Dozens of merchants at Reston Town Center are organizing a revolt against the new paid parking system that has been in place for a month, and they are meeting on Monday to discuss suing RTC manager Boston Properties, one tenant tells Patch.You can read the fancy letter Polmer wrote detailing merchants' complaints about the paid parking. Precisely none of them will surprise anyone who's attempted to park at RTC since Jan. 3.
Bunny Polmer -- a spokeswoman for Aaron Mervis, who runs Wildfire Restaurant in McLean and Big Bowl at RTC -- said that in just a month since ParkRTC went live on Jan. 3, two retailers have closed and all stores have reported sales down 10 to 50 percent compared to last year.
"There is less foot traffic and would-be customers are taking their business to other shopping destinations," she said.
She claimed that more than 60 merchants are considering a lawsuit. Mervis told Patch that every single merchant at RTC except the Hyatt was on board to put pressure on Boston Properties.
No word yet on how RTC's elite crisis management team will respond, but if this social media post is any indication, it just might involve funnel cakes:
Better put on a fresh pot of coffee, crisis managers. It's going to be a long couple of days.
Update: Boston Properties responded to our BFFs at Reston Now. Enjoy some sweeeeet blockquote-nested-within-blockquote action:
Rob Weinhold, spokesperson for Boston Properties, said it would be “inappropriate” for the real estate trust to speculate on or respond to the merchants’ legal threats. However, when contacted by Reston Now, he did wish to clear up “misinformation” about parking validation “that requires immediate clarification:”“Each retailer and restaurateur, at their sole discretion, decide[s] which garages they choose to validate. As previously communicated, each retailer and restaurateur makes their own business decision about (1) participating in the validation program and (2) what validation terms they choose to incorporate within their unique business model, to include validating for all or select garages.”Mervis said his restaurant is trying to do the right thing for customers by validating parking, but the end result is hurting their bottom line.
“We’re paying the same price as the guest pays,” he said. “We spent $1,600 in January to validate parking, and at our price point, that has drastic effects for us.”