City Bikes Set to Open at Former Car Dealership

LogoCity Bikes, a locally-owned independent bike retailer, will be rolling into Tenleytown at the end of March as it opens its fourth D.C. location on Wisconsin Avenue at the old Volkswagen dealership. The bike shop will lease the northern building on the property, which is currently owned by Georgetown Day School. The school purchased the former car dealership in June 2014 as part of a planned mixed-use development and campus consolidation.

City Bikes received its business license at the end of February and certificate of occupancy shortly thereafter, and plans to move quickly to open the new retail location. The store will be divided between a traditional bike store and an electric bike store, as well as a shared bicycle maintenance department. The entrance to the 2,500 sq. ft. bike store will be through the front doors, while electric bike shoppers will access a 1,000 sq. ft. retail space through the current side entrance.

Former Tenleytown car lot

Future home of City Bikes on Wisconsin Ave.

City Bikes plans to enliven the currently bleak surface lot that surrounds the storefront with bicycle displays, a test area for mountain bikes, and occasional events for bike enthusiasts. City Bikes’ other locations in Adams Morgan, Chevy Chase, and Capitol Hill have partnered with the DC Bike Party, a monthly local bike ride across the city, and sponsored pit stops for National Bike to Work Day.

Tenleytown residents have lamented the departure of Hudson Trail Outfitters, which closed in September taking with it a popular bicycle department. The arrival of City Bikes is likely to receive a warm welcome, and General Manager Saul Leiken is enthusiastic about becoming part of the Tenleytown community. “We want to be in Tenleytown as long as we can,” he told Tenleytown, D.C.

City Bikes signed a two-year lease with Georgetown Day School. The school submitted a planned unit development application to the Zoning Commission in November; a hearing on the application has yet to be scheduled. GDS previously indicated that construction of the planned retail-residential project, if approved, would not begin until after work on the new lower and middle school campus is complete. The new facilities are anticipated to open in 2020 on the current site of the Safeway grocery store. Given this timeline, City Bikes could potentially renew its lease in 2018 for another term.