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Here’s a sign of the times if there ever was one: Herb Miller, a 50-year Georgetown resident and the man responsible for developing much of the neighborhood, has packed up and moved to Logan Circle. His reason: “The city’s moved east.”
“There was a local grocery store and cleaners and hardware stores,” says Miller of his longtime neighborhood, to which he brought Washington Harbour and Georgetown Park in the 1980s. “Now there’s none of that. I’m looking out the window at 14th and P. There’s Whole Foods, and a hardware store, and cleaners, and restaurants. There’s all that.”
Miller is CEO of Western Development, a company he founded in 1967. The company transformed Georgetown before looking further east, like Miller now, and developing properties like Gallery Place. Miller’s sons Ben and Daniel own the investment firm WestMill Capital and have had early success using crowdfunding models for commercial real estate ventures.
Miller lived in a six-bedroom house at 3249 N St. NW that was assessed last year at $5,767,360. Now, with his last kid having left for college, he felt it was time to downsize, to an apartment at 14th and P Streets NW near Logan Circle.
“I don’t want a house,” he says. “I have three other houses in different places. I want to be able to lock it and leave. I don’t want to have to worry about a pool guy and all the other stuff you have to deal with when you have a house.”
He adds that he spends four to five days a week at his farm in Easton, Md., anyway, so he just needs a place close to the action. “Since I couldn’t move to Paris,” he says, “the next best thing is 14th and P.”
Miller still has fond feelings toward Georgetown, which he calls “sweet and nice and a wonderful village,” but he’s excited by the shifting center of gravity eastward. After all, he says, “I was responsible for some of it.”