Radio Shack/Sprint at Eastern Market Metro Is Closing

Radio Shack Outlet Across from Eastern Market Metro Plaza in its final days. March 30, 2017.

Radio Shack/Sprint at Eastern Market Metro Is Closing

By Larry Janezich

Radio Shack at Eastern Market Metro is closing, and the store’s contents are being sold at a deep discount.  The staff said the store’s final day had not been set and that store was closing “Because the big bosses at Radio Shack decided to close it.”  Sprint, which occupied a portion of the space, moved out last Friday.  Radio Shack took out Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of 2015 and announced plans to sell some 2,400 stores to a Wall Street hedge fund, Standard General.

Asked for her reaction to the store’s closing, Leah Daniels, owner of nearby Hill’s Kitchen, said that she will miss having them as neighbors; “I’m sorry for the continuing loss of retail on Barracks Row and the Capitol Hill corridor – it shows how important it is for community members to shop in local stores.”

Plans for the building at 717 D Street, SE, are uncertain.  Long time Capitol Hill investor Maurice Kreindler owns the building, as well as several other adjacent properties, including the currently empty former Long and Foster location next to Starbucks and the currently empty pet store next to the building housing &Pizza – which Kreindler also owns.  A source familiar with Barracks Row businesses told CHC that Kreindler has expressed a desire to put a restaurant in the Radio Shack location.

Update:  Barracks Row Executive Director Martin Smith told CHC, “We’ve already reached out to the landlord about helping to recruit a new tenant … and I think the space has great visibility and a lot of potential. I know a few different retailers that have been interested in space on Barracks Row for a while that might be a good match for something that size.”  As CHC has reported previously, the asking price per square foot for leases in the 700 block of Barracks Row are among the highest in the city.




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6 responses to “Radio Shack/Sprint at Eastern Market Metro Is Closing

  1. Golem

    It’s too bad. It’s a store that actually sold stuff that was useful: connectors, cables, plugs, and other paraphernalia that you needed to touch and feel rather than from an internet op. Putting another restaurant that will fail because of too high rent doesn’t sound like a winning proposition nor anything anyone looking for a good meal at a reasonable price will care about. 8th street is turning out to have as much charm as a commercial strip mall. Too bad. I’ve enjoyed the Hill for 45 years but it’s merely become a target for hustlers in ties and heels.

  2. W. Blair

    Yes, this really is too bad. CVS recently stopped carrying essential-to-me LITHIUM batteries, and Radio Shack carried them — and many, many other items I have needed and bought there over the last year — and earlier for years. It seemed so wise of Radio Shack chain owners to have left the one here on Capitol Hill, knowing (I thought) that there WERE enough shoppers to support it. Now I see the few remaining Radio Shacks I have seen in other cities also departing. It’s always “the market” that dictates. I guess the need is changing. I mourn.

    • John

      There’s also a significant mismatch between the rents that are being asked by landlords close to the Eastern Market Metro station and actual market conditions. Commerce is essentially nil prior to 5:00 PM on any given weekday, meaning that a vast majority of sales are clumped into the 5:00 – 8:00 PM timeframe. That’s hardly an efficient use of real estate. Meanwhile, landlords act like we’re in the middle of 5th Avenue.

    • Tim R.

      Yes, it is “the market” that dictates. What is the alternative?

      With respect to W. Blair, I have a lot more confidence in the market’s creating the best use of that space than somebody that doesn’t even have to cover their cost of capital.

      An alternative approach, of course, is that Blair and his/her like-minded friends raise money to make up the difference between what a restaurant pays in rent and what a retail store pays in rent and then pay that amount to the landlord. That way, Blair would be bearing the cost of what he or she wants rather than imposing it on others.

      I celebrate the functioning of the market and look forward to it’s delivering the highest and best value of Hill property even if what many others want and are willing to pay for is not my first choice.

  3. you need to update your understanding of Radio Shack. In the past few weeks, they’ve announced that they are closing hundreds of stores.

    2. That being said, what John said is true. The rents are out of whack for the sales/s.f.

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