Have You Noticed The Storefront Next To The Dunkin Donuts Has Been Vacant Forever?

DSCN3330, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

It seems like such a prime spot on 14th Street. Why do you think it’s been vacant for so long? Rent simply too high?

12 Comment

  • A rare PoP mirror-shot!

  • Because small businesses have a 50% success rate, the economy is tanking, and it’s hard to get debt these days . . . sorry to be Debbie Downer, but small neighborhood-serving retail is hard to come by these days.

  • and not in his usual khakis shorts

  • Supposingly, a bank was slated to go into this location around the time of the Dunkin Donuts announcement. However, I guess times have changed. There are some vacanies across the street as well.

  • There have been a couple shootings in that particular vicinity in past weeks. Most recently, this past weekend near the youth community center a couple blocks south on 14th and Clifton. Unfortunate though, looks like it would make a decent spot for a casual small dining establishment maybe a Chipotle or something that differed from the offerings at Dunkin Donuts. If a retail business entered with a solid concept, it would bring some liveliness to an area that is somewhat quiet.

  • Economy and rental rates.

    Small business loans are drying up and the commercial ventures with a chance are those with name recognition. Not only because of name recognition but also they might have the ability to carry looses a bit longer until business picks up.

  • @ET — the franchises with “name recognition” are a lot of the ones that are negatively associated with strip malls.

    And owners still have to get debt in order to buy the franchise; the chances of which have diminished steadily over the last year. Consumers are just starting to feel the change. Developers have been feeling it for the last year and a half.

    I agree, that could be a good Chipotle or other fast casual restaurant location, providing not only good food but also job possibilities. Let’s hope something comes in soon.

  • Yep, combine the bad economy, high rents and frequent gun crime, and not a whole lot of foot traffic with fat wallets in the area and one sees its no wonder.

  • That place has been empty since the economy was rocking, debt was cheap and easy, and interest rates were low. So don’t blame it being empty on the economy. The building can’t see the condos there either. Maybe all the public housing to the south, west, and north of the building makes it a bad investment.

  • I live in the building and we know that a bank was supposed to go in, they even began framing the interior to spec, but all of a sudden one day they started dismantling what they had started and put up the “for lease” sign. Possibly a cooincidence, but a Coming Soon – Bank of America sign went up at DCUSA at exactly the same time.
    Our building is in a tough spot. Burried within almost all residential spaces (mostly subsidized), the street doens’t get the right kind of foot traffic. Dunkin’ has done very well – it seems – so anything is possible, but with all of the other retail space going in between U Street and the CH metro, competition is tough.
    You’d think a cool restaurant would fit in perfect with the side patio area connected to the space, but I doubt anyone would do that because the rat problem in the building next door is unbeleivable. It’s not uncommon to see 10 plus rates running around adjacent to that padio.

  • how about a chocolatier?

  • Tania: It’s more like 80% of small businesses fail in the first 5 years. It’s super-tough to get started unless you have a fantastic business model.

    Bogfrog: I’m wondering if a chocolatier would be successful in CH, not to mention in this economy. I typically see chocolatiers in upscale, high-end areas, not working-class neighborhoods where 60%+ of the residents are renters. Would a choclatier really fit the CH demographic?

    Also there is a crazy amount of crime in that area, and although foot traffic is heavy, street traffic though there is abysmal.

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