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Going Places

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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 03:30 AM
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business - Going Places - Entrepreneur.com

This story appears in the October 1999 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

When Steven Heald, 33, and Nick Fontana, 36, negotiated the lease for Capital Q, their 1,300-square-foot Texas barbecue restaurant in Washington, DC, there wasn't a lot of room to cut costs. A new sports venue, MCI Center, was scheduled to open in December 1997--exactly when the partners expected to serve their first meal--and the excitement was pushing commercial rents sky-high. That didn't stop them from looking for ways to save, however.

Rather than pay the $65 or even $100 per square foot owners were asking for prime commercial space, Heald and Fontana shopped around and eventually settled on a location between the White House and Capitol Hill. Signing a 20-year lease helped them negotiate a cost per square foot of only $32, in addition to pass-throughs--a set percentage of the landlord's taxes, property insurance and common-area maintenance costs.

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