The Gazette had a story last week about Burtonsville shopping centers being vacant for more than a year, but the same could probably be said for many MoCo shopping areas (nationally, really), including Wheaton.
The Fern-Price-Elkin nexus that includes Nava, Royal Mile, Limerick Pub, Sergio’s, Hung Phat/Mi La Cay and several other quality food purveyors is obviously capable of sustaining successful restaurants, yet the spaces where Ferdinand’s and Suporn Thai used to be have been vacant for more than a year. I tend to blame, first, the landlord asking too high rent, but other factors include banks not willing to lend and, maybe, MoCo zoning/permitting issues. These spaces don’t have to support restaurants, it could be any kind of business. But it isn’t helping anyone — landowner or community — to have them sit vacant for so long. The eating population in Wheaton’s core is about to grow again, once the Safeway Etc. building is done in a couple of years, and one of those storefronts sure would be a a great place for, say, Wheaton’s first Indian restaurant (so long as quality is Tiffin or Jewel of India level).
Or a music venue. (kidding..mostly..)