Bryans Road shopping cen­ter get­ting a facelift

Owner hopes to make it a ‘com­mu­nity place’

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - Twit­ter: @somd_bized­i­tor By DAR­WIN WEIGEL dweigel@somd­news.com

The Bryans Road Shopping Cen­ter on Mar­shall Hall Road — the long­time lo­ca­tion of Safe­way — is get­ting a facelift, along with other up­grades, to pro­vide a bet­ter and safer shopping en­vi­ron­ment.

The cen­ter, which has had Safe­way as its an­chor since it was built in 1974, has al­ready seen an up­grade in the park­ing lot light­ing, the ad­di­tion of se­cu­rity cam­eras and sec­tions of new pave­ment, more of which is to come. New hand­i­cap ramps, some of which are not cur­rently Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act com­pli­ant, and land­scap­ing of cur­rently bar­ren con­crete spa­ces are also on the project list.

Last week, S2 Cap­i­tal Part­ners, the own­ers of the prop­erty since 2015, got its Falls Church, Va., con­trac­tor to start the fa­cade project to be­gin the facelift to make the shopping cen­ter more at­trac­tive to shop­pers and re­tail­ers. The project, along with all the other up­grades, is ex­pected to be fin­ished by Septem­ber.

On Mon­day, the own­ers hosted a ground­break­ing to cel­e­brate the project and thank the busi­nesses and pub­lic agen­cies that helped move it along.

“We bought this in 2015 from the orig­i­nal own­ers,” said Rob Sei­del, one of the part­ners, along with Ge­orge Ste­wart, of the McLean, Va.-based S2 Cap­i­tal Part­ners. “What we re­ally saw was ‘pos­si­bil­ity.’ We saw a cen­ter that needed some at­ten­tion, a lit­tle bit of fo­cus and some re­sources.

“We re­ally want to make this the com­mu­nity place that it can and should be. I think the former own­ers didn’t have that vi­sion, so we’re try­ing to im­ple­ment that vi­sion now with the fa­cade ren­o­va­tion.”

The shopping cen­ter has a to­tal of 122,500 square feet of re­tail space — 43,000 of which is the Safe­way gro­cery store — and cur­rently has 21 store­fronts. Some of those spa­ces are empty, which S2 hopes to fill in the near fu­ture.

“We’re about 70 per­cent full. That’s one of the things that I think the prior land­lord didn’t do ter­ri­bly well,” Sei­del said. “They just didn’t do a great job leas­ing, and they didn’t do a great job of keep­ing it leased. I’m not try­ing to throw them un­der the bus, but I think that we are re­tail peo­ple and will do bet­ter with that.”

S2 Cap­i­tal’s in­vest­ment in the shopping cen­ter isn’t go­ing un­no­ticed. Charles County’s Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to join in the ground­break­ing cel­e­bra- tion.

“I want to com­mend S2 Cap­i­tal Part­ners and their team for hav­ing the vi­sion to in­vest in Bryans Road,” Tay­lor Yewell, re­de­vel­op­ment man­ager for the depart­ment, told the crowd of 20 or so peo­ple gath­ered for the ground­break­ing. “Neigh­bor­hood shopping cen­ters like this are very im­por­tant as­sets to the com­mu­nity. The com­mu­nity de­serves to have an at­trac­tive and safe en­vi­ron­ment where they can ac­quire the goods and ser­vices that they need on a daily ba­sis.”

The project man­ager, Dave King of Uni­west Con­struc­tion Inc. of Falls Church, Va., said he hopes to fin­ish the project early and has been pleased with the re­sponses of the ten­ants de­spite the in­con­ve­niences that con­struc­tion projects bring.

“In talk­ing to the ten­ants, ev­ery­body seems to be ex­cited about the new look,” King told the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent. “They’ve been will­ing to help get the project done.”

Wan Choe of Up­per Marl­boro, owner of Bry- ans Road Clean­ers, a 15year ten­ant, agreed with King.

“It’s go­ing to be good for the ten­ants,” Choe said.

Sei­del said S2 Cap­i­tal has en­listed KLNB Re­tail, a com­mer­cial real es­tate ser­vices firm, to han­dle leas­ing and mar­ket­ing to at­tract ten­ants to fill the open slots in the cen­ter. S2 Cap­i­tal owns four other gro­cery store-achored shopping cen­ters in North Carolina and Vir­ginia.

“We re­ally saw an op­por­tu­nity to make — or re­make — a gath­er­ing place and re-en­er­gize this area — bring new life into this area and bring ac­tiv­ity back to this shopping cen­ter,” Sei­del told the crowd.

“We’re very, very ex­cited about this project.”

STAFF PHO­TOS BY DAR­WIN WEIGEL

A group of part­ners in­volved with the Bryans Road Shopping Cen­ter ren­o­va­tion cer­e­mo­ni­ally broke ground on the project Mon­day. From left are Jen­nifer Tay­lor of Columbia Bank, Ge­orge Ste­wart, one of the prin­ci­pals in S2 Cap­i­tal Part­ners, Tay­lor Yewell, re­de­vel­op­ment man­ager for the Charles County Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Dave King, project man­ager for gen­eral con­trac­tor Uni­west Con­struc­tion of Falls Church, Va., Steve Ken­ney of R.V. Ar­chi­tects, also of Fall Church, and Rob Sei­del, Ste­wart’s part­ner in S2 Cap­i­tal.

Rob Sei­del of S2 Cap­i­tal Part­ners shows one of the ar­chi­tect’s ren­der­ings of what the Bryans Road Shopping Cen­ter will look like this Septem­ber.

The fa­cade ren­o­va­tion has al­ready be­gun at the Bryans Road Shopping Cen­ter. The cen­ter was built in 1974.

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