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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Capriotti’s, the Delaware favorite sandwich franchise that made a splash when it opened in D.C. last year thanks to an opening day visit from Vice President Joe Biden, has signed a lease for 1500 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn.

It’s the first retail tenant announced for the building, which recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented Capriotti’s; John Asadoorian of Asadoorian Retail Solutions represented the landlord, Penzance Cos.

Local Capriotti’s franchisee George Vincent Jr. is also working on locations in Georgetown, Capitol Hill and College Park.

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I wrote last week about Alamo Drafthouse’s plans to bring its quirky brand of movie theaters to D.C., and now it appears that cinema company AMC Entertainment Inc. is actively seeking to expand in the region.

AMC hopes to open one or two new sites per year in the region, either through renovation/redevelopment of an existing theater or new construction, according to Bill Miller of Miller Walker Real Estate, which is helping AMC scout sites. The company is primarily interested in sites more than 3 miles from another major cinema.

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D.C.’s Capital Fringe Festival is looking for a little more permanence.

Capital Fringe, which runs a summer theater festival with dozens of edgy performances every August, plans to spend up to $5 million to build the Fringe Art & Performance Space. The group is seeking a long-term lease of between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet in D.C. It expects to fund the endeavor through a capital campaign.

Bill Miller of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, which is representing Capital Fringe, said the group hopes to land in either an up-and-coming or established neighborhood.

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A fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant called Zeytuna Mediterranean has signed a lease at 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, according to Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, which worked on the deal. No more opening date was immediately available.

Opening much sooner will be a casual restaurant from Chef Bob Kinkead called Campono, a trattoria that will offer pizza, panini, salads, among other fare. The restaurant, which will also include a gelato and coffee station for eat-in or takeout, aims to open March 28, according to a post on Facebook.

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Silver Diner, the chain of area diners that began on Rockville Pike, will debut its downsized, urbanized Silver restaurant concept at Bethesda’s Lot 31 project.

Owner Bob Giaimo made the announcement to the Washington Business Journal, which reported the news Monday.

The new Silver restaurant will have a much smaller menu and more premium, locally-sourced items than the wide-ranging breakfast, lunch and dinner selections at the diner.

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More news on the Peet’s invasion: The coffee shop has signed a lease for space at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the building that is home to Central and formerly housed Ten Penh restaurant.

Peet’s will take the former Citibank space at the corner of E Street and 11th Street NW. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented the landlord, TIAA-CREF, while Bill Dickinson and Patrick O’Meara of Rappaport Retail Brokerage represented Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the deal.

The building at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW is getting another new tenant next year: San Francisco seafood restaurant Tadich Grill will open a location in the old Ten Penh space.

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Maddy’s Tap Room is looking for new locations.

The bar is on the hunt for additional outposts in such neighborhoods as Woodley Park, Mount Vernon Triangle, West End, Capitol Hill and Dupont Circle.

According to their brokerage firm, Miller Walker Real Estate, they’re interested in locations between 2,500 square feet and 5,000 square feet in size. According to broker Alex Walker, they’re trying to find a location as soon as possible, and only looking in D.C. proper.

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Capriotti’s, the Delaware-based delicatessen whose favor with Vice President Joe Biden has been well-documented, will open its first D.C. location at 1800 M St. NW.

George Vincent Jr., the Capriotti’s franchisee developing the D.C. market, confirmed he has signed a lease for the space. He hopes to open the deli by the first or second week of November. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented Capriotti’s in the deal.

“Maybe instead of [Biden] and [President Barack Obama] going to Taylor Gourmet, they are going to be coming to Capriotti’s,” Vincent said.

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DC’s West End Library has a new, historic home… temporarily.

Penzance has locked it down for the 5,000 SF former Saks Jandel space at 2600 Virginia Ave in the Watergate complex, a temporary location while the library’s current 24th Street spot is redeveloped by Eastbanc as part of a new mixed-use project.

Penzance’s Matt Pacinelli tells us the library will occupy the space “as soon as possible,” and that the firm is happy to welcome a solid community benefit, if even for just a short time.

Bill Miller and Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate repped Penzance in the deal.

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August 19, 2013

New Grub at 1776 Eye

The former Lawson’s Gourmet space at 1776 Eye St has found a new tenant, as retail brokers Bill Miller and Alex Walker just closed a 3,600 SF deal with deli The Best Sandwich Place on behalf of landlord Rockrose.

Alex tells us the tenant is shooting for a late 2013/early 2014 opening, and that there’s still another space available on the 18th Street side of the building. (The Best Condiments Place would be a good option.) Fairfax Realty’s Kevin Shin repped the restaurant.

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Blues, food and alcohol under one roof? That’s the idea behind chain venue B.B. King’s Restaurant and Blues Club, which is shopping around D.C. to find a location.

The company is working with firm Miller Walker Real Estate to find the right site in D.C. Broker Bill Miller says they’ve toured several locations in D.C. proper, but there’s no lease signed yet. They’re looking at places between 8,000 and 12,000 square feet in size, and considering spots that stretch over two levels.

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Our sister publication San Francisco Business Times reported some restaurant news Monday of interest to D.C. : Tadich Grill, one of the California city’s oldest restaurants, plans to open a location in the District.

Tadich Grill, which has been serving seafood to San Francisco for more than 160 years, will open at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in the former Tenpenh restaurant space at that address. Miller Walker Retail Real Estate represented the landlord in the deal.

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Miller Walker Retail Real Estate announced yesterday it brokered a new deal at The Watergate, bringing Northern Virginia sandwich mainstay The Deli to the historic building.

Miller Walker’s Alex Walker (who worked the deal with colleague Bill Miller) tells us the location will open soon, and a spokesperson from The Deli’s Fairfax location tells us the Watergate spot will be the chain’s first DC location, joining other NoVa locations in Herndon and Sterling.

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April 8, 2013

The Fast Casual Battle

Who will be the next Chipotle? Could Chipotle be the next Chipotle? Two local retail experts tell us the competition between quick service food chains remains hotter than ever.

Miller Walker Retail Real Estate principals Bill Miller and Alex Walker tell us fast casual chains are getting more sophisticated, raising the bar for creating concepts that will catch on. According to Bill, the trend really stems from the busy lifestyle of DC’s working crowd. “As a percentage of food we buy, it’s more prepared food than food we cook at home,” he says. And within the fast casual sector, “our market is looking for really high-quality food that is interesting,” Bill tells us.

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As if we didn’t have enough Georgetown coverage for you today:

Miller Walker Retail Real Estate principals Bill Miller and Alex Walker announced last week they closed a 9,500 SF deal with Irish pub Rí Rá at 3123-3125 M Street.

Bill tells us Rí Rá hopes to infuse the space with antiques from Ireland.

Here’s a rendering of the new spot, which is flanked on M Street by Johnny Rockets and Urban Outfitters.

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