When the Chevy Chase Pavilion opens next week, it will likely be without Barneys New York, the trendy Manhattan clothier.
The expected arrival of the upscale retailer's first Washington-area store was hailed as a coup last May by the Donohoe Cos., developer of the $130 million shopping center at Western and Wisconsin avenues NW. The company wrote the Barneys name into its floor plans.
Barneys was to open an 8,000-square-foot store. Its presence was seen as a boost to the entire Chevy Chase shopping district, which faces intense competition from such other retail centers as Tysons Corner and Rockville. Last fall, Chevy Chase lost a bid for Washington's first Tiffany & Co. store, now located in Tysons Corner.
The Pavilion, the area's newest upscale mall, is scheduled to open Oct. 17, with about 70 stores and more than 200,000 square feet of retail space. It is 75 percent leased, according to mall officials.
Barneys executives never signed a lease, according to sources, and were unhappy with the amount of space available at the Pavilion. According to one retail source, Barneys wanted more than 20,000 square feet.
While the Pavilion's management has signed leases with a number of well-known retailers, including The Limited and Fila, the loss of Barneys is likely to be a blow to the new mall's drive for recognition. Men's clothing retailers were anticipating stiff competition from Barneys, which started as a discounter and is now expanding rapidly as an upscale chain.
While a Barneys spokesman would not comment on its plans, retail leasing agents said the company was looking at locations in Tysons Corner -- even one next door to Tiffany's.