Bethesda loses iconic bookstore

  • Published in Local

Barnes and Noble closing signBarnes and Noble prepares to close its Bethesda store Jan. 11. PHOTO BY SUZANNE POLLAK  BETHESDA — Maria Pagliarini and Brad Schwartz sat at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore’s café last week, sipping hot drinks and leafing through some magazines.

Their weekly excursions to the three-story bookstore on the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues in Bethesda have ended. Barnes and Noble, which has been at the heart of downtown Bethesda for 21 years, shuttered its doors for good on Thursday, after having failed to agree to the terms of a new lease.

“The lease at our Bethesda location will expire at the end of 2017 and the store will close in January 2018. We had discussions with the property owner in hopes of agreeing to an extension of the lease, but unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement. It has been our pleasure to have served this community and we hope to continue to serve our valued customers” at the Rockville store, wrote Jim Lampassi, vice president of real estate development.

Pagliarini said that many people go to the bookstore while shopping and eating in downtown Bethesda.

“It’s sad. It’s a Bethesda landmark,” said Paglairini of Potomac. “This is the meeting place. We go to the movies and we come here.”


White Flint, White Oak possible Amazon sites logo1Sites in the White Flint area of Rockville and the White Oak area of Silver Spring may be included in Montgomery County’s proposal to Amazon to host the latter’s second headquarters.

As previously reported, as many as 100 states and localities in the United States and Canada are submitting proposals, which are due to Amazon on Oct. 19. Amazon will sift through these first-round bids, and from them choose semi-finalists and finalists in second and third rounds of bidding, before choosing a single location sometime next year. Amazon expects the second headquarters to bring 50,000 mostly high-skilled, high-paying jobs to the winning jurisdiction.

There is no clear public information on what sites, financial incentives, and other features are in the County’s proposal. Amazon is demanding that jurisdictions applying for “HQ2” keep their proposals out of the public eye. David Petr, CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, told the Sentinel that he is under a nondisclosure agreement with Amazon on this matter. MCEDC is the entity submitting the County’s proposal to Amazon.


MoCo makes bid for Amazon

  • Published in Local logo1Just two weeks since Amazon asked states and counties to bid for its second headquarters—a project that could mean 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment to the winning locality—Montgomery County and competitors all around the country were busy putting their proposals together.

Seattle-based Amazon asked for bids on Sept. 7, and gave just six weeks for initial proposals due Oct. 19. From those, Amazon will select finalists to compete for the prize with fully-specified bids.

According to the Seattle Times, more than 100 cities/counties and states/provinces in the U.S. and Canada are putting together proposals. Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener said at this early stage in the process, “Every city is on an equal playing field.” He indicated the company will choose finalists from the initial applicants, and will select a winner next year.

Even within the state of Maryland and the D.C. area, Montgomery County faces substantial competition. On Sept. 13, Gov. Larry Hogan threw his support to a bid to bring the Amazon project to Port Covington in Baltimore, a site owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and investment firm Goldman Sachs. Hogan said he would personally lobby Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on behalf of the Baltimore bid.

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