Depot Owner Said Move Was Due to Rent Hike
Property owners raised rent by 80 percent, owner says.
The owner of a longtime Arnold business chose to move out of town rather than pay a skyrocketing rent, he said.
The Depot Wine & Spirits owner Mike Mangum has been packing the remains of the store's wares since it closed its doors earlier this month. He plans to reopen the store in Annapolis, where he said rent is actually cheaper than Arnold Station shopping center.
The new proposed location of The Depot will be in the Gateway Village shopping center, which also houses Safeway and Best Buy, near Defense Highway.
Mangum said the property manager of Arnold Station, Continential Realty, recently raised its rent rates by more than 80 percent. For Mangum, that made the prospect of operating in Arnold infeasible.
"It's astronomical. You basically can't operate here," Mangum said. "Arnold Station is pretty set in its ways. There's not a lot of steady growth. With this increase in rent, I've been in the business for 30 years, but I can't make this work."
The Depot's neighbor in Arnold Station, Admiral Cleaners, also closed up shop in 2012 due to issues with rent. A new business recently opened in its place, Chesapeake Cleaners.
By making the move to Gateway Village in Annapolis, Mangum said the rent will be slightly cheaper, and the amount of traffic is more than four times what Arnold Station gets.
"We would have liked to stay here in Arnold, but there's no retail spots available that could house The Depot. We looked," Mangum said.
The Depot has been located in Arnold since 1962. Mangum took over as the store's owner in 2000. Mangum thanked his regular customers for their business over the years, and hopes they'll visit him again when the new location opens.
As to when the second Depot will open, Mangum said there is no firm date. But said he would like to open before summer.