After years of moving around, BicycleSPACE is expanding again
BicycleSPACE, the Mt Vernon Square-area bicycle shop that is currently on its 3rd location, with a 4th (and final?) one scheduled for May just announced another expansion. They had already announced in January plans to open a 2nd location in the old Hecht's Warehouse on New York Avenue, NE but then last week they announced plans to open a 3rd location in Adams Morgan.
The store, scheduled to open in April, will occupy 6,405 square feet at 2424 18th St. NW, described by the owners as an "unimaginably large shop." It takes over a space that's been vacant for years, since the closure of Slaviya and previously Leftbank. The building is owned by Douglas Development, which also owns the Hecht property, as well as the 7th Street store that BicycleSPACE had to leave so Douglas could proceed with its office development.
Each of the new stores, beyond the K Street one replacing the nearby 7th Street shop, presents a challenge. The Hecht development, in Ivy City, is cut off from much of the city by railroad tracks, a highway-like stretch of New York Avenue, and a cemetery. Bikers in that part of town are few. As a result, the BicycleSPACE there will have to rely on Maryland commuters stopping by with their cars. "Don’t forget, there’s over 70,000 people who pass by there driving in and out of the city every day," says Kugler. It's a different model from the downtown store, where most visitors come by bike or foot.
Not so long ago, there were no bike shops in NE. And there was just the Union Station Bike station (which isn't a full bike shop and is barely in NE) and now there are several. Still, no one has ventured EOTR yet. I put the over/under on that at 2 years.
But Kugler's also hopeful that infrastructure improvements will make Ivy City more of a cycling destination. The city is planning a bike trail along New York Avenue, and Kugler hopes cyclists will come through the area en route to the newly bike-accessible Arboretum. The Hecht development also aims to be something of a fitness draw; there's a Planet Fitness, and Kugler says the BicycleSPACE will be located between a Bikram Yoga studio and a CrossFit studio.
With car capacity downtown pretty maxed out and cycling infrastructure much cheaper than public transit infrastructure, Kugler sees a major expansion in the future for cycling in D.C., and possibly for BicycleSPACE as well. But for 2015, three new stores is going to be it.
And BicycleSPACE may not be done.
"The locations are exactly what we wanted. We’re going to hunker down this year, work on execution, and next year, we’ve already got four opportunities in front of us."
BicycleSPACE is poised to become the largest bicycle retailer in D.C.