Madison Park’s retail core—what‘s left of it—is about to be hit with another defection. At the end of July, Ropa Bella in the Park, the women’s clothing store which has been a mainstay of the Park’s retail district for years, will decamp for Madison Valley. Word on the street is that at about the same time, Dermaradiance, the skincare spa next door, will be also moving out.
These exits from the commercial building at 4105 E. Madison Street follow closely upon the loss of Sun Precautions (which closed up shop a few months ago) and the earlier retreat of VanQuaetham Chiropractic (which moved to Madison Valley last summer). Both of those spaces remain vacant at 4105, although the onetime basement location of the chiropractors was briefly occupied by a yoga studio last year.
Rumor has it that building owner, Sander Properties, is in negotiation with a “national” retailer to fill the entire first-floor shop space, although the deal has apparently not been inked. I was unable to make contact with Sander last week to verify the story. What is not in question, however, is that we will soon be experiencing a major shift at the very heart Madison Park’s retail district (referred to by the Madison Park Business Association as “The Village”).
The way the whole thing seems to be playing out is perhaps a bit ironic. Some may recall that Madison Park Books, which previously occupied the Ropa Bella space, was thought to have been forced out of business when the building’s owner indicated that there was going to be a big increase the bookstore’s rent if it wanted to stay. At that time, the landlord had a prospective tenant waiting in the wings that was willing to pay the higher rent: Ropa Bella. This time, as we understand the situation, Ropa Bella wanted to move to smaller quarters in the same building, but the landlord apparently needs all of the first-floor space in order to accommodate another—presumably higher paying—tenant.
In the meantime, Ropa Bella is preparing for its move to Madison Valley, where it will soon be ensconced in a shop near All the Best Pets, a much smaller space than the clothing store currently enjoys here in the Park. What’s next for the big space the store leaves behind remains an open question.