Walk around DC’s NoMa neighborhood and you will see glass-box office buildings, new apartment towers filled with Millennials and several construction sites where more will soon deliver. But look for a sit-down restaurant to grab dinner and cocktails, and you will come up empty.

While DC’s restaurant scene has undergone a renaissance in the last few years, with chef-driven concepts opening all over the city and Michelin handing out its first-ever stars to restaurants in the nation’s capital, the actively developing NoMa neighborhood has been left out.

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NAME: Biller Miller

COMPANY: Miller Walker

CITY: Washington, D.C.

Brick-and-mortar retail is changing just like almost every business sector due to the internet. No one should find that alarming or shocking. We have seen it coming for years at this point. Simply put, what people are leaving home to buy is changing, but people are certainly leaving home and spending money.

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The smoke shop’s landlord, Demers Real Estate, took the retailer to court to have the store evicted. Capitol Hemp won the case because, technically, what it was doing—selling pipes and smoking accessories under the guise of tobacco use only—was not illegal. But the agreement the shop’s owners struck to take back their thousands of dollars of seized inventory forced them to close down the store.
Demers could not be reached for comment.
Stories like this were common for head shops in the District. That is, until DC residents voted to legalize the growing and possession of marijuana and the sale of paraphernalia. Since the law went into effect last year Continue reading ..

Honeyfish Poke, which has several shops in the greater Los Angeles area, is looking to open its first East Coast locations in the D.C. market. Co-owner Duke Park has enlisted real estate broker Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate to find several locations for the fast-casual restaurant. Their goal is to open the first by year’s end, if possible.
Park decided on D.C. after falling in love with the area after a recent vacation here. His background is franchising, having opened 15 Pinkberry locations (including the first in the United States) before founding Honeyfish with partner Jimmy Hong, who hails from the wholesale fish business. They teamed up with a master sushi chef to develop the concept further. They also operate the Big Fish Poke chain. Continue reading ..

Ask a dozen food geeks to name the first thing they associate with Mike Isabella, and they’ll probably rattle off a list of biographical highlights and/or minutiae: “Top Chef” contestant, New Jersey bad boy, clam-shucking chauvinist, serial restaurateur, dude with the gypsy tattoo to ward off evil.
With his next major project, however, Isabella may forever shed his tats-and-work-shirts image and confirm his status as one of the most ambitious restaurateurs in the Mid-Atlantic.In the summer of 2017, the chef will open Isabella Eatery in Tysons Galleria, an ambitious, 10-concept undertaking that will combine a few brands that are already familiar to D.C. diners — and several that are not.

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Tasting MenuBill Miller, a D.C.-based real estate broker who largely works with restaurants, has seen [the desire to experiment with a menu] play out in the chefs he’s worked with over the years. Ambitious cooks constantly tell him they just want a small place where they can literally have a hand in making every dish.

But I tell them you can’t really make a lot of money doing that, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy,” he says. These days, many don’t even talk about rent at first, Miller says. But eventually the whole picture has to come together — location, pricing, a concept diners will show up for — to make sure the restaurant is financially viable.

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Many of the participants at this year’s Bisnow Beltway Bash may not know it, but the event actually began as a twinkle in the eyes of Bill Miller and Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate a little over two years ago.

Bill and Alex were flying back from ICSC RECon 2014, lamenting the fact that there was no regional event for players in the DC area, the way there is for Maryland, DC and other nearby states. Bill had moderated panels for Bisnow events in DC for several years at that point, and slowly it dawned on him…

 

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Ottoman-Taverna-RenderingOttoman Taverna, a full-service Turkish restaurant from Alba Osteria and Pizza Autentica owner Hakan Ilhan, will be the latest addition to Mount Vernon Triangle when it opens next fall.

We teased news of the Turkish spot earlier this fall, when we reported on another concept Ilhan had planned for the neighborhood, L’Hommage Bistro Francais.

Ottoman Taverna is taking 5,517 square feet next door to Alba in the same building. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented the tenant in lease negotiations.

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Want to see some Washingtonians go ballistic? Just call the District a “steakhouse town,” a place where the natives’ love of politics is rivaled only by their lust for thick slabs of charbroiled beef. Almost every time an out-of-town media outlet drops the S-word about the nation’s capital, locals rip in, gleefully noting how out of touch it is.

“In a trophy-class building that we work with, [landlords] don’t say, ‘Looking for steakhouse’ in any way, shape or form,” says broker Bill Miller, who represents both landlords and tenants. “If anything, people are concerned when another steakhouse comes along, and they go, ‘Geez, is this one too many?’ ”

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Georgetown Park has provided countless Washingtonians retail therapy. And it may now satisfy the city’s foodie community as Miller Walker Retail Real Estate works on filling 40k SF of retail and restaurant space.

Principal and co-founder Bill Miller says the location is ideal for restaurants that have a 14th Street vibe—chef-driven with active bar scenes. Georgetown Park, which opened on M Street in 1981, is a DC landmark; Bill, front row left, and firm co-founder Alex Walker, right, are hoping to embellish it. In the back are Durk Stanton and Connor McCarthy.

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HinckleyHinckley Pottery, the D.C. pottery studio that has been a home for Washington’s amateur and professional potters for decades, is in search of a new home with the help of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate.

We think we can put them in a cooler space,” said Bill Miller, who noted that as a destination use, Hinckley Pottery would fit in “around-the-corner” spaces that aren’t on the main drag.

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Six months into its purchase of The Shops at Georgetown Park, Jamestown has tapped Miller Walker to lease up the retail center’s restaurants.

Atlanta-based Jamestown acquired The Shops at Georgetown Park in August from Vornado Realty Trust. The purchase price was $272.5 million, or $893 per square foot.

In this new initiative, Jamestown is focusing specifically on the retail center’s selection of restaurants, with the aim of increasing dining options for the neighborhood.

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The newly redone Georgetown Park mall has been gradually adding tenants for the past year, bringing in bargain brands — TJ Maxx, DSW — alongside established luxury and better names, culminating with the opening of Forever21 earlier this month.

So what’s missing? Food.

There’s nearly 27,000 square feet of space currently being marketed for restaurants. Jamestown is working with Miller Walker Retail Real Estate on the restaurant leasing.

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Ruth VeloceAfter 23 years of full-service pies at Pizzeria Paradiso, Ruth Gresser (pictured left) is tackling a new challenge: fast-casual. Come next spring, D.C. will meet Veloce by Pizzeria Paradiso, a quick-serve pizza concept the chef/owner has been thinking over for the past several years.

Veloce — the Italian word for “speed” — aims to open in March at 1828 L St. NW, in a neighborhood becoming a hub for many new fast-casual concepts coming into the market. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented the tenant in the lease deal.

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Big players in restaurant operations and real estate had a lot to say Monday at Bisnow’s Restaurant Development Summit. The conversation at The Hamilton hovered on making sustainable food a sustainable business model, and the restaurant climate in DC. We have the top 10 quotes:

“We’ve all consumed the Forbes article Kool-Aid that said we’re the coolest city, but you have to do something that makes you money, otherwise there will be a domino effect of failures.” – Bill Miller, Miller Walker Retail Real Estate

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Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Stephen Strasburg and Wilson Ramos. Developers and restaurants. One of those partnerships might seem not like the others, but as we heard yesterday at our 4th annual DC Restaurant Development Summit, DC’s retail and restaurant revolution won’t go very far without landlords and business owners meeting halfway.

Miller Walker Retail Real Estate’s Bill Miller is watching H Street NE, with retail rents approaching 14th Street Corridor-type levels—as much as $100 per SF. But Bill figures that high might not be sustainable, since the corridor isn’t yet as fully developed as 14th Street.

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Mount Vernon Triangle will soon add a French restaurant to its dining choices, thanks to a restaurateur already doing business in the neighborhood.

Hakan Ilhan, who owns Alba Osteria at 425 Eye Street, NW, has signed a lease for a 6,361-square-foot space at 450 K Street, NW.

The 220-seat restaurant will include two private dining rooms that can be combined to seat 120. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented Ilhan; Streetsense represented the landlord.

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July 11, 2014

What Happened to Crumbs?

Not so long ago, Crumbs Bake Shop was one of the fastest rising brands in DC. Today, all five locations here have closed. We caught up with two local retail experts to hear three reasons why.

There’s a little bubble building for rents in retail in DC,” says Bill Miller, who heads up Miller Walker Retail Real Estate along with partner Alex Walker (snapped near their Georgetown office yesterday).

Bill says, “The problem with food is, you’re only as good as your last meal. And customers are very hard to get back.

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The retail frenzy that is ICSC continues through today, and Bisnow is still on the scene in Vegas.

At the big DC booth yesterday, we caught up with Mayor Gray, who tells us that as he leaves office, improvements in job creation, education, public safety, and of course, real estate developmentare his proudest accomplishments.

Pausing briefly amidst the action: Miller Walker’s Bill Miller and Alex Walker (repping clients such as AMC Theaters and new diner concept Silver) with Rappaport’s Henry Fonvielle and Michael Kang, who manned one of the show’s bigger booths.

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Paul Bakery’s expansion continues in earnest.

The latest lease: Bethesda.

According to an email blast from brokerage firm Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, Paul is headed to the upcoming Lot 31 development. It will be in the Darcy building.

An opening date estimate wasn’t given.

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