1200 block of 35th St.
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Last Thursday GM was passing by the construction at the old Georgetown Theater and saw that the workers were finally taking down the scaffolding. You can now see the restored stucco facade, with all the awful formstone stripped away.
The facade is meant to restore the theater to how it appeared for a short time in the mid-20th century, before the Heon family purchased it in 1949. Before that time it was called the Dumbarton and looked like this:
As mentioned on Monday, GM has finally gotten around to his annual census of stores in Georgetown. His tardiness means that this census reflects more like 15 months, than 12 months, but it nonetheless presents a snapshot of how commercial Georgetown looks right now.
Before going further, GM should mention a little bit about his methodology. First, it’s important to know that it’s more of an art than a science. The term “shop” as used here refers to just about all commercial establishments: retail stores, restaurants, salons, gyms, etc. GM doesn’t count pure office space. The rule of thumb GM uses is if you can walk in without an appointment, it’s a shop. But again, sometimes it’s a close call. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
This year GM counted a total of 506 shops in Georgetown. That’s a slight drop from last year’s total of 508. As you’ll see, that doesn’t mean that there was only a net loss of two shops. Every year GM picks up a few shops that he simply failed to count in previous years. So, as you’ll see, there was a larger net loss of stores than two.
As mentioned Monday, here’s the breakdown of openings and closings:
- Shops opened since Mar. 2014: 43
- Shops closed since Mar. 2014: 51
- Shops the moved within Georgetown: 12
So the actual net loss eight, not two. (And even that number is a little skewed by Macaron Bee, which closed it’s Wisconsin Ave location and merged it with Lady Camelia. GM counted that as a move. Again: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Last year GM counted a net gain of nine shops. So this is a big turnaround, although it might be more in line with previous years. 2012 and 2013 had net losses of 35 and 13 respectively. Much of this can be explained by the mall. In 2013 the last wave of construction-related closures drove up the numbers. And in 2014, the repopulation of the finished product goosed the openings a bit.
The most stores GM ever counted was 527. With the mall reconfiguration, we’ll probably never see that many shops again. But there are still a bunch of vacant spaces and buildings yet-to-come that will provide opportunities for us to at least get a lot closer to that high water mark. Continue reading