Sunday, February 11, 2018

Renovation update: Collection at Chevy Chase (Photos)

The Collection at Chevy Chase has been hit hard by the flight of wealthy Montgomery County residents to lower-tax jurisdictions in recent years. Once the crown jewel of what was called "Montgomery County's Rodeo Drive," the building fronting Wisconsin Avenue is a jumble of shuttered storefronts and restaurants. As a result, the property is repositioning itself for a different target audience, and renovation work has been underway for several months.


Anonymous said...

How do you know that that's the reason why this high-end stretch of stores failed? Do you realize that Maryland was just ranked, again, number one in the country for millionaires? That's right, we have more millionaires here than any other state meaning very few have left. You need to stay out giving reasons for things that you don't understand. You're blog is good but you're not a reporter or analyst. The money is still very much here trust me on that. For whatever reason, ultra high-end works in NOVA but not here. Rolls and Bentley fly off the showroom floor but they couldn't make it in Bethesda.

Anonymous said...

You were expecting to find stores open at 3 AM on a Sunday morning?

Anonymous said...

In which blogger Robert Dyer gets caught trolling on Bethesda Beat.

Robert Dyer said...

6:20: I have presented actual statistics showing not only the people who left Montgomery County, but the exact amount of money they took with them to each neighboring jurisdiction. You are presenting anecdotal thoughts, by comparison.

I am a reporter, and an analyst, and that's why in covering this ongoing story of rich flight, I have relied on studies and statistics. The closures on "Rodeo Drive" here speak for themselves. The County's structural budget deficit speaks for itself. The money. Is. Gone.

"Maryland has the most millionaires in America?" Oops - they're probably in Howard County, not Montgomery County. Howard County is in the Top 10 richest counties; Montgomery County is not even on the Top 10 list!

Robert Dyer said...

6:25: I've never, ever posted a comment on that site. Embarrassing that I'm living rent free in your mind so much that you're imagining everyone is me.

Robert Dyer said...

6:23: The stores there are vacant; they're not open at 3:00 PM either. They went out of business, Einstein.

Anonymous said...

If Robert Dyer left Montgomery County, how much money would he take with him?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

7:12 - Exactly. Many stories like that are never sourced. Nothing backing it up. Again, Robert has zero idea why high end boutiques have closed in Friendship Heights just that the money is gone. Really? How many houses inside the Beltway can be purchased for even 600k? Not many. I have friends whose homes in Bethesda are 2.3 million. The money left? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

7:12am you mean like contacting a live person at Sears before falsely reporting they were closing?

Anonymous said...

So what exactly is the "update"?

This is just the same article you've published several times previously.

You added two photos of some kind of construction activity in the parking lot - rebar sticking out of the ground - but with no explanation. And it's hard to see, because of the darkness.

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures retard!! Thats cold blooded your mom charges rent for the basement?

Anonymous said...

"There is no denying Ralph Lauren (RL, +2.08%) is discovering the hard work it takes to repair its once iconic brand.

"The fashion company, trying to restore its luster after years of discounting and lower-end products cheapened its image, has been pulling out of many weak department stores and off-price discount stores and trying to wean customers off of the deals they’ve grown hooked to.

"The result has been precipitous declines in revenue, much like those at the near-luxury peers of Coach-parent Tapestry (TPR, +0.43%) and Michael Kors (KORS, -0.58%) as they’ve undertaken similar exercises. Ralph Lauren said on Thursday that comparable sales at its own North American stores fell 10% during the crucial holiday season quarter, worse than the 7% drop analysts had expected, according to Reuters. Company wide, net revenue in the quarter fell 4.4% to $1.64 billion, with strong sales in China taking some of the bite out of its North American problems. Its shares fell almost 4%."

Anonymous said...

Gucci - moved to CityCenter.

Christian Dior - moved to CityCenter.

Louis Vuitton - moved to CityCenter.

Bulgari - moved to CityCenter.

Barney's New York Co-op - moved to CityCenter.

(CityCenter is in Washington DC, not Loudoun County, VA nor Howard County, MD.)

DePandi - in business only 4 years. Was previously Bruno DePandi at White Flint DeadMall (future AMZHQ2).

Saks Jandel - owner retired. No other members of the family that owned the business were interested in taking it over.

Chico's - chain is struggling nationally, has shut 50 stores.

Meanwhile, almost 30 stores and restaurants closed in just over a year at Westfield Montgomery, yet no hand-wringing about "the rich are deserting MoCo" from Dyer.

Anonymous said...

Real estate is booming in Montgomery county, especially Chevy Chase. You are wrong as usual. Expensive homes and private schools are doing well! You’re a negative fear monger.

Anonymous said...

Turn it into a Super Walmart. It'll be the face of the new Chevy Chase.

Anonymous said...

Chevy Chase is the new Silver Spring. The County Council has flushed the entire County down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

The Collection was a flash in the pan. It has limped along ever since it opened in 2005. It never really attracted shoppers in the neighborhood. The heavy security presence in particular was off-putting.

Anonymous said...

The heavy security presence was necessary because the stores kept getting hit by organized shoplifting gangs.

Whether the rich are leaving is a sideshow to the real problems facing the county. The biggest is that the county is not generating revenue at a rate necessary to maintain service to keep pace with growth. We should all be concerned about that because it means higher tax rates or reduced services. Another is pointed out by one of these comments: private schools are flourishing. Why are those with the means to do so opting out of county schools? If that keeps up, the wealthy will feel less of a need to pay for public schools, and then we'll all have a problem.

Anonymous said...

6:37 PM - Robert can you provide a source for the studies and statistics to back up your claims? Try to convince me that you're right.

Anonymous said...

6:37 - My thought precisely.

Tim said...

"Nice pictures retard!! Thats cold blooded your mom charges rent for the basement?"

--> The Bethesda Magazine staff weighing in again. Sigh. Will they learn calling another writer a "retard" isn't a good look for them.

Robert Dyer said...

8:23: I linked to all of the articles that had the statistics for each point. That's why there are hyperlinks in the article, Einstein. The statistics show not only the money leaving, but also how much went to each of the counties from MoCo residents moving there. Somebody buying a $1 or $2 million house in Bethesda isn't exactly a tycoon. Mortgage, credit, daddy loans, smoke and mirrors more than Warren Buffet.

2:51: Thanks for listing all the closures. Many empty storefronts now. Is it surprising "no one in the family wanted to take over the business" if the big-money customers are now gone? Would you take over a declining business whose customers are no longer in the area? All just bolsters my point.

3:35: Real estate is always booming in Montgomery County. Again, we're not talking about doctors and lawyers moving to Virginia. It's the people with the real big bucks. Such as the citation by County Council staff that just 50 residents were responsible for a $21 million drop in revenue. Think about it.

6:53: Did you click on the convenient hyperlinks in the article? That's what they are there for. So I don't have to retype all the old articles again in the comments section.

Anonymous said...

"Mortgage, credit, daddy loans, smoke and mirrors more than Warren Buffet."


Robert Dyer said...

10:36: You need to get out and about in the 20816, old sport, and find out who's living there these days.

"My dear, you know absolutely nothing about prices."

- Bob Barker

Anonymous said...

20816 is not Bethesda. Or Chevy Chase.

Anonymous said...

Robert - mortgage, credit and daddy loans all = WEALTH. You wouldn't know it because you don't own any property as that is public record. BTW daddy loans = rich daddy = wealth and yes, it happens but it also means that likely the family is well off and gainfully employed. Hence, the booming real estate market for expensive homes in chevy chase and bethesda. You're just a negative, inexperienced person with a narrow agenda. This area is full of money, new and old. However, markets for retail are changing and the ultra rich and their kids are changing their spending habits which is not unusual.

Robert Dyer said...

5:09: That's factually incorrect, but probably not surprising coming from a carpetbagger like you.

People are just laughing at you right now. You sound like a complete idiot.

Robert Dyer said...

5:55: You are confusing well-off professionals with the ultra-wealthy. It's the latter who are leaving for Leesburg, McLean, and Howard County.

You don't have much expertise on what I own or don't own, but you're certainly creeping folks out to know that you're trying to run background checks on me to find out.

You're a negative, experienced person at being an apologist for the most incompetent, inept County Council in America.

The retail that was at the Collection was recession-proof and trend-proof, because the ultra-wealthy are not impacted by the economy the way Target shoppers are. But when the ultra-wealthy are fewer in number, suddenly the Collection was not viable anymore.

We have a $120,000,000 budget shortfall, despite massive real estate development, a massive tax increase, and record-level property taxes. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

"But when Gucci, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Barney's New York Co-op opened in CityCenterDC, suddenly the Collection was not viable anymore."

Anonymous said...

"Daddy loans = rich daddy = wealth and yes, it happens but it also means that likely the family is well off and gainfully employed."

Dyer denies this because it hits too close to home.

Anonymous said...

6:12. All of the above mentioned stores moved to City Center DC because of the location being right next to the Convention Center and the high end hotels nearby. With that large amount of foot traffic and convenience, the Collection was no longer relevant. The Collection didn’t close because of the perceived “lack of wealth “, it closed because there weren’t enough people who would normally shop at these stores. In addition, there wasn’t nearly the amount of foot traffic from other nearby offices or hotels to help compensate for the lack of customers.

Robert Dyer said...

6:12: Wrong. If their target customers still lived in Potomac and Chevy Chase, they wouldn't go all the way down to CityCenterDC to shop for the same stuff. Think about it.

6:37: But less than a decade ago, there was sufficient traffic. That's the point. The Council chased those folks out of the County. Now they are stuck trying to get tax blood out of a stone. Bankruptcy ahead, folks.

Did you know that if the County's debt were a government department, it would be the third-largest department in the County government?

6:30: I've never received a daddy loan, so it doesn't hit anywhere close to home for me.

Anonymous said...

"The Collection at Chevy Chase has been hit hard by the flight of wealthy Montgomery County residents to lower-tax jurisdictions in recent years"

You notice how every single article about CCC starts with the exact same line.

At this point Dyer is just trolling...and you guys keep taking the bait. He knows that this is unsubstantiated nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"You notice how every single article about CCC starts with the exact same line."

Actually about 90% of the content is repeated in each article. Dyer should have just made it a single article, with updates, pinned at the top of the homepage.

The only difference between this article and the previous five is the picture of the parking lot taken at 3 AM on a Sunday. Showing rebar that was recently installed there...but with no explanation for the readers.

Robert Dyer said...

7:43: Sorry, chump, each article had new information on the same topic. You never said Bethesda Now had to have just one article when they were propagandizing for Hans Riemer's disastrous "nighttime economy" initiative 5 years ago.

They had to scrape photos from Flickr, for God's sake. You've always had a beef because I've always had the photo content. "Turn his positives into negatives." Sorry, Saul Alinsky. Crawl back into the dumpster you came out of.

7:26: So unsubstantiated, that there are links to data in each article that totally back up what I've written. LOL

Anonymous said...

Wrong again Dyer. The ultra rich shop at the other nearby department stores for two reasons: better service and rewards. You don't know anything about luxury retail to comment. Dick Cheney's wife shops at Neiman Marcus regularly and never went to the collection shops for good reasons. Also, when those stores were full as you like to describe them, it wasn't b/c of ultrarich people; it was due to people shopping on credit and economic bubble which burst as we all know. You're pretty ignorant about this and you take retail closures as a way to make false connections. You would fit right into the crazy trump administration. i hear they are hiring!

Anonymous said...

Oh and Lynn Cheney lives in Virginia, yet she comes all the way to the neiman's in friendship heights to shop :)

Robert Dyer said...

8:22: The closures speak for themselves. You and Lynn Cheney together were not enough to make up for all the ultra-wealthy folks who have moved to Leesburg, McLean and Howard County.

Anonymous said...

"there are links to data in each article that totally back up what I've written."

Each link in Dyer's articles goes to other articles by Dyer. But trying to follow the links to find the "data" that Dyer claims is hidden somewhere in there, becomes like a dog chasing its own tail.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, you live in an echo chamber and can believe your own made up perceptions, but wealthy people are living and loving montgomery county. It's not perfect, but they are staying put. The ones who are leaving, none of whom you know or have any record of leaving besides your own blog posts repeating the same false things, do so for reasons related not to the county but due to the flexibility and/ or desires besides the county council, fool!

Robert Dyer said...

8:37: You're the one in the echo chamber. I've produced exact dollar amounts that the fleeing rich have taken to each competing jurisdiction in recent years.

You, in contrast, are just giving your anecdotal opinion. Someone leasing a Lexus is not the same as Jeff Bezos in terms of wealth. Neither is a couple who buy a $1M home in Bethesda. Most don't even have that $1M to their names. Well-off, or keeping up appearances, is not ultra-rich.

You do realize that nearly 70% of your neighbors voted to oust your beloved County Council in 2016, by approving term limits? You are in a minority (and probably in a Council office right now) in supporting the crooked County Council.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like the next Bethesda Magazine cover story: "We go shopping with Lynn Cheney as she dishes on her favorite MoCo boutiques"

Fits their reader demo to a tee.

Anonymous said...


Montgomery County GAINED wealth from:

$1.32 billion District Of Columbia, DC
$145.24 million Prince George's County, MD
$104.45 million Cook County, IL
$84.37 million Nassau County, NY
$72.95 million Middlesex County, MA (northwestern suburbs of Boston, including Cambridge)

Loudoun County gained wealth from:

$5.47 billion Fairfax County, VA
$280.38 million Arlington County, VA
$208.41 million Alexandria City, VA
$150.71 million District Of Columbia, DC

Loudoun County LOST wealth to:

$149.71 million Frederick County, VA (Winchester)
$149.41 million Jefferson County, WV
$125.68 million Clarke County, VA (Berryville)
$88.00 million Duval County, FL (Jacksonville)
$63.46 million Fauquier County, VA

Anonymous said...

The state of Maryland GAINED wealth from:

$2.99 billion New York
$2.31 billion New Jersey
$2.14 billion Maryland
$1.10 billion District of Columbia
$990.89 million Pennsylvania

The state of Virginia LOST wealth to:

$5.67 billion Florida
$3.55 billion North Carolina
$1.63 billion Texas
$1.31 billion South Carolina
$872.33 million Colorado

The District of Columbia LOST wealth to:

$3.52 billion Maryland
$1.10 billion Virginia
$643.66 million California
$589.73 million Florida
$431.14 million Texas

Robert Dyer said...

5:57: How dense can you be? You understandably want to keep talking about Maryland, Maryland, Maryland. We're not talking about Maryland! We're talking about Montgomery County.

It's Howard County and other jurisdictions in Maryland who have been gaining at our expense.

1:08: And how much money did Montgomery County LOSE to all of these jurisdictions? That's what the topic here is.

Anonymous said...

How bout you, as the blogger, post those stats if they exist? You pointed to your past blog posts to back up your claim but all the reader finds are past posts. Does that make sense? You can't make claims without showing hard facts or at least a direct quote from a Maryland business analyst which clearly you aren't. You would be better off just reporting that high end stores have closed.

Anonymous said...

Fairfax County lost nearly 13 times as much wealth to Loudoun County, as Montgomery County did.

Wealth gained by Loudoun County, VA

$5.47 billion from Fairfax County, VA
$433.96 million from Montgomery County, MD