Languishing Shops at Georgetown Park will be auctioned off next month

Ever wondered why the Shops at Georgetown Park, which sits on some of the best land in the best-trafficked shopping district in D.C., is nearly half-empty? Dueling kings of real estate, that’s why. And the situation may come to a head, the Washington Post is reporting, when the behemoth structure is sold at auction next month.

The Shops at Georgetown Park is going under foreclosure after its owners defaulted on a $70 million loan. But the owners of the Shops have actually been in litigation for years, nearly since Herbert S. Miller and his company, Western Development, bought the Shops in 2006 for $84 million. Anthony Lanier, a Georgetown developer who owns like, half of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, commenced suing Miller, saying they had agreed to buy the Shops together.

The litigation made tenants nervous and they began to bail on the Shops, and Miller’s company lost the deal with Bloomingdale, which was supposed to anchor the Shops at Georgetown Park. Now, “56 percent of the property, or 168,000 of the 300,000 square feet, sits empty,” writes the Post. And attorneys for Western Development are very clear about who’s to blame.

“He’s destroyed that property,” [Western attorney Scott Morrison] told the Post about Lanier. “He’s driven down the value on that property by probably $30 million.”

So look for a brawl at the upcoming auction, where Lanier could attempt to buy the structure. Morrison, Miller and Western Development’s attorney, said Miller will probably retain ownership, but then there’s the $50 million lawsuit with Lanier to deal with—which would still leave the Shops at Georgetown Park half-empty.

4 Comments on “Languishing Shops at Georgetown Park will be auctioned off next month

  1. Even without cannibalization from the top that mall space will never live up to lofty expectations. Georgetown may be a shopping hotbed but except for the high end boutiques that can mark up their products or the crappy Wisconsin Ave stores that serve as front companies for drug dealers no middle of the road shop is going to make a profit by relying on foot traffic alone.

    The no metro and crappy parking combo makes it a tough retail climate

  2. Speaking of the sleazy drug-dealer-front shops, can someone please do some investigative reporting into those places? There is absolutely NO way they are legitimate stores, and if they’re not drug fronts, then there’s always the angle that they would then have to be miracles of modern economics from which we can all learn something: how to make rent with zero sale–what a scoop that would be! Vox Pop, please figure out the average tonnage of coke going through those places, the public demands to know!

  3. Yo, just thought I should let you guys know know: My dad is gonna buy me an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel franchise in the Georgetown Park Mall. I think it’ll make a really great place for political fundraisers. Politics, law school, and owning a pretzel store totally go hand-in-hand, if you ask me. You didn’t ask me? Well anyway…that’s what I think about it. Also, as a history buff, I really appreciate how pretzels have been a staple in American diets since the 19th century, which we all remember occurred in the 1960s.

    The apartment is coming along great. Tile is all picked out. We’re tied up a little bit with getting a permit to install a hot tub, but I’m confident we’ll get that worked out long before I run my pretzel store into the ground.

  4. @ Fritz

    Not gonna expand the wildly successful bar chain? I’m waiting for more cleverly named spots like “Rum & Coke” and “Tequila & Tabasco”

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