying suburban areas and/or primarily accessed by automobile traffic which is what is contributing significantly to their decline. City Place on the other hand is surrounded by 1000s of potential customs who can walk there (and more on the way with the multifamily projects under/nearing construction). On top of that it is a few blocks from a major transportation center and probably 2 blocks from the Purple Line. All malls are not created equal, primarily because of location, location, location

Justafed said...

OK, so let's calm down a bit.

1) As others have noted, this is Yet Another planning/architectural concept rather than an actual plan. That said it does seem to contain some information, In particular, a very small number of City Place current tenants are named in the floor plans. That *suggests* that I was right in a comment I made last week that the developers are trying to hustle pretty much everything else out of there.

2) Does look like Burlington Coat Factory must have an ironclad lease, since they are one of the chosen few to remain.

3) Most retail mock-ups like this actually do contain "mock" tenant signage to give an idea of what kind of tenants the developers are pursuing. To be honest, I think the "Oll Davy" space they show looks more like a "Suburban Infitters" slot, but I could be wrong.

4) About malls dying: many suburban malls are under pressure, but centers of this size/kind in more urban areas are holding up somewhat better as long as the downtown is still vital. So Friendship Heights (albeit very high end) and Columbia Heights seem to be doing fine, but both required some serious investment to get that way.

5) If you look at the floor plan, the "dinner theater" space is being pitched really just as another cinema. Which I find really dubious, so I assume it is just a place holder.

6) "D. P. Changs". Did anybody else wince at that?

7) Unlike the Borders slot, City Place has much better attention to attract a Bed Bath and Beyond. I am really unsure about Target, however, since the parking situation is not right for that.

8) Trader Joe's keeps on coming up in these discussions. I find that really unlikely until/if/when the Burnt Mills location has its lease come up.

9) Concerning the fact that the site has been spinning its wheels for quite some time: the reason for that is that Petrie bought this at exactly the wrong time and ended up catching a knife during the financial crisis. Hutensky Capital Partners bailed them out of their situation and is obviously the money behind this now (and they do have money). If you want evidence that something positive is going to happen, you will find it, as I suggested, in the fact that they have now almost completely emptied the place, which is stage one of a re-do.

10) I think the old office-on-top concept is unlikely at this point, since there are other sites in DTSS that would be much easier to do that with, were there to be demand for this.

Anonymous said...

More fail from DTSS. Yeah right.

DTSS loves having ghetto wig shops and countless hair salons. Thats how we roll.

Stop trying to gentrify us.

Isayaah Parker said...

Justafed pretty much hit the nail on the head. I agree with everything they said. Anonymous is hopelessly optimistic and angry at residents who have a right to be frustrated at this point.

Perry said...

Someone made a comment on an older post where many owners have trouble improving on one asset because they are dealing with the rest of their portfolio. I agree that's part of the reason. I have a strong feeling that Petrie/Hutensky have been focusing much of their attention on the Woodmore Towne Center at Glenarden (recent and extremely high profile openings of Wegmans, JcPenney, Best Buy, Costco) in Prince Georges County.

Anonymous said...

Everything Justafed said makes sense. I have no idea if the mall is going to get moving in the near term, but there are some real signs that ownership is serious about flipping City Place on its head sooner rather than later. Hopefully there are retailers out there that aren't clamped down in this economy - ownership can only do so much if they can't find retailers to tailor the space to.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and of course malls aren't dead. Sure, malls that sprawl out as far as the eye can see in the middle of nowhere are having trouble, but putting a few good retailers together in a building in the middle of downtown Silver Spring? Of course there's a market for that.

Clancy said...

Off Topic: Walking by the old Pier One store front today I noticed that there was some work going on inside (but no permits posted). It was difficult to see what was being done, but it was clear that new interior walls are being installed. If I had to guess, it looked like a small space with little nooks about the size of dressing rooms.

Also, it looks like the ice rink will open soon!

Mr Wang said...

Something strange about opening an Ice rink in October. Maybe we can have zombies on ice now.

Anonymous said...

As long as they keep the "Blue Pearl"....

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang: Zombies on Ice is a brilliant idea.

Information said...

Thanks for everything guys!

Alex said...

Thanks for everything!
Regards
Alex

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