Dear PoPville – Why Do These Prime Locations Have Paint Stores?

3124 Mt. Pleasant St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Would love to dive into the funny question of why, on two of DC’s most interesting and thriving (though different) commercial corridors – 14th street and Mt. Pleasant St – we find two paint stores occupying prime locations, both with parking lots.

McCormick Paint at 3124 Mt Pleasant
Duron Paint at 2511 14th St

The Mt. Pleasant location seems so prime for either a Tryst-style coffee shop or restaurant, or maybe a great natural market (where the parking would come into play). The corner location would allow a ton of outdoor seating.

Duron has a backstory, I know, as they moved to allow the Whole Foods in. The space is so obviously underutilized. They only fill about 1/3 of the inside space, and the lot is generally mostly vacant (as with McCormick).

Is it something about the parking lots that keeps these lots from higher uses? Something about DC’s insatiable appetite for paint? And why paint alone instead of a large hardware store?

I’m sure both lots and owners have understandable backstories, but I find the fact that two large corner lots with parking on thriving commerical corridors are occupied by single-purpose paint stores to be perplexing.”

Ed. Note: An old corner paint store (also a McCormick) at the corner of 15th and P St, NW was converted into a Tortilla Coast restaurant.

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