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.