Sunday, September 17, 2017

City Sports space still up for lease at Bethesda Row as pop-up winds down

Don't give up hope on maybe getting another bookstore or medium-size retailer/restaurant in the old City Sports space on Arlington Road at Bethesda Row. The "pop-up" use of the 5786 SF vacant storefront by next-door neighbor Urban Country appears to be winding down. A leasing sign is in the front window. Note that the sign floats the idea of a "temporary lease," suggesting we could see another pop-up use in the near future.

But consider that Books-A-Million (a.k.a., BAM!) stores are as small as 4000 SF, and you realize this is a indeed a viable-if-not-ideal space for a bookstore. Now, if they could fit a 4000 SF BAM! store with a 1786 SF cafe area inside here, it might take some of the sting out of losing anchor Barnes & Noble at the end of the year. BAM! does have Joe Muggs cafes in many of its stores. On the other hand, the sidewalk width here is a bit cramped compared to the B&N plaza space, traffic noise is louder, and the BAM! inventory may not satisfy Bethesda demographics seeking more of a Politics & Prose experience.


Andrea said...

Trouble I see with this space is it is essentially at the end of Bethesda Row and facing outwards towards a fairy busy street with no retail on the other side.

FRIT really should have put retail on the Arlington side and kept the parking in back, but I guess they know their customer is insistent on front parking spaces. Giant could easily have had a useable facade for other stores though and better activated the corner and street.

Anonymous said...

The Books-A-Million in Bradley Center lasted only a few years. There is only one BAM left in the inner suburbs, in Greenbelt. Suggesting that Crown Books will open a store there is only slightly more silly.

Anonymous said...

There really aren't many things that would do well in that space.

Anonymous said...

The space stinks. And I'm sorry, but no bookstore can afford Bethesda Row rent.