Apparently, Chipotle is too good for a rent-free lease.
The City Paper’s new intrepid real estate reporter Lydia DePillis tipped us off to the news that the wildly popular burrito chain turned down an offer to operate rent-free on the ground floor of The Grays on Pennsylvania, a new 118-unit apartment building in the Southeast D.C. neighborhood of Fairlawn.
The news, which was part of Jonathan O’Connell’s very good story on efforts to bring organic grocery stores to low-income areas of D.C., is a pretty loud slap in the face to neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. Other than the food itself, rent is probably the biggest overhead expense, so the neighborhood likely factored significantly into Chipotle’s decision. Even though it is one of the most popular fast food chains in the country, Chipotle’s only D.C. stores are in the Northwest quadrant of the city.
Aside from this little piece of information, O’Connell’s story is an informational read about the efforts of a local developer and the owner of a number of Yes! Organic stores in D.C. to bring organic groceries to low-income areas. (Yes! will occupy the ground floor retail space at the Grays on Pennsylvania.)
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