Deal Close on Bringing Upscale Retailer Into Long-Vacant Lemon Twist Spot on Connecticut Ave.
'Middle-brow’ Chevy Chase Lake Shopping Center may be moving gradually toward higher-end retail.
An agreement is expected soon that will bring a new upscale retailer into the former Lemon Twist location on Connecticut Avenue in the heart of Chevy Chase Lake.
Mark Rittenberg, a principal and one of the three founders of AMR Commercial LLC, said his Bethesda-based firm is in the final stages of negotiations with two retailers and is expected to conclude an agreement with one of them, possibly within the next few weeks, that will bring a new retailer into the large spot next to the Manoli Canoli restaurant.
“We actually are in the middle of negotiations about it right now with a couple of possible tenants,” Rittenberg told Chevy Chase Patch late last week.
Asked if the new tenant would be a retailer or a restaurant, he said that “it would definitely be retail.”
The retail space has been empty for nearly a year, ever since Lemon Twist shuttered that location and moved into to a much smaller store across Connecticut Avenue, where the same owner operates a downsized version of Lemon Twist called Lemon Drop. It offers women’s clothing items and accessories like Vera Bradley handbags.
Rittenberg said the former Lemon Twist spot has been vacant for about a year, and noted that the Chevy Chase Land Company has made significant improvements and upgrades to the location.
“Chevy Chase Land Company is a very conscientious owner and they want to make sure they have the right sort of tenant there,” he said. “They’ve spent a good bit of money in upgrading,” he added.
Rittenberg said he could not disclose the names of either of the two retailers involved in the negotiations over the former Lemon Twist space, noting that he may have something more on the matter fairly soon.
The Chevy Chase Lake Shopping Center, with stores and restaurants on both sides of Connecticut Avenue, has been undergoing some significant changes lately, shifting slowly from a middle-brow mix of hardware stores, the Chevy Chase Supermarket, a lumber yard, three gas stations, and restaurants into an area attracting higher-end shops, most notably the Jos. A. Bank menswear shop.
The Lemon Twist and Lemon Drop stores are part of a small chain owned by Sally Prince of Chevy Chase. There are other stores locally (Lemon Chiffon in Arlington, for example) as well as outlets in Williamsburg, VA, Ponte Verde, FL, and New London, NH
Who’s the next ‘upscale’ tenant? Stay tuned.