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Jonathan O’Connell’s scoop this morning that the 14th and F Street Borders would be replaced by a 35,000-square-foot restaurant includes this bit of insight from a downtown broker:
Broker Bill Miller, senior vice president at Transwestern Retail, which represents Shorenstein, said he expects the deal to rejuvenate a part of town that has been sapped by the reduction of major retail options in the National Press Club Building, kitty-corner to Hamilton Square, and the loss of Red Sage, a restaurant across the street that recently closed and was replaced by a TD Bank branch.
“The restaurants and critical mass have all sort of tilted down toward the Verizon Center,” Miller said. “And our hope was, along with the W Hotel … to put somebody in that was a well-thought-of retailer or restaurant that would be great for the building and bring energy for the neighborhood.”
It’s always sad to see a bookstore go—even a chain like Borders. But I don’t think anyone would argue that that huge space was particularly well-used. And one could even see it as a good sign for downtown that the area around the White House would need to be “rejuvenated,” having dulled in comparison to even more vibrant parts of the central business district.