Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., has announced that it will expand its flagship store on Connecticut Avenue NW into a connecting storefront previously occupied by Regal Custom Cleaners.
The existing P&P main store is comprised of three storefronts, so this expansion essentially involves taking over a fourth storefront space, adding about 3,500 square feet to the store’s current 11,500 square feet.
A quarter of this new space will be used for retail, said Bradley Graham, who has owned P&P with his wife, Lissa Muscatine, since 2011. The retail portion will have similar fixtures as the rest of the store and feature an additional checkout desk and a skylight.
“The other three quarters will consist of office space for P&P staff, but it will also allow us to give up one of two condo units that we currently rent a few doors up the block from the store where many of our office staff currently work, so they will all come under one roof,” said Graham.
This new storefront will house offices for more than 20 employees, who come from both the main store and the condos. The offices will also contain a break room and additional storage space. Graham said the store’s plan calls for staff to begin occupying the new offices by late January and for the new retail space to open in February.
“We will still have one condo that we will continue to rent for our accounting staff and our off-site staff, but our marketing staff and our event staff and various other members whose offices are currently in a second condo will now come in and be part of the enlarged main store,” Graham said.
Since it is larger, the Regal Custom Cleaners space is a little more expensive to rent than the condo, but there will be a net financial gain for P&P with the addition of more retail space. Graham said the cleaners recently decided to close their doors before their lease was up because their business was dwindling. The landlord for this new space is also the store’s existing landlord, and he was very happy to add the space on to the store’s existing lease, said Graham.
This announcement comes amid two other expansionary moves for the business. On October 12, P&P opened a new 2,300-square-foot store at The Wharf in southwest D.C. A second new branch location, at Union Market in northeast D.C., will open during the first part of 2018. The store, which will contain 1,000 square feet for retail and 1,000 for events, was originally slated to open this fall but construction delays with the developer have postponed that plan.
“The opening of two new branches reflects our commitment to D.C. and our desire to be a part of growing neighborhoods in other parts of the city, and our decision to expand the main store represents our commitment to the northwest D.C. area that has sustained P&P from its inception in 1984,” said Graham. “It’s a sign that we remain devoted to this part of the city even as we embark on new ventures in two other areas of D.C.”