A while back, GM wondered “what’s wrong with upper Georgetown“? GM tried to pin the chronic vacancies and failed stores on the lack of population density around the 1700 block of Wisconsin Ave. The conditions have changed little since this observation, however, as the Washington Business Journal reported yesterday, a few enterprising developers appear to be snatching up whatever available property they can find in upper Georgetown right now.
Michael Neibauer of WBJ reported yesterday that:
A D.C. developer who specializes in building multifamily over restaurants has acquired two properties in upper Georgetown, where he plans to do just that.
Hashim Hassan of Inle Development this week closed on the $900,000 acquisition of 1728 Wisconsin Ave. NW, the former home of P.O. Boxes Etc., a shipping center. In January, Hassan paid $1.1 million for 1659 Wisconsin, a now-shuttered antiques shop.
In both cases, Hassan said he’s thinking restaurant on the ground-floor in both cases, with two stories residential above. In the case of 1728 Wisconsin, Hassan said he is in talks with Aung Toe Myint of Silver Spring’s Mandalay Restaurant & Cafe about a “new trendy, hip Asian concept.”
Are these fools’ errands? Can this area be turned around without the influx of a lot more residents? There are only so many new units that Hassan’s new properties could provide. To support the type of retail he seems to envision will take a lot more. And to build the amount of residential that would be necessary would require a large fight.
Either way, it appears something’s rushing in to upper Georgetown, whether it’s fools or wisemen is yet to be seen.