D.C.

Scheele's Market struggles to stay open

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History is the chief resident in Georgetown, but soon a piece of it could fade.

Scheele's Market has been around for 118 years.

"It's where we run into each other. You can get that neighborhood feel that I love in coming to this store," shopper Tom Birch said. 

But now, there's a sense the store is running on borrowed time.

Last year, the land changed hands, and a new landlord could make millions by turning the cramped deli into a townhome.

Jordan O'Neill, the property owner, explained, "A large, single family home with parking in the east village of Georgetown would command a much larger premium over a store."

So months ago, a neighborhood group called Friend's of Scheele's arranged to pay $70,000 to O'Neill to keep the location as a grocery store.

Mike Peabody, with Friends of Scheele's, said, "We've been raising that money. We're almost there."

About half of that money would go to giving the store's aisles a much needed facelift.

But, the group is five days away from the deadline and $5,000 short.

"We will get there one way of the other," Peabody added.

Luckily, O'Neill said he has an affection for historic, neighborhood spots and will likely extend the deadline if they can't pay.

O'Neill continued, "It's very rewarding to renovate properties and see the transformation. So, in my mind, it's a long term commitment to the community of Georgetown."

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