I saw this question posted on a local listserve and it really struck a cord with me because of the contrast I have been experiencing over the last 2 weeks. So here is what I shared. I have edited this from the post on the listserv.
IMHO the problem of MM was that is was unresponsive to the community needs. For reasons unknown the beer selection became pretty lousy, mostly conglomerate light beer vs of the micro and imports that were stocked there once. To further drive a stake into the enterprise there was very little reason to bring the kids there for a snack. The selection of stuff for them was TERRIBLE.
Compare it to the market in Chevy Chase DC, I actually tried to get the Tenley owner to go over there and see how they had a thriving market with the community in and out of it all day long. There is just no local in the not so marvelous market and the selection was unfit for our, or any, community. Yes I know they have a few choice selections, however compared to the competition like what is now available at Nature Coffee in Friendship Heights (by Petes) they are getting out smarted.
Now in fairness the recent owner did try to do some new things and was met with resistance by the corporate bosses. One example was the idea of having artists that play live music there have their Music available for retail (physical & digitally) This would allow them to synergy with the artists in the area, the music shop and live music fans. Considering the chain has a number of locations they could have expanded it.
So who knows is the model bad or was it just the owners. Now, considering this is the second owner @ that location~a look at the model might not be a bad idea. BTW if the owners of the Chevy Chase market, forgot name, where to open here we'd be in there all the time.
I have been thinking about our location verses where we just opened an office~ RockNville we have been impressed with how it went from a parking lot when we where first married and living there in 1996 to the thriving RockvilleTowncenter that it is today. In contrast here in Tenleytown We really have a few great stores and restaurants and the rest have no plan, rhyme or reason to be located here.
Considering we used to skakeboard & rollerbade all over the parking lot that was know as downtown Rockville; And now we're having dinner watching concerts and generally having a good time putting plenty of money into the Rockville economy it might be something to consider. So in kindness to our elected leaders please stop enumerating yourselves and family at the public expense and get to work doing the peoples business the example is only a train ride away.
To our community I know that many top developers will not come to this area because of the fear they have of getting dragged into DC molasses and our particular neighbor is know at best as prickly. I think we need to have our city leaders, and community "activist/HistoricalSoc/commiteeof*." folks all take a train ride up to RockvilleTownCenter this weekend and see what a revitalized community can look like.
btw I was a former Rockville landlord tenant commissioner and I will say that DC is way better then MD when it comes to this issue and that has much to do with the Judges that sit on DC's benches folks here might not like just sayin something to consider.