The Washington Business Journal is reporting that the old Neam’s Market building is for sale. Again. The building was only just sold by the Neam’s family early last year.
The buyer, a New York-based real estate developer called Sivan Properties, apparently didn’t want to deal with the Georgetown hurdles and just wants out. According to WBJ:
The company has since determined that the property would be better suited in the hands of a buyer that’s based in D.C. and has more familiarity with the vagaries or trying to lease or redevelop here, said Josh Feldman, vice president of investments for Marcus & Millichap’s Feldman Group, which is marketing the property.
“They had some very interesting tenants who were willing to pay pretty high rents, but at the end of the day, they weren’t able to get to the finish line,” Feldman said. “They’re based out of New York, and it seemed like a good opportunity at the time, but navigating Georgetown takes boots on the ground, so to speak.”
What GM can’t believe about this whole situation is that this “end of the day” reasoning was more than apparent at the beginning of the day too. Building in Georgetown is hard. Especially when you’re trying to add new construction to an old property, as GM heard they were considering in this case.
And GM still thinks it would be a good idea to develop the parking lot into some sort of mixed-use space. But it will take a lot of work coming up with a design that preserves enough of the old building to pass muster. This will probably result in a smaller addition than a New York-based developer might expect. But again, that fact was blazingly obvious to anybody last year. Why they had to spend $6 million on the property before discovering this fact is confounding to GM.
Either way, it sounds like the wait for life to return to the building will go on. But hopefully a local developer with experience in Georgetown will step forward and take up the challenge.