One of my neighbors emailed Chipotle about why they declined free rent at The Grays, located East of the River. The response is below.
Thank you for writing us! We’ve been watching this area for about three years now, and we’re really happy to see the area changing. But we feel that the area is still a long way from having the right day parts necessary to support one of our restaurants. We’ll be there at some point but probably not at least for the next 18 months when three more developments come on line. Furthermore, it is the initial density of people and capital cost that weigh most heavily on our bottom line - so even with free rent, unfortunately our numbers just don’t work at this point in time. That said, we are definitely pushing the envelope on new deals and going into trade areas that have challenged or limited day parts in the DC area for the future, so please keep your fingers crossed, and we appreciate your time and attention.