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Douglas Development To Acquire Georgetown Retail Property Next To Latham Hotel Project

The retail property at 3050 M St. NW, currently leased to Cusp

Douglas Development, one of D.C.'s top developers that has spent recent years focusing on emerging areas, is now investing in the city's most established neighborhood. 

The developer has reached an agreement to acquire a Georgetown retail property at 3030 M St. NW from a private ownership group, the Washington Business Journal reports

The 14K SF retail property sits next to the site of the former Latham Hotel, which Thor Equities is redeveloping into an 80-room hotel with 34K SF of retail. 

The building is leased to Neiman Marcus brand Cusp, but Douglas Development principal Norman Jemal tells Bisnow he does not expect to renew the lease with the clothing store after its 2019 expiration. 

"I don't believe they're a player for it," Jemal said. "We're basically running the gamut of all the folks you might expect would want to be in Georgetown."

Jemal could not disclose the price of the building until the sale officially closes, which he expects to happen within the next two months. The property was most recently assessed at roughly $11M. A 9K SF Georgetown retail property two blocks west sold last year to Capital One for $50.2M, setting a D.C. price-per-SF record. 

Douglas plans to invest in some physical improvements to the building, including renovating its basement from a storage area to a sales floor, Jemal said. While Douglas has spent much of its energy in recent years on adaptive reuse projects in the emerging Northeast D.C. neighborhoods of Ivy City, Brookland and NoMa, Jemal said the Georgetown deal was too good to pass up. 

"It's great real estate with a block of 14K SF of retail, and there's just very little of that," Jemal said. "Georgetown is a great stretch, but there aren't many large spaces available. This happens to have 62 feet of frontage and we thought it's a great opportunity. We're confident Thor will do a great project next door at the Latham."