Bicyclettes Before a Bistro?
The quest to bring more retail to South Silver Spring continues.
Local property owner Barry Soorenko told us in January that he wanted to bring a French-style bistro to the space formerly occupied by Mayorga.
While that location is currently being leased by Great Kids Village, Soorenko has long believed that downtown Silver Spring needs an intimate venue for dinner, live music and perhaps some l’amour (despite a new creperie opening nearby in Fenton Village).
But in the meantime, he’s testing the waters for a new venture: a bike store.
Soorenko assures us that even if a bike shop races into the storefront, he still hopes to open a bistro.
What do you think? Oui or no?
Can You Spare a Dime?
Faced with a $300 million deficit in fiscal 2012, the Montgomery County Council is weighing County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposal to increase parking fees for its urban centers, mainly Silver Spring and Bethesda. Under the plan, the price for long term parking in Silver Spring would increase from 50 cents to 60 cents an hour and a monthly parking pass would rise from $95 to $113.
According to the Gazette, the proposal would also expand the use of parking meters on Saturdays to include garages and lots in Bethesda, which are currently free of charge. You may recall a similar measure was offered for Silver Spring in 2007, but the Council quickly withdrew the idea after unified opposition from residents and business owners.
The Silver Spring Parking Lot District collected $9.5 million in parking fees/permits and an additional $3.1 million in fines in fiscal year 2011. The 10-cent increase is expecting to raise an additional $650,000 a year countywide.
Wheaton’s Five-and-Dime Store?
Despite the aforementioned $300 million deficit, County Executive Ike Leggett continues to support a $4 million subsidy to bring a Costco to downtown Wheaton. If approved by the Council, the county’s money would be used to offset the expected $62 million construction costs.
Supporters say the project would provide 240 construction jobs, followed by 470 retail jobs when the store opens. Opponents protest that the county should not be providing financial incentives to corporations, especially during such a bleak budgetary environment.
In related news, a lawsuit filed against Montgomery County for its subsidy of Live Nation’s Fillmore theater was dismissed last week.