Yesterday, Shaun Courtney assessed the business state of Georgetown, which sometimes looks less healthy than it actually is because of a few shuttered storefronts along the main commercial avenues of Wisconsin and M Street. A couple months ago, I learned that many of those are actually leased, with tenants just waiting to move in.
According to brokers, though, unleased spaces aren’t a function of low demand. It’s just that landlords—many of them foreign, with no stake in the neighborhood’s vibrance—are holding out for higher rent or the perfect tenant. In the case of 3060 M Street, which Ritz Camera vacated over a year ago. Paris-based owner Jean-Louis Loeb-Picard is looking for someone who’ll take care of all the necessary renovations and upkeep. In an e-mail to Housing Complex, he explained:
We are seeking a forward looking retailer, that will be able to withstand the difficult economic times while at the same time being able to implement a first class tenant design and taking care of the renovations. It is simply a complex submarket that in this case requires a tenant familiar and capable with the renovation of the building and its space, given that we are not in a position to handle a complex renovation ourselves. However, having said this, we are increasingly seeing attractive retailers interested in the space and are confident that we will find a resolution to our requirements within the near future.
Eastbanc’s Vice President of Real Estate Marcie Connolly, who’s acting as Loeb-Picard’s point of contact with prospective tenants, says the landlord has multiple offers on the table—he’s just taking his time.