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Aug 21, 2014 01:57 PM

POST reports Eden Center deteriorating

According to the story, tenants claim they are paying outrageous rent, structure is failing.

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  1. I can't speak to the outrageous rent issue, but one Eden Center cafe, Huoung Viet, looked the same as usual last week. Very good food, good price, good service.

    1. There seems to be some "gentrification" attempts in Eden Center. If not, either way it has been known for quite a while that the rents in Eden center are outright exploitative. I hope the owner(s) of the shopping center realizes that if Vietnamese can not have affordable quality food, they will move elsewhere. Hope it backfires on them and Vietnamese open up their own shopping center they can call their own

      1. As unfortunate as it is, it seems the landlord is mostly in the right. The lease doesn't call for repairs and the tenants agreed to the rent. The tenants should move en masse.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Worldwide Diner

          I'm not a lawyer, but if a tenant agrees to something but they are not aware of all the stipulations, doesn't it mean they technically did not agree to those things they weren't aware of?

          1. re: takadi

            They're generally bound by the contract. It's not a defense that one did not read the contract or did not understand the contract.

          2. re: Worldwide Diner

            WwD, if the tenants were going to move en masse, where would they go? The best part of Eden Center is the critical mass that the Vietnamese community achieved there. From the cafes, the grocery store, the video stores, the jewelry shops, the DVD stores, it is like a small shopping area in Saigon.

            Where could they go that would be as inexpensive as it used to be, and still be relatively near their existing clientele? My first thought is one of the relatively old and worn shopping centers at Bailey's Crossroads. I would have said the shops at Annandale Rd and 50, or Graham and 50, but Loehman's is probably too pricey now and the one with JV's is too small to get that critical mass going.

            Maybe they should go further out 50, there is an old movie theatre that sits on a huge amount of land on the southwest side of Gallows.

            Oh, wait...

          3. Well the tenants have lawyered up -- they hired Joseph Cao's law firm, Joseph Cao being the one term representative from New Orleans, who replaced the guy who had $40,000 in bribes in his freezer. The guy is very connected, the bad publicity may shame the landlord into fixing things and renegotiating the leases that are no longer at the going rate for retail in the area.

            I'd say the area is ripe for gentrification but the local economy is cooling off -- unless there's a sea change in Congress, budgets are tight so the money spend by the feds is a lot less, so unemployment is up in the DC area. IMO the Seven Corners area and Annandale are ripe for more gentrification, due to their close location to DC and Arlington but not until the economy goes back on the swing.

            Maybe 2017 -- the political winds are likely to shift in the 2016 election, maybe shift in parties controlling congress, maybe the end of austerity.

            1. Where would they go?

              Look into Landmark Mall. I don't know what the rents are, but it's barely alive, the days are numbered for anchor store Sears, the infrastructure is all there, parking in huge quantities, very accessible.

              5 Replies
              1. re: wayne keyser

                That is a good answer, Wayne. I drive by that place all the time but have never been there. It looks huge and the parking lot looks nearly empty most of the time.

                I think the Vietnamese community is more centered on Springfield/Annandale/Falls Church but that place isn't that far away from the center of gravity.

                1. re: wayne keyser

                  I've heard rumors Landmark Mall is due to be shut down soon

                  1. re: takadi

                    Not just rumors, I've heard so on WTOP last year. Just like Springfield Mall, they want to turn Landmark Mall into a faux Town Center with apartments and whatnot. I suppose they are at the stage of getting approvals and financing. That's what held up Springfield's redo for a number of years.

                    I find the notion of turning Landmark back into a "town center" hysterically funny as I remember in the 1970s when it was an old school outdoor mall! The place had Woodies, Hecht's, Raleigh's as well as Sears. I vaguely remember a toddler me having a meltdown at the candy counter at Sears because I wanted some peanuts and mom said no.

                    1. re: HokieAnnie

                      "a faux Town Center"

                      good lord...just another type of development so desperately needed in Northern VA. I wonder if the powers that be have a Northern VA in mind that looks like a hipster Pleasantville

                      1. re: takadi

                        takadi I think there's little or no surprise there. although I hesitate to employ the term 'hip' almost anywhere in the DC suburbs (there are exceptions).