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Vienna Heats Up

Washington DC
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Tucked between Tysons’ hustle and Oakton’s bedrooms is the Town of Vienna where brokers report seeing spiking demand for retail space and office condos. Couple that with a recently-approved Maple Ave growth plan and the town is on the brink of change. Verity Commercial brokers Barbara and Ellie Bechtle say Vienna may be an anomaly in the DC region based on 2% retail vacancy and rents at over $50/SF for prime retail spots. Vienna’s office market has been weaker at 16% vacancy but the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law team say it’s improving with office buildings selling even before going on the market. 

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The mixed-used zoning district, approved by the town council last month for the Maple Ave Corridor, raises the Vienna building height limit from three stories to four and will bring in more residential options for residents. Vice mayor Edythe Kelleher says Vienna has been losing its older residents and millennials to submarkets with more housing options. The mixed-use zoning adds residential units over retail and office spaces along Vienna’s busiest corridor, Edythe adds.

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J Donegan Company principal Jay Donegan bought 418 Maple Ave East, a building that housed restaurant landmark Wu’s Garden, for $2.9M a year ago. It’s now being redeveloped into a 5,300 SF multi-restaurant space for Potbelly’s and Zoe’s Kitchen, set to open early next year. Jay, whose firm focuses on in-fill redevelopment and ground-up retail projects, developed the former Eckerd Drug (now Rite Aid) and transformed a Southern States retail building into Vienna Marketplace, which now has Chipotle, Starbucks, and Noodles & Co. He says Vienna is a tight, well-leased retail market with high property values. Supply has been constrained but he says the town’s vision for Maple Ave., and Church St., is promising.