By Katherine Shaver and Miranda S. Spivack
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 28, 2010
When Rockville Town Square opened in summer 2007, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) praised the 12 acres of shops, restaurants and condominiums as a way to revive the aging suburb. Officials visualized people living above stores, eating lunch at sidewalk cafes and walking to the Rockville Metro station.
Nearly three years later, that vision is still taking shape. On weeknights, the after-work crowd streams into Gold's Gym. On weekends, the Gordon Biersch restaurant is packed. But the large space leased to the Superfresh grocery chain remains vacant; eight of the 46 storefronts have changed hands; and some of the restaurants are struggling. The development was designed to meet a demand for pedestrian-friendly suburbs with an urban feel, but it opened just as the economy soured.
The ability of the Washington area's suburban town centers to weather the recession will have long-term effects on life in the counties ringing the District. . . .
For the rest of this excellent, wide-ranging article on Metro-area renewal, click here.