Glover Park Hardware Loses Its Longtime Lease
By Brady HoltCurrent Staff Writer
Glover Park Hardware announced Monday that it must abruptly relocate from its longtime location at 2251 Wisconsin Ave. next month, having lost its lease for the property with no replacement site yet determined.
The store will begin clearance sales in the new year before shutting its doors on Jan. 15, owner Gina Schaefer told The Current yesterday. Schaefer said lease renewal negotiations broke off suddenly about a month ago. “We had a deal and the landlord decided at the last minute to lease to someone else,” she wrote in an email. The store has been in place in Glover Park since 2005.
“It felt like the worst part of business,” Schaefer added. “We like to think of ourselves as members of the community and a desirable tenant. We are easy to negotiate with. None of that worked in our favor this time.”
Chesapeake Realty Partners, the building’s owner, is in the midst of a redevelopment project to construct apartments behind the older building housing the hardware store and a Washington Sports Clubs gym. The company’s co-chairman and chief operating officer, Josh Fidler, had told The Current in January 2013 that the project wouldn’t affect the retail tenants. Fidler couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
Schaefer wrote that she hopes to reopen Glover Park Hardware in the same area soon, adding that “we have a couple of sites we are working on,” though she declined to identify them. “We cannot anticipate how long this might be but we will try to minimize as much as possible,” she wrote of the closure period.
Employees will be shifted to other Ace Hardware stores she owns, including locations in Tenleytown and Woodley Park, and she added that she hopes customers will follow them until a new location opens. “We can’t express enough how much the Glover Park community means to us,” wrote Schaefer.
Jackie Blumenthal, who represents the area on the Glover Park advisory neighborhood commission, said she’d heard about earlier difficulties in the lease negotiations but had thought they were resolved.
“I am reaching out to people right now to see if we can create some kind of pressure to keep Ace Hardware in the neighborhood,” she said. “This will be a terrible thing for the neighborhood if they go.”
Blumenthal said she is also worried about the availability of another suitable space for the hardware store in Glover Park. The former training facility for the International Union of Operating Engineers (Local 99) is available at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Calvert Street, but Blumenthal said it might be too big. “That’s the only space I can think of that would be possible at this point,” she said.
This article appears in the Dec. 17 issue of The Georgetown Current newspaper.