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Hill East Developer Says Not Enough People Live There To Support Retail...Yet


Developer Hatem Hatem completed renovations of a historic building in Hill East back in February 2015, but he says he needs some more time to find a restaurant tenant to occupy the ground-floor space.

Hatem has applied for a two-year extension, noting that retail in Hill East has struggled to pick up due to light foot traffic, the Washington Business Journal reports. Hatem also expresses optimism that future residential development in the area will help make the spot more attractive to a prospective tenant.

Hatem purchased the two-story brick row house, which consists of street-level retail space and four apartments, at 1247 E St SE in May 2013 for $1.1M. The BZA approved a variance in 2014 that would allow for a restaurant to occupy the ground-floor space, but a search for an appropriate tenant has failed to bear fruit.

Several residential projects are planned for the area around Hatem’s property, including a 45-unit mixed-use development from OPaL DC that will bring 30 townhomes, 14 condos and a carriage house to 1311 E St SE. Earlier this month, Federal Capital Partners and Insight Property Partners acquired the Buchanan School property at 1325 D St SE with plans for a new residential community known as Buchanan Park. [WBJ]