From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @maggiebarron.
Yes, you heard right. After 20 years, Reincarnations is closing its doors. As the pioneering furniture store in an area now known as “furniture row,” the end of Reincarnations, on 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, feels particularly significant to the changing 14th Street landscape.
Back in January, when I profiled owner Christopher Torres for Borderstan, he seemed excited about what was to come. Why the sudden change? According to Torres, negotiations with his landlord have been going on since November, but the landlord would not settle on a final contract.
Torres told me on Wednesday that with real estate taxes included, his rent was slated to go up from about $15,000 to $18,000 per month. “I don’t think people realize how expensive rent can be,” he said, “and that’s not counting other expenses like insurance and utilities. I could have made it work, but I am not going to crank $300 sofas out the door all day to make the rent. I felt like I would have had to sacrifice quality or service to do that.”
“I told the landlord, ‘If you can rent the space for that amount, do it.’”
Torres said it has been a very difficult decision to make. “I’ve struggled with it. I’m very sad to leave. I was a pioneer on that street. The store is doing very well, and it’s never been an issue of ‘going out of business.’ But for the price I’m paying there, I could be in Manhattan.”
As for plans to move to a new location, Torres says he has not considered it, yet. “It’s always been in the back of my mind. I’m not saying no but I haven’t even had time to go look at spaces.” He added that he is not selling the business or the name, so the possibility is always there.
Though Torres is sad to close, he still sounded upbeat. He is currently working on a line of upholstery called CGT, which he expects to be available in some local Borderstan-area stores. For customers who want to know what’s next for Reincarnations, Torres says that he will keep the store’s Facebook page running with updates.
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