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Owner Of Prime Brookland Retail Corner Aims To Bring In Beer Garden, Restaurants, Small Grocer

Brookland could soon be getting a new beer garden, café, small-format grocer and multiple restaurants. 

A rendering of Miller Development's plan for its 12th Street Retail properties in Brookland

Development firm Miller is looking to renovate and bring in a new tenant mix to the eight adjacent retail storefronts it owns at 12th and Monroe streets NE, one of Brookland's busiest intersections. 

Miller retained Dochter & Alexander Retail Advisors to market the space, and the brokers have a flyer on their website branding it as "12th Street Market." It lists a series of retail spaces available this year that total 15K SF, with individual spaces ranging from 800 SF to 5K SF. 

The retail at 12th and Monroe streets NE in Brookland

The buildings are currently occupied by State Farm Insurance, Wings to Go, Subway, a barber, Brookland Shoe Repair, Providence Opticians, watering hole Smith Public Trust and Northeast Taekwondo. 

Smith Public Trust, from the owner of H Street's Smith Commons, opened in 2014 along with other popular neighborhood bar and restaurants Brookland Pint and Brookland's Finest. It features a bar, indoor seating, an outdoor patio and a stage where it hosts live music performances.

Dochter & Alexander co-founder and principal Matt Alexander said some of the existing businesses could potentially remain in the space, but the landlord is looking to bring in a more "modern" retail mix. 

"We're not kicking anyone out," Alexander said. "We're exploring the market to see long term what we can bring to the neighborhood, and we intend to include the existing tenants in that conversation."

Dochter & Alexander's flyer includes a sample retail mix that breaks the properties up into a beer garden, bakery/café, two restaurants, a small-format grocery store and three retailers, which Alexander said could be a fitness concept, barber or other service retailers.

It envisions the bakery and café on the corner, with the beer garden along Monroe Street in what is currently a parking lot and the remainder of the retailers on 12th Street. 

The site plan for the retail space at 12th and Monroe streets NE

"We can put pieces together to create the feel and synergy of a good retail street," Alexander said. "We have space we'd like to try to utilize from an outdoor perspective." 

Miller acquired the buildings in 2014 for $5.2M, according to property records. The street is zoned MU-4, allowing for a mix of commercial and residential space with buildings reaching up to 50 feet in height. Miller had originally considered redeveloping the one-story property to add density, Alexander said, but instead decided to focus on renovating the retail. Alexander said it aims to maintain the character of the existing buildings while enhancing some elements. 

Brookland's 12th Street corridor is experiencing a booming dining scene. In the last six months it has welcomed Primrose, a French wine bar and bistro that has received rave reviews and Indian restaurant Masala Story. Shaw's popular Calabash Tea recently picked Brookland's 12th Street for its second location, and a new food hall with space for 15 vendors and a bar is opening one block west on Franklin Street.

The 12th and Monroe retail corner also sits four blocks east of Monroe Street Market, the 600-unit mixed-use development at the Brookland Metro station that features Brookland Pint, breakfast taco spot Fox Loves Tacos and Busboys and Poets, plus a series of fast-casual eateries and artist spaces.

"As the neighborhood continues to evolve and mature, I think there's a great opportunity here to provide a great retail environment," Alexander said. "I think one of the main factors we think is really exciting about this is it's got an authentic shopping street there."