As reported here, the building which houses Scheele’s Market is for sale. The Scheeles are pitching the property as an opportunity to convert it into a single family home. Not surprisingly, this has caused much consternation in the East Village. However, The Georgetown Current brought some reason to hope last week. But this burst of hope is coming from a very unlikely source. Find out why after the jump.
Georgetown resident Marc Teren has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the real estate authorities in town. In 2006, the ex-executive of Newsweek and Washington Post’s online division, purchased the Williams-Addison house at 1645 31st. St. Since then he has fought a long battle with the neighbors, the ANC, and the HRPB to try to sub-divide the mini-estate. This has won him few friends in the neighborhood, and moreover he’s lost pretty much every decision.
So, needless to say that in the East Village, Teren’s reputation, at least when it comes to real estate matters, is not exactly lofty. So with this background, it probably caused a good deal of cognitive dissonance when it was reported that Teren is the most likely new owner of the Scheele’s Market property and that Teren intends to keep the property operating as a market should his offer be accepted.
Teren was quoted in the article stating that “if successful [in purchasing the building] I intend to keep Scheele’s as a continuing neighborhood institution.”
Teren says that he’s a customer himself and that he has an interest in preserving the market. So it would appear that his actions are genuine and not some sort of Hail Mary attempt to win-over the neighborhood to his plans for the Williams-Addison house. Either way, it will be interesting to see this story play out and it’s good news that the chances of the market surviving are brighter than they appeared a few weeks ago.
5 responses to “Scheele’s Update – Unlikely Hero?”
Anyone relying on Marc Teren’s word as a sign of good news for Scheele’s, shouldn’t get their hopes up. His conduct over the last few years seems like one long, selfish parade of contempt for the historic character and integrity of our neighborhood.
Isn’t this the same guy that has either ignored or fought to thwart the historic preservation recommendations of both our Area Neighborhood Commission and the Citizen’s Association of Georgetown regarding his various real estate schemes? I know of many individual residents that have publicly voiced their own objections to Mr. Teren’s developments, only to be met with indifference, rudeness, or duplicity.
He has been working to sub-divide the distinguished Jean Friendly Estate, he sought to construct an underground parking garage along another historic property right near Scheele’s, and he has marred the appealing view along 19th-century Dumbarton Mews.
He made repeated representations that he intended to reside in the 2613 Dumbarton house, citing that as a rationale for the development project. In an email copied to ANC and OGB, Teren wrote, “[The 2613 house] is titled in my name and intended, pending the hopeful sale of my current residence, to be my home.” One of his representatives wrote in a separate email, “In terms of a time frame, I am hoping to have Marc living in the home by October 1 .” But once he got the green light he wanted, he sold the property and as far as I can tell spent not a single day residing there.
Add to that the construction teams, noise, long-term exclusive parking permits and general disruption. Heck, he had a gigantic construction dumpster parked on Dumbarton Street for nearly two years.
All these activities by Teren have apparently been done with one main goal in mind – the enrichment of Marc Teren. His philosophy is spelled out on the webpage for his investment group (www.equityrg.com) which explicitly states that he is “singularly focused on creating value in the residential real estate marketplace.”
I’ve spoken to dozens of longtime Georgetown residents about Teren and the consensus view is that he’s like our own local version of Mr. Potter, only with less charm. Now Teren expects Georgetowners to take him at his word and believe that he has the best interests of the East Village at heart? Please.
Thanks Jim. While I knew about the fight over the Williams-Addison house, I didn’t know the full history of Teren and his fights with his neighbors. It certainly puts the whole story in a much different light.
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