Merchant’s Tire, 8/17/2018

Merchant’s Tire left the Town of Vienna last month.

And this month — Va Tire and Auto is moving in. My wife just spotted a help wanted sign.

Could I possibly have been more off-base in my prior post about Merchant’s Tire.  No, I don’t think so.  That was about as wrong as wrong gets.  For an economist, that showed a shocking lack of faith in the market.  Mea culpa.

Add this to the new 300-seat restaurant slated to open in the first floor of 133 Maple East.  (Bottom of this page.)

It’s hard to make the case that Maple Avenue retail is struggling.

Wonder if that will be true once MAC zoning adds a lot of new retail space?

Wonder how existing retailers feel about MAC adding all that new retail space?

Think I’ll start tracking exactly how much retail space is being force-added here in Vienna, courtesy of these most recently approved projects.  For reference, the entire Giant Food shopping center complex is just over 100,000 square feet, and there’s about 1M square feet of retail on all of Maple Avenue.

Off the top of my head, for projects in the pipeline:  Marco Polo (8000 sq ft), 444 Maple West (20,000 sq ft, less 3500 for loss of Tequila Grande), Mill Street Garage (maybe 8000), Sunrise assisted living at Maple and Center (8000).

So, as a working estimate, 40,000-ish additional square feet of retail space, already on the books, in these new projects.

For comparison, that’s more than the two shopping centers just up from Nutley (Jades and Vienna Plaza, which total about 34,000 square feet, combined.)

So, to put this in perspective, the Town is more-or-less mandating construction of new retail, equivalent to more than the combined square footage of Jades and Vienna Plaza shopping centers.  Builders have to include it in order to be able to build the more lucrative portion of the building (the housing, in the case of MAC-zoned buildings).  And all of that new space is upscale retail space with 15′ tall ceilings and glass fronts.

I wonder how that’s going to work out, from a supply-and-demand perspective?  I have yet to see anything, from the Town, suggesting what basis they have for assuming that this new retail will be viable retail space.