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Earlier this fall, news stories circulated that popular Cleveland Park bookstore Politics & Prose could add an outpost in Georgetown, possibly in the Georgetown Theater building on Wisconsin Avenue NW. This past week, Georgetown Metropolitan reported that local architect Robert Bell purchased the building for a mixed-use development. Where does this leave a Georgetown expansion for Politics & Prose?
"The initial publicity was so premature. We have so many hurdles to jump over," said Politics & Prose co-owner Bradley Graham, who explained that the bookstore has had no contact with Bell and doesn't expect to hear from him in the future. The idea of Politics & Prose opening a location in Georgetown wasn't driven by the owners. Instead, a group of interested Georgetown residents approached the bookstore with a proposal to lead a campaign, together with urban planners, to raise money from the neighborhood to buy the building, refurbish it, and then lease it to Politics & Prose on very favorable terms.
"They were offering this idea to us on such favorable financial terms and with such community interest, which really appealed to us as a community bookstore, and if we were to open a branch anywhere else, we would hope for strong community backing," Graham said.
So the Georgetown Theater building isn't a go, but that doesn't mean Politics & Prose won't come to Georgetown. "This group that first approached us is looking at other possible properties, so if they find something that's attractive and if they can raise the money, and we can agree on financial terms, then we'll be able to move forward," Graham said. "This whole thing didn't come from us, it came from the community, we're just waiting to see what else this very engaged and very interested group of Georgetown residents can come up with."
· Mixed Use Project Envisioned for Georgetown Theater Building [Georgetown Metropolitan]
· Politics & Prose Bookstore Eyeing Georgetown Expansion [Racked DC]
· Politics & Prose [Official Site]
· Politics and Prose [Official Site]
Image via Yelp/John F.