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Back in early July, one corner of one of D.C.’s busiest retail intersections—-M Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown—-became available. The famous Nathans restaurant was finally closing after 40 years. The business’s owner Carol Joynt had inherited Nathans, along with an astonishing amount of debt, after her husband died.
At the end, Joynt had been on a month-to-month lease with her building’s owner, the Heon family. She terminated it, raised $26,000 (as of my last report) from patrons to pay off some debt, and got out. The landlord tenant relationship had not concluded peacefully, to say the least. All my links to Joynt’s old blog are now dead. But here’s what I cut and pasted out of there over the summer:
Then, out of the blue, the landlords filed suit against me in landlord-tenant court. They wanted us evicted. I spent 10 days dodging a process server, who at times banged on my front door. (Disguises help. Ladders at the garden wall to the neighbors help, too). The court date was set for June 15. They threatened to take my house.
…Personally, I was always struggling, and hawking personal property to come up with money. And over 12 years! Local businessmen who were good at the game said, “Face it, you work for the landlords.”
But now that the landlords are just working for themselves, they’re not making much headway. Back in July, the family’s lawyer Ronald Shapiro said the owners had “received some purchase offers. The offers have not yet been accepted. There have also been some unsolicited leasing offers,” he added. But as it turns out, thus far, no one has been willing to offer a purchase price to meet the Heon family’s satisfaction, the Washington Business Journal reported today. So now they’re looking for renters. Here’s a bit more:
Some parties that submitted offers are now considering leasing the space. Users include restaurant/bars and national retailers.
The owners, which prefer one tenant but are open to separate users, are looking for initial lease terms of three to five years with the space conveyed as-is, among other criteria.
“The owners would like to lease the space as soon as possible given that the building is vacant,” Feldman said. “That said, they understand the high demand for the space and are currently moving very methodically and deliberately toward the selection of the proper tenants.”