Thursday, April 07, 2016

Connor Building continues to empty out of tenants in Bethesda (Photos)

C+M Interiors and Comfort One Shoes are the latest tenants vacating the vintage Connor Building at 7720 Wisconsin Avenue. C+M and Comfort One Shoes are moving, but only Comfort One left a forwarding address.

The shoe store is moving to 7920 Norfolk Avenue, a disappointing end to the Shake Shack Watch at that Douglas Development property.

As early as next year, the Connor Building will likely be demolished along with another classic structure, the motel next door visible in the top photo. In their place will rise a Westin hotel and office building, long-delayed by the moribund Montgomery County economy, which has failed to attract a major corporate headquarters for over a decade.





Ever notice that a majority of buildings
being demolished in downtown Bethesda
have the distinctive locally-sourced stone
facades?

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about the kabob place? Or is that in the next building over? Hard to tell from the street.

Also -- Dyer wrote "moribund" -- everybody drink!

Andrew said...

I am concerned about the stamp and coin store. That is literally a mom and pop business that Bethesda seems to have no place for anymore.

Robert Diller said...

Would a Shake Shack make it with Smashburger presumably struggling enough to want out of their lease, City Burger going under, and burger options already here such as Burger JNT and Five Guys?

Was there actually anything behind a Shake Shack rumor or just a wish list?

Anonymous said...

Such a shame to lose the stone facades. Give it 20-30 years and "reclaimed local stone" (massively expensive by then) will be the trend.

Anonymous said...

"long-delayed by the moribund Montgomery County economy, which has failed to attract a major corporate headquarters for over a decade"

Does the author realize that "attracting a major corporate headquarters" is most often insignificant in terms of overall long-term economic performance, and costs millions in public incentives? Hilton WW's move to Fairfax County in 2009 only netted 123,000 SF of office space occupancy and 300 new jobs, at a cost of $4.6 mil.

Labeling Montgomery County's economy as "moribund" is exactly counter to conventional industry knowledge. Montgomery County is growing at a much faster rate than Fairfax County according to recent Census estimates. The county has the most educated workforce in the region - and country - and has a growing employment base. The tenant-leveraged office conditions is a region-wide problem and a byproduct of GSA leasing pullbacks and downsizing. This should ease as federal budget restrictions are relaxed.

Notwithstanding, certain sectors and submarkets are outperforming. The booming biotech industry has driven vacancy in the sector down to well below 5% upcounty, and you would be hard pressed to find any large Class A blocks (>50,000 SF RBA) in Bethesda or Friendship Heights.

Anonymous said...

@7:52 Yeah I noticed that downtown Bethesda seems to have a niche market as headquarters for many private equity funds, mutual funds, and wealth managers, along with construction companies. I have no idea why -- maybe the people who work there tend to be quite rich and want to live near where they work, so they put site their offices there?

As for the MoCo growth rate, population is definitely increasing but that also increases the demand for services. Households use more government services than commercial tenants, so I think it's a matter of having a good mix of each to balance each other out in terms of revenues and service demand.

Anonymous said...

@7:52, we don't need no stinkin facts. This is Dyer-land, where you just repeat the same dumbass "moribund" line without actually thinking about how inane it is.

Anonymous said...

Any update on Benny Greenberg's moribund properties? The former homeless shelter? That place that is supposedly opening as "De Tapas" any day now?

On the other hand, Smashburger is doing fine. Thank God Benny doesn't own that one.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:46

Unfortunately, I think Dyer reported that Smashburger is terminating its lease soon...

Anonymous said...

I hope that Shake Shack opens a restaurant in first floor of the 50-story public housing building to be built on Westbard Avenue.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:37 AM - Dyer reports a lot of things that don't actually happen. For example, he also reported that Smashburger was closing, in January 2015. He seems to have a grudge against small properties that aren't owned by Benny Greenberg.

Robert Dyer said...

9:40: There you go again with your big fat lies. I did not report it was closing; I linked to a report on another website that said it was closing. The restaurant is currently for lease, which I DID report.

Did Frank get his pizza from Pizza Pass? Did Bethesda Barbecue Company reopen? No and no. Why aren't you posting comments on the website that filed those reports? Because you're from that website?

You're still "Dumass material all the way," moron- https://youtu.be/Jemkrew4mFU

Anonymous said...

Dyer also reported that the tennis court in Battery Lane Park was being closed permanently when it was actually just being rebuilt. Much nicer now!

"I did not report it was closing; I linked to a report on another website that said it was closing."

The buck (doesn't) stop here. LOL

Did he ever shovel his sidewalk following the blizzard, or did he just wait for it to melt?

Anonymous said...

Movers were carrying the fixtures out of Bethesda Barbecue Company and folks were still reporting that they weren't closing "because that's what we were told".

No wonder Reamer loves his favorite blog so much, they'll eat anything up with questioning.

Robert Dyer said...

10:08: Lying again. I reported that they didn't post a sign or tell residents what they were doing. Wake up, moron.

Your guys didn't shovel their sidewalks, Mr. Dumass. And your man Hans spent $6 million+ taxpayer money on his sidewalk shoveling law, and it was a complete failure.

Anonymous said...

And there he goes again with the "$6 million" bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Dyer didn't report that it was closing. He merely pointed out that something was going on and gave us his conspiracy theory opinions on what might or might not have been happening without actually checking into it first.

Turn out it was just a repaving was it? Without notification. Oh my.

Anonymous said...

Lots of what Dyer says does make sense but "Han's spent $6 million+ taxpayer money on his sidewalk shoveling law, and it was a complete failure" is completely illogical.

The sidewalk shoveling law was a small portion for education and enforcement. Like $100,000 of $6,000,000.

Anonymous said...

That would be like saying Dyer is a complete failure because he didn't win when he ran for office. It ignores the fact that he runs a hot infamous blog and is an internationally released recording artist and producer! That's just not right!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that as the number of tenants in the Connor Building declines, its parking still seems to be full most of the time.

Anonymous said...

We park there when we go to dinner at Black's all the time. It is very convenient.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:30 PM, 1:57 PM - Probably related to the new laws on "predatory towing".

Anonymous said...


Regular readers should know better than to take any of Dyer's rants seriously. The fact that he insults his readers, including using profanity (on another post) just hurts his credibility even more.

I only continue to frequent this site for the far much more useful updates of developments and business openings around Bethesda, rather than the conjecture.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! The scoops and upcoming development news is great.

Robert Dyer said...

6:30: You not only just lied again - I have never used profanity on this website, I have never insulted an actual reader (but have dealt firmly with trolls like you) - but this is about the 23rd time you've posted this same spam comment about "I'm only here for the news!!!" At least come up with a new comment.

Anonymous said...

"[I] have dealt firmly with trolls like you"

By insulting them and using profanity. LOL, "dumass".

Anonymous said...

6:50 - if the shoe fits...

6:30 AM said...

Also can't take him seriously when he calls anyone a liar. Since his entire post at 6:36 is full of blatant lies.

6:50 Points out one of his favorite uses of profanity (that he can't even properly spell) and juvenile insults.

I might have mentioned once before that I appreciated the news on this site. I don't even know how you could possibly know since everyone posts anonymously (a policy I recommend you change)

The ironic thing is that Dyer labels anyone who disagrees with his ridiculous opinions and stances as a "troll," when he himself shows the most "troll-like" behavior.

Anonymous said...

6:50 - Since I think you don't know this ---Dumass is like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. A made up word from a production. Mary Poppins in one case, an A%W root beer ad for the other. In the ad, a job prospect mispronounces the interviewer's name.

I've posted things against his views and he hasn't called me a troll or deleted my posts. Of course, I don't blatantly insult him either.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment,

Anonymous said...

Excellent comment.

Anonymous said...

My experience as well. Your posts will be left without comment if they are civil,

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Robert accepts all civil posts, including that that counter his opinions.

Anonymous said...

Does "Dumass" not count for profanity? You use it regularly.

Trolls are readers too. They have feelings just like real people. To say you have never insulted an actual reader is hardly accurate.

Many of us appreciate the news here. It's good. You want us to not say it is? Many of us also dislike the commentary. Hardly something to argue with if it is someone's opinion...

Anonymous said...

So Dyer lied then when he never said he used profanity or insulted anyone?

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed.

Anonymous said...

Sure, he leaves plenty of civil counter opinions and questions but conveniently never answers or addresses them.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. That's where we see the #DodgingDyer themes and MO.

Anonymous said...

"Dumass is like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. A made up word from a production. Mary Poppins in one case, an A%W root beer ad for the other. In the ad, a job prospect mispronounces the interviewer's name."

"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" is a completely made-up word that doesn't sound like anything.

"Dumass" on the other hand, sounds exactly like... wait for it... "dumb ass". If it didn't, there would be no point to that A&W root beer ad.

"Oh, what a tangled web they weave, when the Dyers practice to deceive."

Anonymous said...

Here is a list of 9 hallmarks of trolling:

1) Gish Galloping or creating straw men instead of responding to the points a target makes.

2) Insisting they know what a target really means instead of taking responses at face value.

3)Posing an endless series of questions to create more grist for trolling.

4) A seeming inability to acknowledge that other people may have different, valid opinions.

5) Attempts to score points with a perceived audience rather than engage in direct dialogue.

6) Taking a target’s statements out of context by twisting single words and short phrases.

7) Failing to cite sources or citing sources that don’t back up claims.

8) Focusing on criticism and complaints to the exclusion of solutions.

9) Quickly devolving into ad hominem arguments.

Which of these behaviors has Dyer demonstrated? All nine, in my experience.

Robert Dyer said...

12:12: Uh, no it doesn't. You can't use profanity on broadcast TV and the A&W ad using the name "Dumass" was on every network. In an age of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and 13 year old girls cursing like sailors in every social media post, you sound like a complete moron whining about a corny root beer ad.

3:25: mo·ron
(ˈmôrˌän) noun, informal. A stupid person.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you just say you don't insult readers?

Anonymous said...

3:25 - as explained to you previously, you and 90% of the commenters fit those hallmarks. It's his blog...trolling doesn't apply.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:53 PM - Dyer lives by the troll-sword, and dies (metaphorically) by the troll-sword.

"13 year old girls cursing like sailors in every social media post"

I hope you don't follow them too closely. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this big really just a big troll of Montgomery County?

Anonymous said...

Dyer's blog is a troll of Montgomery county if you go by his measure of opposing views being trolling.