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Last summer, the Douglas Development overhaul of the former Hecht Company distribution center in Ivy City continued to defy expectations, with news that Douglas was in negotiations to bring a Busboys and Poets restaurant to the site. The long-derelict property on New York Avenue NE seemed an unlikely location for sudden revival, hemmed in as it is by a busy road, railroad tracks, and a cemetery. But Busboys had heralded economic growth in the other neighborhoods where it set up shop, and so it looked like Douglas’ gamble was paying off.
As it turns out, Busboys won’t be coming to the site. Busboys owner Andy Shallal told my colleague Jessica Sidman yesterday that the spot wasn’t right for his signature restaurant-bookstore combo. “It feels a little bit forced,” he said. “It’s going to be a select type of person who’s going to move there. It’s going to become, I think, very homogeneous.”
But today comes word of a Hecht retailer that’ll be at least as much of a draw for the 20-something professional set. BicycleSPACE, the popular shop for bike sales, gear, and repairs, is opening a branch at Hecht, the store announced. The new location will have 4,000 square feet of space and is expected to open this summer.
BicycleSPACE joins a handful of other retailers at the Hecht site, including Mom’s Organic Market and Planet Fitness. The bike shop had to move from its 7th Street NW location to make way for a different Douglas project. In addition to the Hecht location, BicycleSPACE currently operates a pop-up on 5th Street NW and will move to a permanent home at 440 K St. NW this spring.
Image from the BicycleSPACE website