Fleetwood Market Pop-Up Opens Today – January 7, 2022

by Hannah McCann, January 7, 2022

There can be a lot of questions before a new business and a landlord lock hands on a retail lease. Even when all signs point to yes, it can be easy for both the start-up and the landlord to second-guess a commitment that typically extends for three, five, or even more years. That’s how I found myself recently standing outside a vacant storefront on Sligo Avenue asking, “How about a pop-up?”

Business leaders across the country (and as nearby as Alexandria and Georgetown) have embraced short-term, or “pop-up,” leases as a way to reimagine vacant spaces. Typically open for one to three months, pop-up shops bring buzz to commercial blocks that have gone quiet, help market overlooked vacancies, and incubate followers for a new business. Still, it’s a tough sell for many landlords (and their agents) who are used to one-and-done long-term leases (and the fatter commissions that go with them). 

Fortunately for downtown Silver Spring, the landlord of a long-shuttered daycare at 629 Sligo Avenue responded differently when I floated the idea of a pop-up. “Interesting concept,” she said. We began a conversation. 

The result goes live today. The storefront at 629 Sligo comes alive as Fleetwood Market, a hip pop-up retail apparel shop. The brainchild of Silver Spring natives Julian Labarca and Lewis Andrews, the shop features a curated inventory of collectible sneakers and clothing and a flurry of giveaways and surprise promotions hyped by Fleetwood Market’s busy Instagram handle, @fleetwoodmarket. Stop by the pop-up shop any day between 12 and 6 PM today through January 23.

Julian and Lewis turned their sights on bringing their passion for collectible apparel to their hometown following graduation from Northwood High School, college, and budding careers in Fortune 500 companies. The buy/sell/trade collectible fashion market is a high-growth industry recently profiled in the New York Times and on CNBC that has exploded during the pandemic. Joining Home Court on nearby Philadelphia Avenue, Fleetwood Market makes this part of downtown Silver Spring a destination for today’s fashion collectors, similar to how the area’s record stores have drawn record collectors for the past decade. 

What’s next for Fleetwood Market and 629 Sligo Avenue? It’s too early to say. But one thing is sure: nap time is over at the former daycare, and a homegrown venture is off and running. 

  • What: Fleetwood Market
  • When: 12-6 PM every day, January 7-23, 2022
  • Where: 629 Sligo Avenue
  • More information: fleetwoodmarketdc@gmail.com

Interested in hosting a pop-up space in your property, or bringing your business concept to market with a short-term pop-up lease? Contact commercial agent Hannah McCann with Go Brent Realty at hannah@gobrentrealty.com or 301-787-6749.