GM linked to an article by the Washington Business Journal yesterday stating that Chase Bank was coming to Georgetown. What he didn’t notice was that it was also reporting where in Georgetown it would be opening: 3215 P St. Otherwise known as the former Neam’s Market (or more recently: Marvelous Market.)
It’s hard to state how utterly disappointing this is. For such a historic building that has served as a food market for the community, literally for generations, to become an utterly useless bank is just about the worst possible scenario for this building. Honestly, burning it to the ground would be an improvement to this.
Waaaaay back in 2015 when the property was sold to a Long Island investment fund, GM raised alarms that it did not have a good track record in DC. Shortly after, GM received a huffy email from a manager of the fund claiming that they would be a good steward of the property and were looking for quality tenants. Yeah, about that.
First they let the property sit vacant for years. Then they listed it for sale. Then as part of a possible sale, they proposed an idiotic plan to build condos on the property which was rejected promptly. Then it sat empty for another year. Now this.
The fund would surely say that it’s just economics. But the reason the economics are hard is that they stupidly overpaid for property in the first place. The property was doomed from that moment on.
And now where once a gourmet market served a community, glass-eyed bank tellers will cash checks and ask whether you’d be interested in a variable rate mortgage.
Competition is good. But there are enough banks in Georgetown to provide adequate competition. And that’s not to mention the endless online banking options. This isn’t about providing another option for Georgetowners. It’s just about a gigantic financial behemoth trying to take a few dollars away from the 38 other banks in town. And it was facilitated by an equally uncaring New York fund who turned out to be just as much a disaster for this building as GM predicted.