New shops coming to Greenbelt, Berwyn Heights to fill store vacancies
Dollar Tree, Shoppers World to open in March
Businesses go and businesses come in Greenbelt and Berwyn Heights as shopping center owners seek to stave off the effects of the recession by filling store vacancies and maintain a healthy retail presence in the two municipalities.
Greenbelt's Greenway Center will see some new businesses as well as expansion of some existing businesses within the next two months. In March, Dollar Tree will occupy the former 10,000 square foot Pier 1 space in Greenway Center, said Linda Dreyer, a marketing manager at Combined Properties, the management and leasing company of the joint businesses located in Greenway Center. Pier 1 closed in early 2009.
For Eyes Optical, a center fixture since the early 1990s, is moving to a larger space in the center.
"For Eyes Optical has been so successful at Greenway Center that they will be doubling the size of their operation this year," said Dreyer, who added that several restaurants have expressed interest in the former Chesapeake Bagel space, which closed after its lease expired in 2008.
Dreyer credits the center's variety in remaining viable during the recession.
"We have a great location and tenant mix," Dreyer said. "There are grocery, clothing and health and fitness stores, everything you need."
Beltway Plaza will also increase its retail presence with the addition of Shoppers World, a discount department store, which will have a soft opening on Feb. 15 and a grand opening on March 1. Shoppers World will occupy 70,000 square foot of the former Value City Department Store, which closed in November 2008 and had a total of 110,000 square foot.
Beltway Plaza Spokesman Kap Kapastin said several companies had expressed interest in the remainder of the space, but he could not make any specific announcements likely until March.
"We are confident that 2010 will be a year of growth and renewal," Kapastin said.
Greenbelt resident Gary Williams is looking forward to visiting Shopper's World.
"I usually go to Target, but for clothing, Shoppers World sounds good to me," Williams said.
Resident Roger Wilson said he would like to see more Christian-based stores and a music store.
Beltway Plaza's music and entertainment store, F.Y.E., is closing at the end of the month when its lease runs out, Kapastin said.
"We don't really have any stores in Greenbelt that have good CDs," Wilson said. "And we need somewhere that people can go to get affordable Bibles and books about disciples. There's nothing like that out here."
The late-November closure of Blockbuster in Berwyn Heights will be partially filled by a new T-Mobile store, which is expected to open by the weekend, Kapastin said.
"The balance of the Blockbuster space of approximately 4,000 square feet [before T-Mobile moves in] has drawn considerable retailer interest due to its excellent location and visibility; however, we have no announcement to make at this time as to its eventual occupancy," Kapastin said.
Greenbelt Mayor Judith Davis said in the future she would like to see more retail stores, organic restaurants and bookstores, and hopes Greenbelters "just remain cognizant of the fact we have local stores and restaurants to patronize."