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Monday, October 10, 2016

You Can't Have Your Cheescake and Country Too

I've posted this before but its so far back in the blog now its lost.  I often get asked for a few of the same restaurants over and over.  Cheescake Factory and P.F. Changs are at the top of the list.  Then there are the high end grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

Why don't they come?  What stops them from opening up here?  Well here are the requirements they look for:

Population - The biggest factor.  The entire population for Charles County is estimated around 156,118, Calvert 90,595, St. Mary's 111,413.  Places like the above mentioned restaurants want a daytime population of somewhere in the area of 300,000 within a 3-5 mile radius of the location.  Currently the estimated daytime population of the mall within 5 miles is estimated at just under 80,000.  They want the restaurant packed at lunch and dinner. They want dense urban areas.

Demographics - workforce, high school and college graduates, number of households, average household incomes, retired or working, age, race, sex.  Our incomes are good but not enough houses. Also mentioned by some that we didn't have enough college graduates.  Did you know you needed a diploma to buy food?

Roads - Are we close to the beltway? How many vehicles per day pass the site?

Government - Are they easy to work with? Do they want growth?  Are they business friendly? Any incentives to come to the area?  How long will the process take to get our site approved?

Attractions - What pulls people to the area? Historic sites, large venues, sporting arenas, tourism, casinos, amusement parks.

Land -  They want high profile corner sites with traffic lights and ease of access for their patrons.   They want sites along Crain Highway and we are running out of them.  Many that are out there have wetlands running thru them and you can't build near that.  Storm water regulations take up more of the land so you either build a smaller space or have to buy a larger site.


So we either have to build houses and apartment and become a densely populated area which is not going to happen or stay a little country, a little city and be happy.



23 comments:

hammockbrain said...

Not that we really need these places but there are people who use 301 as a workaround to avoid the beltway to get to a from Fredericksburg and south and Washington and the north or even to avoid Baltimore by going across the Bay Bridge. What we really need is a good brewery.

Anonymous said...

Not sure a brewery would work but I think that a restaurant that focuses more on craft beers would do well on 301. Especially with the growing popularity of craft beers throughout Maryland and the US. Maybe a lesser known chain like Old Chicago or Pies and Pints.

hammockbrain said...

Boston's usually has a good beer list as does Red Oak in La Plata. Craft beer has become pretty popular, breweries are popping up all over the place.

Anonymous said...

yeah the population of those three counties pale in comparison to PG, Mont. or Arlington.

Anonymous said...

We have much more of a chance to see one of these places up north of Brandywine towards the interstate. I don't think it helps our area when companies discover how Walmart was treated by the anti-growth crowd in our area either.

Jasmine Fields said...

I wonder if that daytime number of 80k includes the thousands of people who telework and are at home in the daytime.

Anonymous said...

And yet they are building a Harris Teeter in Dunkirk, so it kind of throws all these arguments out the window, doesn't it? I'm pretty sure if they built a Trader Joe's here in La Plata people would come from all over SOMD to shop there, and all those VA folks passing through on 301 would stop there as well. In the meantime, I'm forced to generate tax revenue outside my county and state because we can't have nice things here and I can't afford to live closer to where the nice things are.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Ruby Tuesdays in the mall closed down. Any word on what may go there? I think one of the Great American Restaurant chains will do great. We should also try to get a duck donuts out here if we can't get a Krispy Kreme.

Unknown said...

Chris. Any idea what is happening just past the Brandywine/açcokeek Rd intersection on the right when going north? I was told it was to do with a new flyover for there. It looks more like they're clearing for building construction.

Anonymous said...

Well, there goes my desire for a Trader Joe's. As to another boring chain restaurant (yes, I include Cheesecake Factory to that description) no problem there! And rather glad that there are restrictions to the growth. The growth poor Charles County sees seems to be mostly from PG county.

Chris Shasho said...

As far as I know the brandywine work was all road related.

Yes Ruby Tuesdays did close down as well as many others. No word on any new tenant.

Anonymous said...

Chris do you know anything about the Southern Maryland Indoor Sports Complex that is suppose to be ready mid-2017?

https://www.facebook.com/SMDINDOORSPORTSCOMPLEX/?ref=page_internal

Chris Shasho said...

Yes I put that on our Facebook page. They rented 15,000 sf of warehouse space from us behind 84 lumber in white plains. I don't believe the pictures they are showing is of what will be at that location. It is too small for all the things they have planned. I think its a plan for the future when they obtain land. Long term goals.

Anonymous said...

The situation at MD 5 in Brandywine is road related. The two lights will be taken out and an overpass put in with on and off ramps. There is more to it then that but that is the short of it.

JoAnne Witherspoon said...

I can understand some of these arguments but the fact that every restaurant seems to be packed from Brandywine to LA Plata from the time they open every day of the week, then it seems that those would not be arguments. And the fact that St Mary's seems to get everything first before PG Charles or Calvert is crazy to me.

Chris Shasho said...

I eat lunch out every work day and unless its a holiday or school is out I can walk in to any restaurant (not fast food) in Charles county with no wait and the place is half empty. That's where they are usually afraid they will lose money.

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

I would love to see places that are not chains. Or more desirable places like Sweet Greens or Chopt. Cheesecakes factory and Wegmans could still be a possibility if Harris Teeder is coming to Dunkirk. The whole population thing doesn't count there? It seems the surrounding establishments are closing down and making the area undesirable. Everyone likes to have nice just down the street not have to travel far to get it.

Chelly said...

Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing! I do wish we had one of the higher end grocery stores, another option for healthy good take out (happy about smoothie king), and more places for kids activities. The sky zone they built in white plains is packed as soon as it opens. Southern Marylanders have money and will spend it at places worth spending them. Bone fish and carrabas is nice, but another two good unique restaurants would be nice. I do like the fact that we are country, but like others I don't want to have to drive to Woodbridge, Annapolis or laurel to go to hobby lobby or wegmans. Can't wait to see what the next few years have in store as Charles county continues to grow. I work from home full time and my husband teleworks 2 days a week so we always are in this area. Last note, I love the fact that this area has so many options for delivery using places like food scooter to deliver. Anyways happy new year everyone and I think this will be a good year for our community.

Anonymous said...

What is the big deal about Trader Joe's, Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs anyway? They aren't that great. If people branch out a bit, they'd find that there are a lot of other nice chains. Who wants a CF that will be too busy on the weekends to even attempt?

Anonymous said...

Is Hibachi Supreme Chinese Buffet in Waldorf, MD closed? If so, what happened? I went there today 1/717 and it was closed.

Chris Shasho said...

Dont know the reason for Habachi closing yet. Bucca closed in the mall because corporate did not put any effort into its east coast stores. They have closed several.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris -

Any word on the mall here in St Charles? I honestly feel that mall is soon going to run out of business and go abandoned in the next decade if it's not updated or brought to life. It has really gone bad. I just take the trip to Annapolis to find quality items to shop, and better kept.

Thanks for keeping us all abreast of the happenings around here.