Walter Reed Shakes Up Retail Leasing Team (Washington Business Journal)
September 18, 2017
The team developing the former Walter Reed hospital site in Northwest D.C. is beefing up its retail leasing team.
Hines Interests LP, the leader of the team that also includes Urban Atlantic and Triden Development Group, has hired retail strategy firm Streetsense to lease a major part of the project, including a planned “town center” near the site’s core that has 60,000 square feet of retail space. In all, Streetsense will be leasing 150,000 square feet of retail in several buildings in different phases of the redevelopment.
Weingarten Realty, the Houston-based brokerage that Hines initially hired to handle retail, will continue to work on the project, mainly leasing the retail space in another building — the residential building planned for the corner of Georgia Avenue and Aspen Street NW — according to Katie Wiacek, managing director at Hines.
That building will have 300 residential units and 17,000 square feet of retail. The developer is already in talks for a small grocer at that corner, Wiacek said, though she declined to disclose which one. A rendering of the building from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development shows the store as having a whimsical, bright red sign that looks awfully similar to that of Trader Joe’s, however. Trader Joe’s stores come in at around 15,000 square feet.
Streetsense has been tasked with landing a larger grocery tenant for the larger town center, originally envisioned to be a Wegmans. However, Wegmans was never able to reach a deal for the Walter Reed site and instead signed a lease to open its first D.C. store at the former Fannie Mae campus on Wisconsin Avenue NW near Tenleytown.
Weingarten has a history of working with Wegmans: It was the firm that brought Wegmans into the Hilltop Village Center project in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.
But with the massive, Rochester-based grocer out of the picture, landing a substitute grocery store for the Walter Reed town center has remained elusive.