As I was walking down Maple yesterday evening (7/24/2018), I did a double-take at the former Merchant’s Tire and Auto building (Maple between Lawyers and Center). I hadn’t realized they had vacated that. But the Merchant’s website no longer lists the Vienna location.
There’s no way to know for sure whether or not this is a consequence of MAC zoning. I.e., is the property owner getting ready to put in a large MAC building there? The one sure thing is that this is a purpose-built large garage, and unless another national auto repair chain wants that space, the only alternative would be to tear it down.
I have now heard two conflicting stories as to why Merchant’s left, so I will revise an earlier edition of this and just leave it there. Whether the building owner would not renew the lease, or Merchant’s decided to pull out of Vienna based on profitability, I can’t say. The only hard fact is that they are gone.
FYI, the Merchant’s Tire building was constructed in 1975, and so presumably Merchant’s or some other auto repair has been there for more than 40 years. We can add this to the (former) Coldwell Banker building (Maple and Nutley), and start of list of recently vacated commercial property on the north side of Maple. Expect that list to grow in the coming months.