Development of commercial areas of Kentlands : LUSENET : Kentlands : One Thread

Can anyone clarify for me the relationship of the developer (?)(Beatty Co.) of the commercial areas of the Kentlands to the rest of the community - do they own the property, or do they have a contract to lease the space? My husband and I are very disappointed by the commercial development here. It appears to us that many of the businesses moving in are not appropriate to the demographics of the community, while those businesses that would be appropriate are not coming in. What exactly is going on here?

-- claudia_salzberg (, February 18, 2000


I just learned of this bboard; I am writing to express my concern that the commercial ventures going in over in the shopping center areas are really not serving the community well. I'm assuming that the Beatty company are not marketing it properly; they don't seem to understand the demographic here at all. Putting in a Dress Barn instead of something like The Gap, for example, is really too bad. Over at Washingtonian Center I keep seeing stores that we'd love here: Pier One, Corner Bakery, Barnes and Noble. What would it take to get those stores or their equivalent

-- Steven Salzberg (, February 20, 2000.

I share your frustration with the shopping area. To start on a positive note, personally I think that the architecture is pretty good (everyone has different taste, obviously) and I have an aversion to parking decks like the one at Washingtonian so I'm not sorry that we don't have that. I am glad that we have small, independent stores included in the area. My fear is that the high rents will squeeze them out before the foot-traffic is sufficient to make the stores profitable.

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (, February 21, 2000.

[SORRY IF I SUBMITTED AN EARLIER VERSION OF THIS BEFORE I HAD FINISHED. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME POSTING ON HERE.] I share your frustration with the shopping area. To start on a positive note, personally I think that the architecture is pretty good (everyone has different taste, obviously) and I have an aversion to parking decks like the one at Washingtonian so I'm not sorry that we don't have that. I am glad that we have small, independent stores included in the area - there are no independents at Washingtonian. My fear is that the high rents will squeeze them out before the foot-traffic is sufficient to make the stores profitable. That leads me to this: it is very important that we all support these Kentlands stores. Instead of ordering CD's from we should be ordering from David at Arcadia - he can get almost anything within a few days at very fair prices. Insteading of buying wine at Shopper's Food Warehouse, we should be buying at the Wine Harvest, and so forth. Americans mourn the loss of old-fashioned downtowns and then they turn around and shop at Walmart. There is a long history to the shopping area that pre-dates my six years in Kentlands - someone should write it up. It includes fighting off Walmart and McDonald's and - yes - Target. As I recall the Beatty corporation was about the only player ready to come in and develop it. When Sunny's closing was announced, I made a bunch of frustration calls to people with the city and the developer. The responses were varied: that it's just a tough climate for retail development; that Beatty can basically do what he wants with his property; that Beatty is hard to deal with; that Beatty is an experienced developer with a good track record; that Beatty has lost his touch. I did not come away with any game plan for us as a community. I would welcome any ideas. For now I can only say again that we need to support the merchants and if you have any leads on potential businesses, that you encourage them to contact the City Economic Development Office (or Beatty).

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (, February 21, 2000.

I too like many of the small stores in the Main St area - I visit the Wine Harvest frequently and buy all my wine there now, and the new gourmet dessert shop is terrific. I think the look of the area is generally fine, but along Kentlands Blvd it was not well done - it's too far from the stores, and you can't see the stores in any case. I don't buy the argument (if Beatty Co. made such an argument) that it's a tough retail climate - as I mentioned previously, stores such as Pier One, The Corner Bakery, and Barnes and Noble all just moved in about 2 miles away in Washingtonian Center. It's a shame we didn't get them. Some obvious additions to Main St. would be: bookstores, such as a small specialty shop with travel or childrens books (which would do great in this neighborhood, with all the young children); a children's clothing store; a bike shop; a golf and tennis shop; a hobby shop. I wish the developers knew enough about this neighborhood to go out and seek such places. On the topic of how the shops are laid out, it's really a shame to have an ice cream shop with no place to sit outside (over by the movie theater). We went once with our then-2-year-old, but it's just too difficult to walk around with such a small child trying to carry an ice cream cone. And of course you can't take it in the car. Poor planning there. Perhaps it's not too late to put in some benches, at least.

-- Steven Salzberg (, February 22, 2000.

Independent retailers everywhere are being all but eliminated by large chains whose cost structures are more advantageous than smaller independents. Maryland and Montgomery County are no exception, and no amount of legislation or "planning" will change that. We do have a unique opportunity in Midtown, however, that can not be overlooked.

We have a very highly concentrated area of homes whose owners have both a demonstrated penchant for the "uncommon" and enough disposable income to satiate their preferences. Add in a county that limits liquor licenses, and we truly have a very unique environment that provides smaller, independent retailers a chance to compete on equal terms.

As one of those residents who prefer the less common, I enjoy several of the smaller, independent ventures that have taken root in Midtown. Unfortunately, as a business person, I also realize that there are certain facts that we can not deny.

Undoubtedly, a lot of people will point to our lack of a real anchor as one reason that many Midtown storefronts will either remain empty or go out of business. They will say that by pushing away the so called "box stores", we have in essence created a retail development with no anchor store. To a large extent, they will be correct, and, of course, some amateur planning that resulted in all of the Kentlands retail areas being so fragmented exasperates this situation.

However, I do not think the "anchor issue" is the primary business driver at play in Midtown. Even after the anchor issue resolves itself (hopefully with the addition of Harris Teeter), there are other rules of business that will still apply, and will eventually dictate the success or failure of Midtown occupants...

First and foremost among these rules is the fact that, absent millions of advertising and branding dollars, you can not sell commodities at a premium in a competitive market. What does that mean in Midtown?

It means that Wine Harvest has done well, and will continue to do well, because the folks who started it have developed and marketed a concept that can not be found on every street corner in every suburb of America. Their concept is not "commoditized".

Wine Harvest will succeed because they are not competing against any large multi-unit operators. What they have developed is "uncommon", and in a neighborhood full of people willing to spend their disposable income for the sake of pursuing a "less than common" lifestyle, Wine Harvest is well positioned to serve the market they are in.

On the other side of the coin, independent retailers trying to sell "catelog items" will eventually fail in Midtown. They will fail because typical Midtown shoppers, although very willing to spend a little extra for "something special", will not readily part their wallets and pay a premium for commodity goods. They will simply wait until they are near a chain retailer, or surfing the web, and purchase their commodites from the lowest price supplier (like pork bellies in Chicago).

How this will play out long-term is still up for grabs... I think it depends on a number of things: Will enough people think of and launch enough "less than common concepts" to fill a majority of the stores in Midtown? Will the chain stores start picking up the leases on empty retail space in Midtown (either because Beatty gives them a better deal, or they run out of other prime pads to occupy)?

Nobody knows how it will end, but this much is for sure: If someone has a good idea for a "less than common" shop or restaurant, it will be difficult for them to find a better place or time to launch it than Midtown.

-- joe paiva (, February 24, 2000.

I have read the questions and commentary regarding the Market Square project and wish to address some of your issues. First, let me say that the individual with the commentary on the customer use of the center truly has a handle on the understanding of how to keep the tenant base in business and ongoing.

As regards some of the questions. Beatty is the owner and developer of the Market Square. Market Square has been designed and developed under the guidelines set forth by the City of Gaithersburg with the input of the community.

The tenant mix at Market Square is very important as it works in concert for all tenants to reap the benefits of each other. Even though Kentlands is an above average demographic market it also has a diversity that can allow the K-Mart store in Kentlands Square to achieve top 10 national status. Therefore, without the presence of location and visibility to major arterial traffic Market Square becomes a mixed use retail project with an atmosphere of quality and stature while needing to create volumes of traffic for the benefit of the boutique stores. The greatest way to accomplish this is to provide goods and services in combination that will attract the largest number of customers from the broadest area available.

Unfortunately, the computer models used today by many of the major retailers in determining site selection have required components that are not immediately available at the Kentlands/Lakelands project. The visibility and access issues are of major importance. You must consider that the owners of The Gap, Pier One, Corner Bakery, Old Navy, etc. have many opportunities available to them as far as site selections are concerned. We believe in the Market Square and we believe in time it will germinate into a center that has an even greater appeal than it currently has. However, the reality remains that the project is hidden from the main traffic view and the location of competing centers (such as Washingtonian) has attracted the major retailers that we would have liked.

Regardless of the present position, we at Beatty will continue to pursue the most viable tenant base for the project and remain an active participant in the promotion and enhancement of the Market Square.

-- John M. Beatty (, February 28, 2000.

John Beatty: I wanted to specifically thank you for adding your perspective to this forum (February 28, below). I do wish others would come on-line with their ideas and suggestions - there is a lot of talk and at times grumbling off record, and it is good to clear the air as the individuals contributing here are doing.

John, from your vantage point, what might citizens do to contribute to your development effort. I can imagine you being cautious after seeing a group of Kentlanders leading the fight against bringing Target here, but I believe we are also seeing a new group come forward that wants to work with you in promoting development.

For those of us with other ideas to contribute to the development of Market Square, what are they?

-- Michael Berney (, February 28, 2000.

It is great to have all the contributions and especially to have Mr. Beatty add his perspective to the Market Square forum. Mr. Beatty, as you, and your father know, I spent a few years in contact with my favorite store, Trader Joe's, in an effort to have them locate in Gaithersburg and preferably in Market Square. Many people in the community joined in the effort with letter writing, phone calls, and even an ad in the Town Crier. We were persistent and excited that Trader Joe's executives were in contact with your company to negotiate for space. I believe they had many reasons for not locating in Market Square, one of which was the high rent. Could this be a major road block for other potential Market Square tenants? I had mixed feelings when I was informed that Trader Joe's will be opening this month in Montgomery Village on Lost Knife Road (close but not walkable!).

I know a community effort can influence large corporations and even small mom and pop establishments to look into the area. The owners of Giuseppi's on Booth Street first heard about the Kentlands retail space from a Kentlands resident who loved their restaurant in Rockville and encouraged them to pursue locating here. I would like to know what we as a community can do to help you attract desirable businesses? I have suggested to community members that they call you when they find a business they would love to see in Market Square. Will that help?

A few years ago a group of concerned citizens met to discuss the retail development of Market Square. I remember one of our concerns was that the Beatty company did not use a retail broker. Is this still true and could you possibly be missing out on tenants because of this?

I'd love to hear further input from Mr.Beatty and additional Kentlands/Lakelands community members.

Nannette Horan :)

-- Nannette Horan (, February 28, 2000.

Kentlands Stadium 8 in Market Square is THE BEST movie theater I have ever been in. For me, the problem is that it does not seem to show most of the big hits when they come out.

The following is from an article about a lawsuit concerning unfair trade practices that Holiday Productions, the owners of Kentlands Stadium 8, has filed (Gaithersburg Gazette, Feb 9):

"The lawsuit, filed in Circuit Court, alleges that Loews has exclusive rights to first-run, blockbuster films for its Loews Odeon Rio 14 theaters in Gaithersburg through deals tailored to exclude the small, independent Holiday Productions from showing the same films for its Kentlands Stadium 8 in Kentlands' Market Square."

Can anyone provide additional information on this matter? Is there anything that we, in the community, can do to help? I am not qualified to comment on marketing issues, but it's probably safe to assume that our movie theater's not being able to show most of the hit movies when they come out (sometimes the theater will luck out with a "sleeper") will also hurt other businesses in Market Square.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, February 29, 2000.

This in an excellent discussion and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed so far. I particularly want to thank John M. Beatty for contributing. I appreciate his willingness to share his thoughts from the landlord's perspective.

I grew up in an urban environment and one of my frustrations for many years living in the suburbs has been the inability to walk anywhere. Living in the Kentlands since Oct '98 has been a very pleasant change.

I will confess upfront that I am often perplexed at the economics of the commercial real estate business. In our old neighborhood we were dismayed when our favorite hardware store (Christopher's) decided to leave Muddy Branch Shopping Center because of a substantial rent increase and the space was left empty for years. I don't understand the advantage.

Having said that, my wife and I have had this continued exercise of wishing what types of stores will open up in the Market District. Unlike some of the respondents here, I frankly see little difference in a Dress Barn vs. a Gap. I also don't care if stores like Pier One, Barnes & Noble, and the Corner Bakery open here. None of them are "neighborhood" stores. The new Rio complex is fine and I enjoy many of the stores, but they are the same stores you can get anywhere. I think we should be encouraging stores that are locally owned and can get a significant share of their business from the neighborhood. I also am hoping for stores that have an attraction to different age groups. Even though I never used it, I thought it was good to have the game shop on Market Street.

We, too, had hoped that several of our favorite restaurants had come to the Market District. We and several other people encouraged the owner of the former Le Paradis (from the Festival Shopping Center) to consider relocating here. Alas, they did not and they have gone out of business. (Of course, they may or may not have been able to survive if they had. I have no idea of their situation.) The demise of the game store and Sonny's is, of course, the other side of the coin. A centralized, large chain will pull out for any number of reasons even if they are making some money.

If we could choose, what stores would we really like to see along Market Street and, hopefully before the next century, in the live-work units along Main Street and Hart Street?

-- Tom Marchessault (, March 01, 2000.

A wish list? Hmmm. Top on mine would be Politics and Prose--an independent bookstore and coffeehouse in Washington, D.C. (5015 Connecticut Ave. in D.C.)--or something very much like it. This store received Publishers Weekly's 1999 bookseller of the year award and is apparently very successful. Judging from the customers I see there, it appeals to virtually all age groups. There is a separate room with the children's books, which I think is really nice for little people. It seems I always see college students with their textbooks spread out on the tables in the coffee shop. Of course, there is story telling for children, poetry readings, etc.

Next on my list would be a REAL delicatessen. But is there such a thing anymore?

Then, a word shop would be great. I am always running out of words.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, March 01, 2000.

Kind of off the subject but....I was going around recently to all the local shopping areas to ask businesses to display a sign for the Quince Orchard High School production of "Bye Bye Birdie." Virtually all the chain stores/restaurants said "no," they weren't allowed to by their head offices, virtually all of the independents said "yes." This is one more indicator of the community spirit of such businesses and why we should support them.

Regarding the lawsuit brought by the movie theater owners - I was thrilled when I read this in the Gazette. I have spoken a couple of times with the person who books their movies, and she tells me that Rio gets a monopoly on many mainstream films, and for the more off- beat ones, the theaters in the District often have a monopoly for several weeks before other theaters can get them. This is also interesting: I read once that Sumner Redstone, one of the richest men in America (Viacom, Blockbuster, etc. I believe) got his start in his family's drive-in movie business. He faced exactly the same situation and successfully sued for access to more popular movies. I, too, would love to know if there is anything we can do to support the theatre in their effort with the lawsuit.

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (, March 02, 2000.

In response to Tom's message regarding the overall feel of Market Square, I would love to see it filled with great restaurants and independent stores, much like historic Charleston (I especially love the paint-your-own-pottery coffeeshop). However, my vision of neighborhood shopping comes from much closer to home, namely, our old neighborhood in Baltimore. We had within easy walking distance a wonderful organic bakery, an independent, and very popular, Mexican restaurant, a local supermarket that still kept "customer accounts" and delivered(!), a small children's bookstore, and an independent pharmacy. We also had a small mall very nearby with an outdoor courtyard which included primarily small boutiques (among them two children's clothing stores)- the only national stores there were a Williams Sonoma and a Talbots. (These shops, incidently, were completely hidden from the road.) I used to take my daughter there just to hang out, let her run around peaking in the windows while I sat and had a cup of coffee.

My vision is that Market Square will become a place where you go not primarily because you need to buy a particular thing, but because you actually want to BE there. More cafe-like restaurants with outdoor seating would be wonderful, but even just a bench or two would be helpful. Also, given the number of children in the community, I think it would be useful to target stores for children - clothing, children's safety items. I do recognize that this kind of development is the result of time and the particular character of an area, and that it will take time for Market Square to evolve. But I have to believe that a good, coherent marketing strategy would help get us there faster.

-- claudia salzberg (, March 02, 2000.

We, too, have been very concerned about the development in Market Square and eager to see it develop into a successful retail area. We love the fact that it's easily walkable from our house, so we want to have something worthwhile to which to which we can walk! First and foremost, we think it's important for Kentlands residents to patronize and support the shops that are there, even if their products are a few dollars more than what you'd get in a bit chain store. A good example of this is Kentlands Flowers and Bows, the wonderful flower shop run by Emily and Don. Their flowers are fresh and good-quality. Even better, we have established a personal, small-town-like relationship w/ the owners, unlike anything that would be possible at a place like Johnson's or the Giant flower shop. We always get a warm and friendly greeting. They know what we like and are always on the lookout for us. Second, I agree with the comments that have been made about our movie theater. I was delighted to see the article in the Gazette about the lawsuit and hope they are successful. It is dismaying to know that the big chain movie houses get all the first-run films, to the detriment of mom & pop operations like the Kentlands Stadium 8. In the meantime, my husband and I have decided that we will boycott Rio movie theaters (and wait till those films come out on video) except in very special cases. And we will do our best to patronize the Kentlands theater. In recent weeks we have seen "The Green Mile" and "Topsy Turvy" there-both excellent movies. Tonight we're going to see "The Insider," another one that's gotten excellent reviews. I think it's important for us to let the Market Square retailers know we're glad they're here, that they have our support, and to hang in there. I think the diner will be a big draw. My one big question is why restaurant are not waiting in line to be part of Market Square. It seems like such a good location, especially since Gaithersburg is so lacking in diverse restaurants. There is such a big market in this area of people w/ enough discretionary income to support eating out a lot, not to mention a large no. of working families who sometimes don't have time to cook. We moved here from near Wheaton, and the diversity of resturants there rivalled Bethesda. For example, we really miss having a good Thai or Vietnamese restaurant close by. At one time, I had heard that La Madeleine was going to open a branch here, but I guess that was just a rumor. Can Beatty please explain why more restaurants have not been chomping at the bit (no pun intended) to move or open here? I have heard that the rents are exorbitantly high. Is any proactive marketing of restaurants going on?

-- Dee Aronson (, March 03, 2000.

I would like to suggest a physical addition to Market Square: a sidewalk connecting the MJ Designs building (I gather we really ARE getting Harris Teeter?) and Zany Brainy. In the past I have been very frustrated by the lack of a safe walkway between the two buildings when I have my children in tow. The sidewalk along Kentland Blvd is useless for the stroller-impaired, necessitating a stroll through the parking lot. This has always seemed like a bizarre omission in a neighborhood trying to encourage walking. A nice, enticing walkway would also encourage shoppers at Harris Teeter to walk on over the Main Street. I think a sidewalk could be easily accomodated.

-- claudia salzberg (, March 03, 2000.

Actually, in the original charrette plan for Market Square that was presented to the community, the large "box" store that is now Zany Brainy was to have been lined with small shops FACING KENTLANDS BLVD. I believe that this would have helped considerably with pedestrian access between Zany Brainy and the MJ Designs building and, also, with integrating Zany Brainy with other stores in Market Square. As it is now, not only is Zany Brainy separated from the MJ Designs building by a large uninviting (to pedestrians) parking lot; sitting with its back to the other stores in Market Square, it seems to be separate from them, too.

I think the point Claudia Salzberg makes about the need for a walkway between the MJ Designs building and Zany Brainy is an important one. At the very least, there should be steps going from the sidewalk along Kentlands Blvd. down to the existing walkway to Zany Brainy. (There are already steps from the sidewalk for access to the MJ Designs building.)

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, March 05, 2000.

I agree that it is important for us to patronize the shops that are in Market Square. However, if this is going to require my paying more than I would have to at a big chain store or through the Internet, frankly, it will depend on how much more and for what.

As an example, when I lived in San Francisco, there was a lovely little independent stationary and card shop in the marina. It was located within a two-block stretch that was one of my favorite places to be. Often, I would go blocks out of my way, just to walk in that area. If I needed a card, I would buy it at that little stationary store. But for copy paper, which I used by the case, I would head for the large discount chain store. There, I could get paper for $2.75 a ream. At the stationary store the best I could do was $8.45 a ream. For copy paper, I am just not willing to pay that much of a premium. I think this goes back to what Joe Paiva said about a product or service being "commoditized" (see his comments above).

I do like the "less than common" and am willing to pay more for it. At the same time, as someone who lives in the Kentlands and does not just visit here, I like Jim Hubbard's concept of the commercial areas offering a "neighborhood shopping experience" (see his comments in the Kentlands discussion on The Meta Network Center site). I do not believe this precludes there being small, independent and/or "less than common" shops and restaurants in any of the commercial areas here, but it does suggest that there be a reasonable mix of businesses, with variety and balance.

In fact, maybe this is precisely what Kentlands, more than the vast majority of communities today, has to offer that is particularly unique: a really great neighborhood shopping experience. We are, after all, a walking community. The problem I am having is that, if we need for people to "flock here for a neighborhood shopping experience," in order for our merchants to succeed, will it still be a neighborhood shopping experience for those of us who live here? I have been trying to resolve this issue in my mind and would appreciate input from others. Where is the balance?

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, March 05, 2000.

I just returned from Raleigh. There's a store there in a mall that I think might be a good possibility for Mr. Beatty to try. It's Restoration Hardware, a chain that my daughter says only has branches in D.C. and Virginia so far. She, too,thinks it might do well in the Kentlands. It has both a popular appeal and unique merchandise that I think would attract customers outside the Kentlands.

-- Nora Caplan (, March 07, 2000.

Restoration Hardware is a place I've enjoyed shopping. I dread the trip to Alexanderia to shop but have been know to make the trek because I like their products. Nora, I hope your suggestion will be helpful to Mr.Beatty (And to any other developer in the Gaithersburg area) because I think Restoration Hardware would be very successful here!

-- Nannette Horan (, March 07, 2000.

I share Nora and Nanette's enthusiasm for Restoration Hardware. The Alexandria store is in an ideal urban setting on King Street near the major crossroads with Washington Street. In fact, it's also near a few other national chains that have adapted to a non-shopping mall environmnet.

Restoration Hardware, however, is definitely an upscale operation. Just price some of their furniture and nostalgic little gadgets. There is nothing wrong with being upscale, but I would imagine that their management would look first at Rockville Pike or Bethesda before considering what Beatty has put together thus far at Market Sq.

-- Bob Mauri (, March 08, 2000.

I know that Mr. Beatty has participated in this on-line discussion, but is Mr. Tom Natelli aware of our community bulletin board? Are there other individuals (bank? builders?) who should be part of this discussion? Otherwise, how will our suggestions/ideas be passed along to them?

Does or could Mr. Beatty and Mr. Natelli offer incentives to potential tenants? There are vacant units and some businesses have moved out already. With such high rentals and with many residential units in Lakelands not yet occupied, wouldn't a financial carrot for prospective businesses/services be an inducement to come to Market Square? Just as tax assessments are phased in over a three-year period, couldn't rents be treated similarly? I.e., rents might be discounted the first year in order to put down roots. Until the number of residences in Kentlands and especially Lakelands has increased significantly to provide the volume of customers needed to support businesses in Market /square, I think the developers need to do something to encourage and hang on to new businesses and services. The City has an economic advisor. Couldn't he help with this?

P.S.It was so good today (Sat.) to see all those cars in the parking lots near Michael's. I was sure that store would attract many customers outside the Kentlands. I just wish we could reach a compromise on further development--to have businesses that appeal to both Kentlanders and people who live in this general area. I really try to patronize some of the stores th

-- Nora Caplan (, March 12, 2000.

I agree with Nora. This would be a good place for folks involved with the planning and development of Kentlands/Lakelands to share their ideas, expectations, and iniatives. Also, it would be nice to get some information about stores and shops BEFORE the sign goes up. For example, something seems to be happening on Kentlands Blvd across from Zany. What will it be? When will it be completed? My feeling is that folks would be more accepting of some of the failed plans if we had a better idea of the larger picture and the expected timetable.

-- Joel Aronson (, March 17, 2000.

As usual, I am impressed with the number of participants and the quality of their input in this forum. Several items of interest; we have recently signed a lease with Baja Fresh for a location in the building under construction across from Bally's and have leases in varying stages of negotiation with three (3) ladies boutiques, an Italian restaurant, a very popular local Italian gourmet store with carry-out and dining, and a jewelry store.

In response to some of the questions asked; TraderJoe's visited KMS on three separate occasions and chose two different sites that were of initial interest. We were able to reach a financial deal with them, however, they ultimately turned down the locations feeling that there was not enough traffic for their type of business. In regard to our use of the commercial brokerage community, we have used the entire array of firms serving this area. In fact, last week I attended the annual International Council of Shopping Centers regional convention in Washington, D.C. where I personally met with every major brokerage firm and a variety of national and regional retailers, showing all the availability in KMS and asking for their assistance to complete our leasing program. Just for the record, fifteen of the existing tenants at KMS have been brought to us by the brokerage community.

We are excited about the current list of prospects entertaining leasing at KMS and look forward to sharing the results of our efforts in the near future. Please keep the ideas and specific tenants you wish to us to contact coming. This is truly a great way for us to understand who you will support and therefore have a better chance of surviving long term.

Thank you.

John M. Beatty

-- John M. Beatty (, March 21, 2000.

There was recently also an article in the Montgomery Journal regarding Kentlands Stadium 8's current struggle. Click Here to read the article

-- David Grossman (, March 31, 2000.

For all interested, today the Beatty Companies, in an effort to beautify the shopping center, have hung some paintings and photographs in the remaining vacancies on Market Street. The results are consistent with their past efforts to fulfill the promise of Market Square.

-- David Grossman (, April 06, 2000.

I do not see paintings or photographs. All I see are humongous, in-your-face posters advertising the services of a particular company. I might have found one or two of these posters, strategically placed, intriguing. But there are too many of them, and their presence on the block of Market Street that is just off Kentlands Boulevard is too ubiquitous. For me, the overall effect is to create a monolithic and oppressive feeling in Market Square. It is a good example of the adage, "More is not always better."

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, April 09, 2000.

I may have missed this in a previous discussion, but is there any indication as to what is going in across from the diner, in the building that is very similar to the diner?

-- Michael Heller (, April 17, 2000.

OK Fellow Citizens. Here is our chance to do something about midtown. I saw an advertisement in the last issue of the G-Burn Gazette that a restaurant called "Bullfeathers", currently in Montgomery Village was going out of business after a dispute with the landlord. The owner was actively looking for another location. Lets contact him and let him know about Kentlands/Lakelands and our midtown area with one building available. His number is in thephone book. I also believe Michelle Clarke knows him.

This is the same Bullfeathers located on Capitol Hill.

Jim Hubbard

-- Jim Hubbard (, April 24, 2000.

We do not feel that the absence of big box stores or the lack of a multi-level parking garage in or near Market Square are mistakes. To the contrary, we believe that these would only serve to detract from the unique small-town feel of the shopping area that makes Market Square so special. Actually, there is plenty of parking, although it is not covered and it may mean an individual must walk a couple of blocks from his/her car. But even the farthest spaces don't entail a walk that's any longer than the far-out spaces in a mall parking lot. And of course, the best part is that we who live here can actually leave our cars in the garage almost the entire weekend and WALK wherever we want. We had a cousin visiting from NYC for the holiday weekend and we were delighted to be able to show her that we, too, could walk to the movies, to a restaurant, etc. (She was pleasantly surprised!) So we are eagerly watching the retail spaces fill in and wondering what will happen with the vacant spaces. We continue to think this would be an ideal location for a variety of restaurants-there is an incredible lack of ethnic restaurants in the Gaithersburg/Germantown area. Jim, we would be happy to call Bullfeathers to urge them to look into moving into the empty space across from the diner. Can you please advise whom we should call? Do you have a name and a direct dial number or should we just call the main number and ask for the manager or owner? When Mr. Beatty last contributed to this bulletin board (3/21), he mentioned there were several retailers (including a couple of restaurants) with whom he was then negotiating. I'd be interested in knowing the status of those negotiations and whether anything has firmed up. Does anyone know whether there are any new retailers planning to locate here? P.S. We think the idea of putting a couple of benches outside the ice cream shop is wonderful! Whom does one contact to start the ball rolling with something like that?

-- Dee Aronson (, April 24, 2000.

At one point in recent memory, Bullfeathers had the best brunch, bar none, in Capitol Hill. They'd be a welcome addition here in KMS.

-- David Fetzer (, April 24, 2000.

It looks like the Japanese place is about to open. Does anyone have a date for it to happen?

And what will their menu be like?

-- Tom Marchessault (, April 24, 2000.

I have never eaten at Bullfeathers, but I checked out the menu for the one in Capitol Hill Bullfeathers Menu. Sounds great, to me.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, April 24, 2000.

To answer my own question, the Aku Bar will open this Saturday May 6

Plus, there is a sign of a jewelers coming in next to the AtoZ store.

Plus, I believe the dentist has opened or will in the next day or two.

-- Tom Marchessault (, May 04, 2000.

Well!! Last weeks Gazette contained an ad about Bullfeathers having to move from Mont. Village. This weeks Gazette contained a letter to the editor from the attorney representing Bullfeathers current landlord. According to the attorney, there was No roof leak, NO problem with the airconditioner. The problem was that the restaurant owners didn't pay their rent.

Maybe we shouldn't try to get Bullfeathers to come to Kentlands.

Just a thought.

Jim Hubbard

-- Jim Hubbard (, May 05, 2000.

Jim, sounds like a good thought.

As for the new Japanese restaurant opening in Market Square tomorrow, no menu has been posted in the window yet, but I peeked inside, and the interior looks really nice.

It has been exciting to watch the growth of restaurants in Kentlands. With the disappointment of some stores' closing up shop, we should not lose sight of the fact that, between the restaurants locating in Market Square and the ones on the other side of Kentlands Blvd, this area is offering more and more variety in the way of a neighborhood dining experience. Speaking of which, does anyone know if we are still getting a Mexican restaurant in Market Square?

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, May 05, 2000.

Does anyone know if there's any truth to the rumor we heard that the Hard Times Cafe is opening a restaurant in Kentlands? Our "wish list" contains a real New York-style deli, which we think would be extremely successful here. As of now, the closest REAL deli is probably in Baltimore!

-- Dee Aronson (, May 07, 2000.

As a native New Yorker, I, too, would LOVE to see a New York style deli. I actually enjoy The Celebrity Delly (I think that's how they spell it.) on Nebel St. in Rockville for both breakfast and lunch. I know they have another location. Perhaps they might be interested in a new location up here. As for Mexican food, my husband and I had lunch today at California Tortilla next to the OTHER stadium seating theater in Rockville. Am I allowed to mention that here? :) We both enjoyed the food. I imagine it's a chain, but I was not familiar with it. They might be a welcome addition since it looks like Market Square may shape up to be an eating mecca! I just hope we get good quality food, not just a good quantity of food! Hmmm... I'm getting hungry again.

-- Lauren Paiva (, May 17, 2000.

Some good news, especially for Kentlands and Lakelands residents, that Joel just found on the WTOP website!

(Gaithersburg-AP) -- A David and Goliath case in the movie theater business is ending with a victory for the little guy. The family-run company that owns Gaithersburg's Kentlands Stadium Eight theater is dropping its suit against Loews Cineplex. The suit charged the New York-based giant with using unfair trade practices to keep Kentlands from showing the most popular movies last year. Now, the companies have reached an agreement that will allow the Kentlands to show the same films as its nearby rival Cineplex Odeon Rio 14.

-- Dee Aronson (, May 19, 2000.

We have just learned that there will be a meeting about Market Square development on Wednesday, May 24, 7:30 p.m., at the Gaithersburg City Hall. Everyone interested in the retail development of Market Square should plan to attend. Bring your friends!

-- Joel Aronson (, May 19, 2000.

NOTE: According to Staff of the City's Department of Planning and Code Administration, the meeting noted in David Grossman's posting is a regular meeting of the City Planning Commission, at which one of the agenda items is a site plan amendment for Kentlands Market Square, captioned K-1084(x). This is the agenda item referred to in the signs you may have seen on or near the Market Square property.

K-1084(x) is a site plan amendment that relates only to dumpsters, dumpster enclosures, signage, and directional signs, and not to other Market Square issues. If you have any other issues, this would not be meeting at which to address them.

If you have any questions, please call the Department of Planning and Code Administration at 301-258-6330.

-- Dick Arkin (, May 19, 2000.

I heard on the radio that the Kentlands Stadium 8 has settled with the movie distributor and they will have access to all movies that are available to to the rio theaters.

-- Alan Kresse (, May 19, 2000.

I posted this elsewhere on the bulletin board last week, but thought it might be of interest given the most recent entry.


According to the Washington Post, patrons of the Kentlands Stadium 8 Cinema in Market Square can now see more first-run, high-grossing films as a result of a settlement with Loews Cineplex Inc. Holiday Productions, Inc., of Bethesda, which owns the Kentlands Cinema, sued Loews last February in Montgomery County Circuit Court. According to the Post, Holiday alleged that Loews had hurt business for the Kentlands theater by securing exclusive rights to many blockbuster movies for its Cineplex Odeon Rio 14 Cinema. The Cineplex theater is about two miles from Kentlands in the Rio Washingtonian Complex off Sam Eig Highway in Gaithersburg. The Post said that Loews persuaded some distributors not to license films shown at Rio to the nearby Kentlands Cinema at the same time. This meant that Kentlands moviegoers missed out on many of the most popular movies, according to Rockvillle lawyer Stephen Mercer, who represented Holiday. According to the Post, Loews denied that it engaged in improper or unlawful conduct in the agreement, but agreed with the the Kentlands Cinema that neither would ask distributors for exclusive rights to movies. The agreement took effect May 8, Mercer said.

-- Dick Arkin (, May 19, 2000.

-- Dick Arkin (, May 22, 2000.

Does anyone know whether Harris Teeter is still planning to move into the old MJ Designs space? We had initially heard about a summer arrival, and we're concerned because there's been absolutely no sign of any activity there.

We've been to the new Japanese restaurant a couple of times already, and we really like it. On one occasion, we took some friends visiting from out of town (very discerning eaters) and they liked it too!

We've heard that Play it Again Sports will not be coming here after all. We continue to be concerned about all the empty spaces and wonder if there's any sort of update on new retailers planning to set up shop.

-- Dee Aronson (, June 02, 2000.

Yesterday I spoke to the manager of Dress Barn and suggested they have an outdoor fashion show in Market Square. It should be advertised in the Gazette and other media so that area residents outside the Kentlands might be attracted. Perhaps music from ArCaDia could be provided. Flowers and Bows might furnish floral decorations. The Sweet Tooth Inn could hand out tiny samples. The Dress Barn could use some of their customers as models and hand out discount coupons.

Petsmart could sponsor a pet show/pet parade in Market Square. Would think our own Dr. David Handel might serve as advisor.

Our merchants need to try some innovative ways of advertising that could plug into the entertainment dimension of Market Square and attract non-Kentlands/Lakelands residents.

Today's art show and wine tasting are great examples of how to promote businesses in an entertaining way in the space that was designed for this kind of activity. Kudos to the Wine Harvest.

-- Nora Caplan (, June 04, 2000.

I like these ideas of Nora's. It has occurred to me--as we have been airing our various opinions about the commercial development in Kentlands--that maybe what is needed is an entirely new model. Trying to go back to some idealized past that really never was quite as we remember or imagine it creates unrealistic expectations, places an unfair burden on merchants, and may not, in any event, even be desirable in today's social context. Concluding, on the other hand, that conventional malls (strip or otherwise), discount stores and on-line shopping are the ONLY way of the future makes little more sense.

Maybe, the "something different" that some of us are looking for revolves less around any "it" that was lost and needs to be something more newly constructed. I am not sure what the specific elements of such a new model would, or should, be, but the kinds of suggestions that Nora is making sound like a solid place to start building one.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, June 15, 2000.

This is an update to Dee Aronson's question about the status of Harris Teeter at Kentlands. I was just in HT's Arlington/Ballston store, and talked to a guy working at Customer Service. He said that he had been sent up here from North Carolina specifically to be assigned to the Kentlands store. He is now being told that the store opening will be delayed from October to December or January, due to construction issues. This sounds plausible to me, and I am willing to accept it. HT is expanding aggressively in our metro area, with several more stores planned in Northerm Virginia, including one on Lee Hwy only a few miles from the Ballston unit, and two other stores in Montgomery County other than Kentlands. They could very well have fallen behind in the construction schedule. So, HT is apparently still coming; we just have to wait a little longer.

-- Bob Mauri (, June 22, 2000.

Great news! Have you seen the attractive pots of plants and flowers placed at intervals on Market Street and Centerpoint Way? Our thanks to the Beatty Corp. for adding these greatly needed beautification touches.

-- Nora Caplan (, June 23, 2000.

Congratulations to Robert Solomon (owner) for adding the large potted plants around the Boulevard Shops. Landscaping is especially welcome at this corner of Kentlands Boulevard and Booth Street.

-- Nora Caplan (, June 30, 2000.

Though there has been no traffic at this thread for nearly two months, maybe we need to get it going again. A friend of mine, whose mother owns a successful restaurant in Thailand and is planning to come to the US, wants to open a Thai restaurant (with her mother)in Kentlands. She called the Beatty Company to explore the idea and was told that Beatty "did not want to have too many Asian restaurants here." Any of you who know Thai food know that it bears no resemblance to Chinese or Japanese food and that there is little of it north of Rockville (nor Vietnamese, nor any other Southeast Asian cuisine). Dee and I have been encouraging the owner of every Thai restaurant we eat at to PLEASE think about locating in Kentlands. It upsets me greatly that someone who answers the phone at the Beatty office can decide unilaterally what food is available in MY village.

I'd certainly like to hear the Beatty side of this. Pizza, Tex-Mex, and Italian are fine, but ultimately ordinary and pretty much the same everywhere. We should be getting some shops that make Kentlands stand apart from the rest.

-- Joel Aronson (, September 09, 2000.

I agree with Joel Aronson that a Thai restaurant would be a nice additon to the Kentlands businesses. The Mid Town is starting to get a terrific old American feel--something that included elements from around the world and lent to community interation. Things like the Wine Harvest and the Star Diner attract people to come to dine and who then hang around to chat. I would think that it would be the place of the Beatty Company to refer inquiries to the proper committee who could give them information and inform them relative to whatever application process would be involved.

Anyone interested in remembering what we looked like nearly a decade ago, check out

-- Marion Perry (, September 14, 2000.

Has anyone heard the terrible news about the structure currently going up right on Kentlands Blvd. near the entrance to the Kentlands Square Shopping Center? I hope someone will tell me the information is inaccurate and that what I heard was just a rumor. Someone told me that the new structure is a Mattress Discounters! Yuck! How did this get by the same community that successfully fought off a Walmart, a McDonald's, and a Target?

-- Dee Aronson (, January 12, 2001.

I think I did hear that. I don't think it's going to be that large a buidling, though.

Also, my understanding that right at the circle it is going to be a Long & Foster office building.

Fox Camera has announced it's forthcoming preseence next to Haku Bar. Any rumours on any other stores in the area?

The Indian Restaurant is not going to make it by December, 2000. I wish stores would go back and fix such signs when it's clear that it won't happen.

How about where Annie's Gifts used to be or across from the Diner or across from the movie theater or where Sonny's used to be?

-- Tom Marchessault (, January 17, 2001.

My wife told me of a rumor that Harris Teeter backed out og their deal. People are still working on the building as of yesterday. Does anyone know if this rumor is true?

-- Jim Hubbard (, January 18, 2001.

The matress shack is a fait accomplis. But there is still time to save the downtown center from the Trumpiant (as in The Donald) office building that is proposed and ready to go next to the ice skating rink. At this moment this bucolic ground has a trailer sitting on it. An office building will not be an improvement.

-- steven schwartz (, January 20, 2001.

Steve I think you are a little late into the process, I do belive (but not totally sure) there is an approved SPD for the office building with a maximum of four stories. Although I do not agree with you, I think that is what is needed for that site. If you feel that strongly about not having a four story building at Market Street Square I do suggest you call the city of Gaithersburg Planning Department (301 258 6330) ask for Clark Wagner or Jennifer Russel to find out what the status is of the site and get involved. You can have an impact on the site and other sites (“matress shack”) if you get involved.

-- Bill Edens (, January 21, 2001.

Regarding the 4-story office building for Market Square, I would encourage anyone who is concerned about the building to realize that all of the plans for Kentlands have called for much more office development than we currently have. More office development = the potential for better retail. Office workers will patronize Market Square shops and restaurants, and add to the foot traffic in the area. We are desperately in need of more daytime traffic. It's important to realize that when individuals ask why Washingtonian has a very different retail mix from Kentlands, the proximity of office development is a factor.

I would also like to confirm that the building going up at the edge of the Lowe's parking lot is indeed the Long & Foster office building. When I checked with my husband John regarding the Mattress Discounters rumor, he replied that the Long & Foster building is currently the only one that has received Planning Commission approval.

-- Eileen Schlichting (, January 22, 2001.

Mea Culpa! My previous comment got confounded -- by me in the fast typing. To correct: the small building on the corner of Lowe's was approved as small retail, without a tenant. It should be a nice building, and signage will have to meet codes. The New Urban philosophy is that use is far less important than structure. The Long & Foster building is off the circle -- I thought the drawings looked very nice when they were on TV -- and it should increase visibility of Kentlands shopping as a whole. The one part I stand by is my comment that we desperately need more commercial development.

-- Eileen Schlichting (, January 23, 2001.

The rumors were indeed true. It will be a Mattress Discounter...groan

-- Tom M (, April 20, 2001.

Hey, don't knock it. A girl can never have enough mattresses, and they make great gifts, too. When Mattress Discounters opens here, I won't have to drive that pesky Rockville Pike every time I need one. I'll be able to just WALK to the store and (extra bonus for my flabby biceps) carry my mattress home with me.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (, April 20, 2001.

As a former Kentlands owner (but still living in the area), I am interested in the continued development of the Kentlands business district. Mr. Beatty indicated that they have done everything they can but the Kentlands business area doesn't have the right requirements for most of the larger retailers. I suspect that one of those requirements is adequate and accessible parking. The parking situation is difficult now and, should more resturants or high-traffic businesses finally locate in Market Square, will be impossible. I suspect that may be one of the reason that Flaps decided to pull out. I find it interesting that retail development at Washingtonian Center and King Farm seems to be going full steam. The Kentlands has excellent demographics and the surrounding area, especially to the south, only adds to that. And yet, the best that can be brought in is Mattress Discounters? I have to agree with others who say that Beatty may not be promoting the area correctly, whether that be by lack of promotion or promotion to the wrong market segment. I suspect the marketing has been inappropriate from the beginning. One only has to look at the type of businesses that were brought in - K- mart, a dollar store, Dress Barn - to realize that Beatty had more experience in marketing low-income strip malls than an upscale business area. By December 2002, MedImmune will be relocating it's headquarters just across Great Seneca. That will bring 300-400 well-paid professionals within walking distance of the Market Square area and I think the developer needs to use as leverage in convincing high-quality retailers and resturaunteurs to locate to the Kentlands. Eatzi's would be a good start! Mr. Beatty - perhaps it's time to admit you're out of your league and turn over development to someone else.

-- Former Kentlander (, July 21, 2001.

Former Kenlander wrote: >That will bring 300-400 well-paid professionals within walking >distance of the Market Square area and I think the developer needs >to use as leverage in convincing high-quality retailers and >resturaunteurs to >locate to the Kentlands. Eatzi's would be a good start! Mr. Beatty > - perhaps it's time to admit you're out of your league and >turn over development to someone else.

I couldn't agree more. I wonder if anyone can enlighten us as to how a particular developer gets the development rights, and how these could be turned over to someone else - or wrestled away if the developer is not making progress. The vacant sites in Market Sq., and the proliferation of low-end businesses, have been troubling me and many of my neighbors for a while now. Regarding parking, it seems obvious that one solution is multi-story garage space, which is exactly what Washingtonian Center has. I've heard the claims about people not liking garages, but Washingtonian Center's success proves that that's a red herring. Yes, I know it's expensive, but it's the only way to provide adequate parking while keeping the stores within walking distance. I assume this is a decision the developer has to make.

-- Steven Salzberg (, July 21, 2001.

If Beatty owns the land then no one is going to wrestle anything away from them without their consent (absent bankruptcy if the properties have mortgages).

If Beatty is just marketing the property for some other owner then the owner of the land/buildings decides whether or not Beatty is doing a good job (likely criteria is whether or not they are meeting certain returns on investment) with their marketing efforts. If they had cheap construction costs and higher than expected lease rates in the occupied stores then they very well could be achieving a modest return on investment even with the high vacancy rate. Best regards

-- Austin Decker (, July 26, 2001.

There is a horrible rumor that Beatty Management is thinking about taking the ice-skating rink and the space where a four story office building is planned,which is right in the middle of Market Square, and errecting a HIGH-RISE PARKING GARAGE IN ITS PLACE! I, along with many of the residents of our condominium development, are very upset!! First of all, many of us moved here to get the ombience of a small town.How many of us would like to look out our window at a parking garage!! What about the concept that the stores were for the people here, and that we would be able to walk to everything!! How about our property values going out the window with the parking garage! WHO would want to live here with a big, fat parking garage staring them in the face! I feel betrayed! If this is what they are planning to do, we the residents of Kentlands and Lakelands must unite to stop this from happening. What do more of you think out there. Let's hear from you!

-- Anne Lyn Radin (, September 05, 2001.

Putting a parking garage where the ice rink is would be yet another example of the terrible planning that seems to exemplify the Kentlands commercial district. While I do think that a parking garage is probably necessary if we want to attract more restaurants and businesses, it should take the place of some of the excessive blacktop we currently have, and be as inconspicuous as possible to residents - more underground than high rise, perhaps? How about the space to the right of Michaels? There are a number of areas of blacktop parking where a garage would have minimal visual impact on residents. Personally I would love to see the space by the rink turned into more of a village green area, perhaps with a fountain, which would serve the community and future occupants of the office building.

-- Claudia Salzberg (, September 06, 2001.

The following has been copied from the apartments thread. _______________________________________________________

With the exception of a few, I am suprised that more people were not interested/concerned about the hotel development mentioned in other postings above.

The extended stay america brand is a low/mid level brand. I agree that a hotel would be a nice addition, but not this one.

I am suprised by the lack of interest in discussing this hotel developer. This hotel could cause more negative impact on property values than the Upton's apartment complex. Only a few people showed up to the public hearing on Feb. 19th for the initial hotel hearing.

Let's not forget that a Studio Plus (same hotel company as E.S.A) extended stay hotel on the other side of Gaithersburg had a crystal meth drug lab broken up in recent years. Cheap rates and stoves attract this kind of clientele.

I agree with the Montgomery Village comparisons. The worst could be next. I recall 20 years that the lakefront and other homes in MV were quite desirable, not so anymore. Still nice houses, but people know it is a detoriating neighborhood.

The real problem in Montgomery Village now is Section 8 housing. Montgomery County is renting out and/or buying TH's/Houses/Condos in MV from owners and putting section 8 tenants in there. They have been doing this at a growing rate over the past 10 years. The Section 8 housing is spreading like the plague in MV.

Best regards,

Austin A. Decker

-- Austin A Decker (, February 24, 2002. ______________________________________________________

Presumably, the market that the proposed hotel would attract would be business people (remember, we are close to NIST, the proposed Medimmune complex across Great Seneca, and other biotech companies).

Some have even suggested that out of town visitors involved with games at the Germantown soccerplex might stay there on week-ends. Austin's alarmist comments about the proposed hotel remind me of those people a few years ago who were upset to learn that a K Mart was coming to Kentlands, and not the upscale regional mall that the local economy could no longer support. There were dire predictions of undesirables flocking to Kentlands and doing vulgar things like changing their car oil in the parking lot.

And now, several years later, folks are keeping their fingers crossed that this K Mart unit is not shut down as part of the Chapter 11 restructuring.

As for the comments on the deterioration of Montgomery Village, maybe I missed something in this discussion, but what is the connection between life over here and their problems?

-- R. Mauri (, February 26, 2002.

-- Rick Marvin (, February 27, 2002.

There are a large number of destinations nearby that would make a hotel in the Kentlands viable; MedImmune, GE, IBM, Hi-tech Incubator, University of MD at Shady Grove, Johns Hopkin, Shady Grove Adventist, the Life Sciences Center, NIST

Vistors to the senior center or large housing developments, wedding guests at the mansion or religious establishments all need someplace to stay.

Several years ago I tried to put together a partnership to build a small hotel in the Kentlands. The timing was wrong then, and MedImmune had not been proposed, so the partnership didn't happen. Now with MedImmune to draw vistors past the hotels next to the interstate it looks alot better. I think the hotel is a good idea.

-- Rick Marvin (, February 27, 2002.

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