Thursday, February 24, 2011

McCaffery and Douglas Pick Up Chinatown Corner Site

The last undeveloped corner in one of the most high-traffic areas of Washington has just been acquired by McCaffery Interests Inc. and Douglas Development, at 675 H Street N.W., encompassing the iconic corner building, long since boarded up, and the vacant lot behind it.

"This is the best intersection in metro D.C." said Juan Cameron, Managing Director of McCaffery, comparing it to Georgetown's Wisconsin Avenue and M Street hub. "It is a central location with a lot of pulse, narrow streets, tons of foot traffic, a heavy daytime population, tremendous residential presence, plus the energy of the Verizon Center. In our eyes, its the closest thing Washington has to Times Square."

Though "everyone has their ideas for how the property will take shape," said Cameron, in these early stages the venture is dubbed as a state of the art, mixed use development. "Step one is looking for a marquee tenant," said Cameron.

General partners for the venture Douglas Development and McCaffery Interests acquired the property yesterday at auction. The property had gone into foreclosure thirty days ago, after Yeni Wong of Riverdale International had been unable to secure financing for the building. This past month was the last of many times the building had fallen into foreclosure; in 2009, Wong was given a notice for this property as well as 801 7th Street for $13,491,471 plus attorney's fees. Wong bought the two properties in 2006 for $10 million dollars.

This isn't the just the first or second try at developing this corner. DRI, a Transwestern Company, had slated 675 H Street as a two-building project: one that would restore the corner space and rise nine stories over the arch, the other a Class A office building behind the main storefronts. The total project would have yielded 110,000 s.f. of office space and 50,000 s.f. of retail. McCaffrey owns Georgetown Centre, leased by Barnes & Noble, and Mazza Gallery, which it bought in 1997. Douglas owns pretty much everything else.

Update: Alex Cooper Auctioneers states that the lot was purchased for $9.1 million.


Steph said...

Please, please building some density there. Its a beautiful building on the corner that should be preserved, but getting rid of that dead space will be great for downtown, and move development toward Mt. Vernon Triangle, the next downtown area.

Anonymous said...

what happened to monument in this deal?

igotmoxie on Feb 25, 2011, 8:58:00 AM said...

what monument "anonymous"? This view/corner is the NE view.

Anonymous said...

funny, douglas has money for this, but no money to pay taxes.

Critically Urban on Feb 25, 2011, 12:17:00 PM said...

It's "Mazza Gallerie", not Gallery.

@igotmoxie: Monument Realty is a real estate developer who had been involved in acquiring a couple of properties adjacent to this along H Street.

@Anonymous 9:53 AM: Financing through banks is different from money available for taxes. They may have placed no cash upfront and Douglas is working at paying back taxes on its empty properties (which are generating no cash flow at the moment).

Anonymous said...

" encompassing the iconic corner building, long since boarded up"

Has it been that long since the CVS on that corner closed?

Alan Page on Feb 26, 2011, 8:29:00 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Other Upper NW on Feb 27, 2011, 1:04:00 PM said...

All I can say is: thank God the CVS won't be coming back. What a travesty it would have been to have had that corner occupied by a CVS. Now, just make sure it's not a bank either, and this could actually become something decent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous re: has it been that long - oh yes. That "great new CVS coming in 2010" sign alone has been there since at least 2007. I can't believe that such a prime corner has been left alone for so long & am really glad that something's going to be done with it!

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