8A — March 27 - April 9, 2015 — Shopping Centers — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


R etail E xperts

By Faith Hope Consolo, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Retail rebirth in the Nation’s Capital

A city that remakes it- self with every major election, Washing-

taurants are flocking to new projects. In this respect, Washing- ton is following a national trend: urbanization. The U.S. population is moving back to city centers, and retailers are following, first to New York, Chicago, Miami and Los An- geles, and now to Philadelphia, Washington and more. Helping this is the city’s own economic recovery, with a rising population and de- clining office vacancy. While the population still hasn’t hit 1 million (usually considered a minimum touchstone for expanding retailers), it is ris-

ing, from 649,000 in 2013 to 659,000 in 2014, says the U.S. Census Bureau. And those numbers are a significant increase from the 602,000 re- ported in the 2010 census. On the office side, the city is the tightest market in the United States, with vacancy rate of 9.2 percent, according to Reis. Ur- ban retailers and restaurants want both daytime office traf- fic and nighttime visits from residents, so this is a perfect combination. And of course it helps that developers are cre- ating spectacular new projects to house them! An ongoing case in point is

CityCenterDC, which debuted in 2014 and continues to draw new retailers, restaurants and residents. Featuring such high-end retailers as Burberry, Allen Edmonds, Longchamp, Loro Piana, Ferragamo, Tumi, and Zadig & Voltaire. Coming soon are Alexis Bittar, Canali, Vince, CH Carolina Herrera, David Yurman, Louis Vuit- ton and Momofuku. This is a pioneering project in that it is bringing true luxury boutiques into the District for the first time, an acknowledgement that Washington itself, and not just the suburbs, is home to the affluent.

CityCenterDC is not the only District project attracting in- terest. Waterfront Station, also being built in phases by Forest City Washington, Vornado/ Charles E. Smith, and Bresler & Reiner, is well under way with a new residential project and 5,000 square feet of retail now under construction. Also attracting a lot of inter- est is Ivy City, the industrial area in the northwest that is slowly restoring homes and converting factories to residences and restaurants, not unlike New York City’s Meatpacking District. Coming later this year are Big Chief Bar from the owner of Bedrock Bars, and Bicycle Space and dining at Douglas Develop- ment’s Hecht’s Warehouse. Retailers looking to literally get into the ground floor of a re- developing community would be well advised to look here! Elsewhere, other retailers continue to find new space: Dol- lar Tree will replace Murry’s at 3932 Minnesota Avenue. The key to all of these is transportation. All of the de- velopments are mixed-use, with some combination of office, retail and residential space creating a walkable, 24/7 community. Yet they are close to Metro stations that make them accessible to visitors from around the District and to tourists. They not only are neighborhoods, but also desti- nations, perfect for attracting international retailers. It’s been a long time coming, but retailers at all price points are finally recognizing that Washington DC’s retail scene is back and better than ever! Faith Hope Consolo is chairman of The Retail Group, at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. n Campbell Comm’l. inks lease to Girls on the Run in PA Lemoyne, PA — Girls on the Run Capital Area, has leased space at 525 N. 12th St., Lemoyne. Girls on the Run is a 501(3) non-profit organization that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using an experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. Art Campbell and Jessica Gasper of Campbell Com- mercial Real Estate, Inc. represented both parties in the transaction. n

ton DC is in the midst of a significant retail rebirth, with mixed- use projects creating new n e i g h b o r - hoods around the District.

Faith Hope Consolo

From affluent residential ar- eas reminiscent of New York’s Upper East Side to the re- making of grittier industrial areas into something new and trendy, new stores and res-






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