Moleskine Shop to Open

Photo by Peter Hilton.

Moleskine-the official notebook of That Guy Sitting Next to You on the Bus Sketching Other Riders-is opening its first DC-area shop in Georgetown this winter. Similar to other segmented openings, the shop will begin with a “pop-up” for the holiday season. A full move-in will follow in 2015. It will occupy 3029 M St., which was most recently Scotch and Soda, and Betsy Johnson before that.

Moleskine notebooks have achieved an iconic status. You can recognize them by their typically black covers and straps:

This is an Eastbanc property, and an interesting tenant choice. The trend for M St. has been so uniformly towards clothing, that a stationary store like this is unusual. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Paul Goddin.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

3000 block of R St.

3000 block of R St.

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Update on Neam’s Market Building

Neam's Market Marvelous Market

Last week GM passed along the news he heard at the CAG meeting last week: that the Neam’s Market building (aka the Marvelous Market building) was in the process of being sold. He speculated that the likely purchaser would be a bank, namely because it seems like banks are willing to pay unreasonable sums to acquire highly visible buildings like this.

Well friend of GM, Carol Joynt, reached out to George Neam-whose family has owned the property for generations-and asked whether a bank was a likely tenant. “That’s not on my radar screen” was the answer.

That’s somewhat nebulous, but hopefully it nonetheless means no bank. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Ehpien.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Georgetown Metropolis

3100 block of Dumbarton St.

3100 block of Dumbarton St.

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Georgetown’s Retail Future and Why

Georgetown Retail Openings off to Good Start

Wednesday night, the Citizens Association of Georgetown hosted a fascinating evening talk with Eastbanc’s Anthony Lanier and the BID’s Joe Sternlieb. Honestly it was so packed with information and tidbits, that GM could hardly keep track. But here are some of the major take aways:

The reason Georgetowners are often disappointed in the state of Georgetown’s retail options is the Georgetown’s retail doesn’t need Georgetowners.

Sternlieb drew a comparison between Georgetown in 1990 and today. One of the starkest differences is that in 1990, Georgetown retail was equally dependent on Georgetown residents to be customers as it was dependent on DC residents generally, people from the DC region, and tourists.

Nowadays those first two categories are relatively insignificant to Georgetown retailers. Georgetowners don’t spend money at local stores like they used to. And DC residents have many more neighborhoods now to spend their money (and they also have shifted to online spending like Georgetowners). Georgetown retail still gets a healthy amount of money from regional customers (mostly Arlington residents, according to Sternlieb). But by far the largest category now is tourists.

This is a problem for many reasons. The first is that restaurants that target tourists don’t have to be very good. There will be a new crop of tourists next week. That turnover presents another problem. Georgetown has to constantly market itself if its primary customer base is brand new every single weekend.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Continue reading

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