2021 | Business

After 50 years, dry cleaning business moves from Chevy Chase to North Bethesda

Retail, residential, hotel considered for former site

Parkway Custom Drycleaning recently moved from its old location on Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase to North Bethesda.

Photo courtesy of Jon Simon

Parkway Custom Drycleaning has moved from Chevy Chase — where it had been for 50 years — to North Bethesda.

The dry cleaning business, which started in 1926, moved Dec. 1 from 8402 Connecticut Ave. to its current location on Randolph Road, near its intersection with Parklawn Drive, owner Jon Simon told Bethesda Beat last week.

The Chevy Chase site that Parkway Custom left might be turned into retail space with residential units or a hotel, according to a representative for the owners.

Simon said Parkway Custom Drycleaning had been in Chevy Chase for 50 years, but the property’s owners recently told him they want the area rezoned for higher density.

“With the new zoning, they had the ability to build a six- or seven-story building. And they’re talking to different developers now. Nothing has been secured, but they gave me notice that they were going to look and that I was going to have to relocate,” he said.

The old Parkway Drycleaning site is owned by Steve and Barbara Boorstein of Colorado, who also used to own the dry cleaning business, Simon said.

Gary Eisenberg, Barbara’s brother and a Michigan-based real estate broker who represents the owners, told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday that they are working with multiple developers to come up with a plan for the property.

Eisenberg said it is zoned for mixed-use, and they are contemplating a development that includes both retail and a “residential node of some sort” that might be apartments, condominiums or a hotel.

“We’re still kind of working through those details,” he said.

Eisenberg said it’s possible the new residential building will be six or seven stories high.

Simon said he settled on the North Bethesda space about five miles away because it’s relatively close to the dry cleaning business’s base of customers in Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

Additionally, Simon said he bought the property so that he could “control his own destiny.”

“I still wanted it to remain as close as I could [to Chevy Chase],” he said.

Simon said the new space is 10,000 square feet, twice the size of his Chevy Chase facility. He said he has had it upgraded with new electrical plumbing and a new HVAC system.

Simon said three-quarters of his business is pickup and delivery. Custom Drycleaning will deliver to most places in Montgomery County, including as far north as Derwood and Gaithersburg, he said.

According to the Montgomery County Planning Department’s database, it did not appear as of Wednesday that any development applications for the old Parkway Custom Drycleaning site had been filed. A department spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com