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Peterson Brings On New Retail Brokers At National Harbor

An aerial view of National Harbor, Maryland

The developer behind National Harbor has brought on new retail brokers to help fill its available space as it continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Peterson Cos. announced this week it retained a Newmark Knight Frank team led by Vice Chairman Mitch Friedel to lease the project's 281K SF of retail space. 

The landlord has worked with brokerage firms for individual spaces at National Harbor, but a spokesperson said this is the first time it has engaged firms for the entire project. Peterson is also working with Pro Retail Inc., a broker it retained last year to bring in pop-up retailers.

The firms will work together on leasing the property, with PRI focusing on small, temporary retailers that can activate spaces and NKF focus on larger, long-term tenants. 

National Harbor's retail is about 85% leased, with roughly 40K SF of available space, a Peterson spokesperson said. It has lost two tenants during the pandemic, the spokesperson said, adding that they were temporary users with expiring leases. 

Restaurant owners at National Harbor told Bisnow in July that foot traffic had increased and business had improved since the spring, but they were still suffering from the lack of activity from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, which has remained closed since March. 

The MGM National Harbor, Tanger Outlets and Topgolf, three other major anchors around National Harbor, have all reopened. Friedel said National Harbor's position as a regional destination should help with retail leasing. 

"We’re looking to build upon the success of the property while bringing in forward-thinking retailers, entertainment options and food purveyors creating an authentic destination for both residents and visitors cementing National Harbor as THE destination center in the market," Friedel said in a release.