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SHOUT OUT: What Kinds of New Businesses Would You Like to See in Town?

We want to hear what kinds of stores you think would most benefit the community.

A new Big Lots store celebrated its grand opening in Bowie last week.  As Bowie and Upper Marlboro both continue to grow and seek to fill more vacant storefronts, what would you like to see?

More big-box discount stores like Big Lots and chain grocery stores? Or smaller locally owned businesses like books stores and boutique clothing shops, or specialty grocery stores? Maybe you’d like to see all of the above? What do you think would add the most value to the community?

Let us know what you think in the comments!

2kitty2 May 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Please, please, PLEASE an upscale grocer...Whole Foods, we're here and we're ready! The space vacated by Giant which is now a fitness center would have been perfect for a Trader Joe's. At least there will be a Wegman's when it opens in Crofton. How about a Total Wine, like the one in Laurel? And a Heavenly Ham or Honey Baked Ham Store? Or a Kilwin's Ice Cream and Sweet Shop...they're wonderful! And my own personal request...a clothing store just for petites.
Rose Woodruff May 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM
We have enough big box stores. With our increasing traffic, I find that I prefer smaller stores, closer to my home. I want to be able to have convenient parking and be able to run in and out in 15 - 20 minutes. I don't want to have to walk so far across the store and back looking for things that I count it as a workout. Also, I'd rather keep our dollars local with "mom and pop" shops than have it go to out of state/out of country corporate headquarters and to overpaid executives.
Rose Woodruff May 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM
It may not be nearly as big as Total Wine in Laurel, but the Crescent Mart on Old Chapel Drive (near Race Track Road) changed hands last year and is now an upscale wine and craft beer store! They are also willing to stock special request wines.
Lynn May 02, 2012 at 02:10 PM
It doesn't really matter what "The citizens" think. This county is run by developers who have quid pro quo arrangements with the politicians. Bowie has little control over what the county decides to do to us. Make no mistake, those that run our county government are determined to settle old scores with Bowie. It is perceived that Bowie has always been favored in the past and the resentment and dislike of our community is palpable even at the state level. When I look around at what has happened here it seems like planned destruction. We are OVER developed and Bowie Town Center was the beginning. Hilltop plaza is also a good example of this. What a disaster! The parking situation is idotic and NOW someone wants to build housing there? In addition the owners of existing commercial properties have the final say so in who they lease to and they care more about the bottom line than what we think, understandably so. I STILL miss my little Giant at Whitehall shopping center. I heard a rumor that Giant was paying to keep other grocery stores out of that space to keep business at Freestate good. In addition, I suspect that these same owners of older existing run down commercial properties are unwilling to invest in improvements but still expect top dollar rents which discourages new businesses. Big Lots is not an improvement! It's a sign of the times, which are going to get worse.
kathy lapinski May 02, 2012 at 02:33 PM
My wish list at the BTC: 1. Bring back the Gap! 2. JC Penney with a Sephora 3. CVS or Rite Aid Would also LOVE to see a Trader Joe's where the old Giant used to be off of 197!
Ruth May 02, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I would like to see a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and clothing stores in the southern portion of Upper Marlboro, in the vicinity of the courthouse area, Rt. 301 and Rt 4. There has been so much development in this area but business had not kept up. We have a nearby Food Lion and a Giant but if we want to shop for the types of products stocked in Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or even for clothing, or to sit down and eat in a nice restaurant we have to head to Bowie or Annapolis. I'm tired of traveling long distances and burning gas just to shop or eat out. I hope someone is listening.
CarolLynn May 02, 2012 at 02:51 PM
It would be nice to have a WAWA (with a gas station) over in the Northview Drive area, perhaps over by the new fire station. Also, I would love to see a Cracker Barrel, since I don't care for IHOP or Bob Evans. And if they could expand the Macy's at BTC (maybe build a 2nd or 3rd floor), that would be great!
Gail Bozzella May 02, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I really miss Joanne's --that is one super store that would be welcome. Trader Joe's would be wonderful. Upscale women's clothing store. Neighborhood coffee / breakfast / lunch shops like First Watch in other cities. Fresh salads, wonderful breakfasts, a great casual place to meet friends. These would be wonderful additions to the proposed Marketplace renovation if that actually happens in the next decade. But please, let's keep the renovations handicapped and user friendly unlike the Hilltop disaster. People had to actually walk in the street with their strollers and bikes against oncoming traffic while the new Outback was being built. I have no idea how they get through the parking lot now.
kathy lapinski May 02, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@Gail, have you checked out Chesapeake Grille? I know it is in Hilltop, but they are a wonderful neighborhood spot, as is the Old Bowie Town Grille. @Carol, would love a WAWA off of Northview! I love Macy's, so an expanded Macy's would be welcome! Still want a Trader Joe's and JC Penney with a Sephora!
Oddwee2 May 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I would love to see more mom and pop restuarants in Bowie. The chains are fine and all, but I would love to have a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant. Soul food/southern food would be great - or an independent diner. I just want something that is authentic and relatively fresh that didn't come out of a bag or box. I would be THRILLED if we got a Trader Joes. The stores like Big Lots and Gussini (the old Gap) depress me. They just seem low-rent and I don't like to think of my city being low rent. Especially, while I watch all the nice stores and businesses move into Crofton.
Jenni Pompi (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Hi, everyone and thanks for the comments! I'm going to check in to who owns that old Giant off 197 and see if they've considered/attempted to lease the space out to an upscale/specialty grocer.
Bryna Anton May 02, 2012 at 08:36 PM
How About Magruder's coming back, or Trader Joe's or a Fresh Market. Also, a good Indian Restaurant!!
kathy lapinski May 02, 2012 at 08:59 PM
@Oddwee2, same with me! Gussini (the old Gap) depresses me, b/c I don't think of my city as low rent, either. Shoot, Crofton is getting Petco (sad that has moved, especially when my cats need their nails clipped - will go to Petsmart), Wegmans, and several other cool stores. Big Lots isn't so bad, but I wish they would get rid of Gussini - very JUNKY. I also agree with more Mom-and-Pop restaurants in Bowie, and less chains. @Jenni, another gym (Spunk Fitness, I think), is moving into the old 197 Giant.
Jo Jugel May 03, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I, too, miss JoAnne's. I hate having to drive all the way to Annapolis to shop at JoAnne's. Why they were kicked out of Hilltop (a JoAnne's associate told me they were told their lease would not be renewed as the store didn't fit into the plans for Hilltop) is beyond me! Jo Jugel
Lisa Brown May 05, 2012 at 12:47 PM
We definitely need a Trader Joe's in Bowie!!!!. I think that the old Giant location had been leased to Fitness 1 but I think there is a market for an alternative grocer in North Bowie. Hilltop is a disaster. Joanne's was a big loss. Aldi is terrible and the parking is a mess. I cannot imagine where they will build housing in the shopping center. We desparately need more upscale stores and if the depatures from BTC--like The Gap--aren't controlled it will be like the Cap Center and the end of BTC. Bowie needs to hire whoever represents Crofton. Bowie and the County definitely missed the boat. There are plans for a Whole Foods in College Park that the County supports but the community is against because of traffic/congestion concerns. I'll take the congestion because better brands bring more brands. You need a good anchor to get retailers to commit. I don't want to have to drive to Crofton for everything but I already see that everything I need on Saturday will finally be in one place, so no more BTC.
Beli May 06, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Ruth, I agree with you for the southern part of Upper Marlboro. We definitely need more stores and a 'good and natural' grocery store in the Upper Marlboro (UM) area. I don't care for the Giant, The Food Lion nor the Safeway on Rte 301 in UM. They depress me. Often I will go out to Annapolis to shop at Whole Foods. I want a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in UM. We have enough occupied residential space to justify these type of stores in our community. There is a large business park area that is up for lease right off of PA AVE; i think it is called the Westphalia area of UM...well, that area is prime for a shopping mall and has enough space to hold a very large business area, inside or outside mall. Businesses need to look at this space and start building to help our community retain business in the Upper Marlboro community. Also, that space is near Andrews Air Force Base and Suitland Parkway and can be seen from the 95 beltway - what better place for a business!
Nikka June 11, 2012 at 03:42 PM
TRADER JOE's!! I would LOVE to see a Trader Joe's store in the CURRENTLY AVAILABLE supermarket sized space at the POINTER RIDGE shopping plaza. This space would be PERFECT for a TRADER JOE's. It was previously occupied by GIANTS so Im sure that transitioning to another grocery store within the same space would not be a problem. In addition it would return the very well needed and missed grocery service to the immediate surrounding area, although ALL of BOWIE will benefit greatly from it. And the parking? It is more than ample to support the demand that would be generated from a trader joe's placement. I mean, it is a HUUUGE lot, currently servicing the type of establishments that just dont generate a huge demand for parking. Namely, Subway, New China Carryout, CVS, Pointer Ridge Liquors, Sashelvis (a hair salon), and Star Nail (nail shop), Pizza Hut, drycleaning, a dollar store...and maybe one or two other establishments where just as the ones that I have mentioned generate the need for only moderate parking, which would be occupied by any one customer for an average of maybe a half hour. These are the types of establishments which although they serve the community well, and are definitely needed, customers are simply in and out, in and out. So, my point is we need a Trader Joes in Bowie DESPERATELY, and WE HAVE a space that is sufficient from all aspects and available within the POINTER RIDGE plaza (301 and Pointer Ridge intersection), to accomodate and welcome it!

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