April 10, 2011

Del. Eric Luedtke Calls for New Burtonsville Giant to Stop 'Draining Economic Vitality'

Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Dist. 14) recently wrote to Giant of Maryland, parent company of Giant on Columbia Pike in Burtonsville. Luedtke expressed concern over the health of Burtonsville Crossing since the new shopping center, Burtonsville Town Square, opened in November. Giant operated a grocery store in Burtonsville Crossing until late last year when the company moved its store to the newer shopping center across the street.

Reportedly, Giant has the right to prevent similar businesses from moving into their old spot in Burtonsville Crossing.

The text of Luedtke's letter:

April 4, 2011
Don Sussman
Interim President
Giant of Maryland
8301 Professional Place, Suite 115
Landover, MD 20785
Mr. Sussman:

I write to express my deep concern about Giant’s continued delaying tactics in regard to efforts to find a new tenant for the old Giant space in the Burtonsville Crossing shopping center. While the Burtonsville community appreciates the new, modern supermarket your company has opened, it is unacceptable to our community for the now empty space across the street to continue to remain vacant. As a drive through Burtonsville Crossing will show you, the lack of an anchor store in the shopping center has had a profound negative impact on the restaurants and stores in the center. While I respect Giant’s business interest in the matter, Burtonsville’s residents supported both the Giant and the Dutch Country Farmers Market for many years, and it is reasonable to assume that a specialty store in the old Giant space would not hurt your new store’s bottom line.

I am particularly disappointed in Giant’s actions given the long history of commitment to the greater community that your company has shown. Giant has long been a leader in charitable giving and community engagement in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Those past actions stand in stark contrast to your actions in Burtonsville. Giant’s insistence on maintaining the lease on a vacant anchor storefront is effectively draining the economic vitality from Burtonsville.

I urge you to be a good neighbor to the residents of Burtonsville, and reach an agreement as soon as possible with Edens & Avant so that our community may move forward.

Delegate Eric Luedtke

Officials at Giant could not be reached for comment by the time the letter was obtained by Patch after-hours Friday.

No comments: