Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Will Sam Chon Retire? Nobody Is Talking...Anymore

Sam Chon, the owner of the Glebe Market might just not retire. In this space in the past, I have written that he would. I waited months before reporting it, and finally only did so when Bob Moore, of Georgetown Strategic Capital in a Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board meeting, said Mr. Chon was planning retirement.

This was something I had heard from a few county staff members, and the staffers at the HALRB meeting did not refute what was said. As well, citizens of Buckingham had told me about it over the past months. I was foolish to write it without verifying it.

At the HALRB meeting, Mr. Moore had said his company was looking to “pocket stores,” such as Trader Joe’s and Yes! Organic Markets to fill some of the space in one of the new buildings that Georgetown Strategic is planning to build. These buldings would replace the CVS, Glebe Market and El Paso/Popeye’s buildings.

The Glebe Market. (File Photo. Click to enlarge the image.)

When I caught up with Mr. Chon, 65, earlier this month he said he was “half-and-half” decided on retirement. For him, though, non-retirement might mean closing the Glebe Market and working at a Giant, he said.

However, he also said that he had asked for 3,000 square feet in the new buildings. At the time, he said, “I think they’re going to give it to me.”

Then I called back Mr. Moore, a principal at Georgetown Strategic, and asked if he was aware that Mr. Chon thought that the Glebe Market was still in play.

"That's not correct,” Mr. Moore said, adding that Mr. Chon had a letter. "These are things that are really not related to you,” Mr. Moore said, shortly before cutting off discussion on this topic. He did not go into the details of the letter and said all of the negotiations for space were “confidential.”

Mr. Moore did say that Georgetown Strategic and Mr. Chon had discussed a bagel shop that Mr. Chon might run with his son.

Last night I went to confirm this with Mr. Chon, who smiled and laughed a bit, and said, basically, “no comment."

On Another Note...
Mr. Moore said that his company is still working on the designs of the buildings, and was happy with the reaction the designs received at the Design Review Committee meeting in January.

"It had a very positive sort of step forward as of last week," as committee members, he said, liked what they saw and had specific ideas for improvements.

Mr. Moore said that the idea to add a second level to the Suntrust Bank and Buckingham Florist buildings on the east side of N. Glebe Road at N. Pershing Drive was unfeasible.

Related stories…
  • HALRB Says Envisioned Buildings West of Glebe "Too Big"

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