Located directly north of Chinatown’s glistening, freshly-repainted arch, the building at the northeast corner of 7th and H Streets is looking particularly dingy these days. On the street level, there are construction barriers, and there’s an “Eichberg” sign hanging across the western exterior wall.
But it doesn’t seem like much is going on—-and this area is easily one of the busiest in the District for street-level retail and restaurant business.
So what’s the deal?
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, DCmud reported an update on the property. The building’s owner, Yeni Wong and her Gallery Towers LLC—-who planned to develop a 9-story mixed-use project called “Gallery Square”—-were issued a notice of foreclosure back in October, according to the blog. Here’s more:
According to the website of developer DRI, a Transwestern Company, 675 H Street was to become home to two buildings: one would restore the corner space and rise 9 stories over the arch, the other would be a new Class A office building behind the main storefronts. The total project would have yielded 110,000 s.f. of office space and 50,000 s.f. of retail. The planned development never came to fruition and between October 2008 and February 2009 Gallery Towers had 4 liens placed on their Chinatown property. In the meantime, Eichberg Construction briefly began work last summer after fencing off the site, but work quickly halted.
And there’s more from Penn Quarter Living, “the tale is a little more convoluted than it seems as the loan on the property was sold to Douglas Development prior to the bankruptcy filing. Of great interest to retail watchers is the spectrum of retailers who signed deals…CVS (the pharmacy would return to their originally occupied space, Eagle Bank (a regional bank based in Bethesda, MD) and J. Pauls (part of the Capital Restaurants group with a notable presence in Georgetown).”