Dawson’s, Parking, Rent Major Issues on Rockville Town Square

Residents had three main concerns about Rockville Town Square at a Tuesday night meeting:

  • Fight to keep Dawson’s open.
  • Do something about the parking.
  • Examine what’s happening to rents that are forcing businesses out.

A couple of hundred people packed into a meeting room at VisArts to share their thoughts about what’s happening to the city’s central square and what should happen.

Town Square, constructed about 15 years ago, has lost Mellow Mushroom, a tony pizza chain. It’s about to lose the grocery store Dawson’s, which was added about six years ago, and Pandora Seafood House and Bar, which faces eviction.

Federal Realty Investment Trust owns the retail areas of the Square.

Nearly every mention of Dawson’s came from a resident who lamented losing it. Residents suggested it be replaced with a co-op or even a convenience store so that its high-profile location wouldn’t be left vacant.

Several people said parking in Rockville was a problem. There are spots that offer a free hour, and motorists can get parking validated, which some people said was too much of a hassle.

And then there was the rent.

The Pandora owner, Chris Zhu, fought back tears describing how she was unable to open her restaurant and was charged 60 percent more than other businesses.

Dierdre Johnson, vice president for asset management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, had no comment.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


3 Responses to “Dawson’s, Parking, Rent Major Issues on Rockville Town Square”

  1. Avatar
    On October 10, 2018 at 7:05 pm responded with... #

    I hope that the idea of expanding the town center shopping and pedestrian area, with more leisure seating and more social recreation, will be considered. Successful models from European countries and Latin America and Australia are all larger scale, allowing for extended time and varied activities. Mobile phone technology and affordable pricing would make long term stays in the center viable.

  2. Avatar
    On October 11, 2018 at 12:02 am responded with... #

    Federal Realty destroyed small businesses in Bethesda, and has for years with their exorbitant rents, their disdain for business owners and employees, their refusal to negotiate, and they balk at any needed repairs or simple upkeep. Bottom feeders, all they do is suck people dry. Rockville needs to look hard at this company and their tactics. Awful.

  3. Avatar
    On October 11, 2018 at 7:26 am responded with... #

    Parking is the problem at Rockville Town Center. Why should we go there when we have to pay to park or even have it validated? Parking should be free like it is at Rio, Crown and Montgomery Mall.

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