December 21, 2012

Meals and reels

It’s an old-fashioned concept — dinner and a movie — but landlords are looking at it with newfound interest when they search for tenants to populate a retail center.

“In the past, it was luxurious to go to any movie theater, kind of like air travel in its infancy,” said Bill Miller of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, which has helped landlords bring in movie theater tenants.“Now, it’s more of a commodity, and people are demanding more of a premium, first-class experience — and they’ll pay more for a better experience. It needs to be better than the 50-inch screen at home.”

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A home-cooked meal just isn’t always in the cards. That’s why fast-casual food chains like Chipotle, Chop’t, and Sweetgreen are here to stay, say Miller Walker Retail Real Estate’s Bill Miller and Alex Walker, whom we snapped in their Georgetown office.

As locals work later, Bill says, they’ll carry out and dine in more often, making those stores solid retail tenants both Downtown and in the ‘burbs.\

Bill and Alex are busy repping the likes of Pinkberry and PAUL Bakery.

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After a series of successes with American Cafe and Silver Diner, restaurateur Bob Giaimo is ready for a third act, returning to downtown D.C. with a new restaurant that he’s dubbed simply “Silver.”

“We call it American food evolution, which combines the best of American bistro food with the best of the diner,” Giaimo said.

This is a very progressive idea,” said Bill Miller, a restaurant broker and principal at Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, who’s working with the Silver concept. “These guys are crazy — everything that they find, they can improve to get a better quality of product.

 

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J. Alexander’s is shopping around DC to open up restaurants in the region.

Brokerage firm Miller Walker Retail Real Estate will be showing representatives from the company around town next week to look at potential locations for the restaurant. They’re interested in DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Broker Bill Miller says the group is interested in the “usual suspects” when it comes to locations — the East End, downtown, Georgetown, Tysons Corner and Bethesda. “Mostly just great sites with a good lunch [crowd],” Miller said.

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Restaurant-starved Rosslyn is going to get a new coffeeshop.

Caffe Aficionado has signed a lease for 1919 N. Lynn St. in Rosslyn.

According to broker Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, who leases the building, they’d like to get open by spring.

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When Barnes & Noble agreed to a one-year lease extension for its Union Station store last week, it wasn’t so much a reprieve for local lovers of books as it was for lovers of bookstores.

The chain had announced earlier in the week that it would close the store by year’s end — which to many in the retail trade did not come as a surprise.

“There’s going to be room for some book stores to be around, but the question for brick-and-mortar retailers, when they’re fighting against online [sales], is how many are there going to be in the region?” said Bill Miller, principal at Miller Walker Retail Real Estate.

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Gordon Beirsch

Beers and the ballpark — what could be a better combination?

Real estate firm Miller Walker sends word that they’ve negotiated a lease with brewery chain Gordon Biersch for 100 M St. SE, right near Nationals Stadium.

The new brewery will be about 8,500 square feet in size; the opening date wasn’t immediately available.

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Italian restaurant Al Dente has signed a lease for a second location.

The restaurant, from founder Hakan Ilhan and chef Roberto Donna, has signed a lease for 5,500 square feet at 425 Eye St. NW, according to an announcement from Miller Walker Retail Real Estate, which brokered the deal.

An opening date for the latest Al Dente has not been announced.

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Penzance is slowly building up occupancy at one of Washington’s most iconic complexes: The Watergate.

CVS has signed a long-term lease to expand its presence from its current 8,000 SF space to 13,000 SF at the former Safeway space. The deal will make CVS the largest tenant in the 65,000 SF retail plaza.

Penzance has retained Bill Miller and Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate to market the current 8,000 SF CVS space along with the balance of the retail plaza.

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Suitsupply, an Amsterdam-based company whose suits are known for being well-made if not a bit flashy, has signed a lease for 5,653 square feet adjacent to the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown.

Alex Walker of Miller Walker Retail Real Estate worked with Suitsupply, while John Asadoorian represented the landlord.

The store, still under construction, is the first in the area. Suitsupply also has a U.S. store in New York, and another under construction in Chicago.

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You’ve heard prime retail space in DC commands rents over $100/SF. But where is growth headed? We polled the experts.

A fast-growing residential base in Mount Vernon Triangle is primed for retail growth, says Miller Walker co-founder Bill Miller.

“The ballpark area is another sleeper,” Bill tells us. “It’s basically Capitol Hill South—just a few blocks to the north, there’s a sea of rowhomes with few retail options.”

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to percolate out, but if you’re not paying attention to this, you’re taking your eye off the ball,” says Bill.

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April 6, 2012

Miller, Walker Go Indie

Alex & Bill

Retail vets Bill Miller and Alex Walker have left Transwestern to create their own brokerage firm, MILLER WALKER.

The two will continue to represent The Peterson Cos and DRI at the 1M SF Rock Spring Centre in Bethesda, in addition to repping restaurants the Silver Diner, PAUL Bakery, and CraftWorks (which manages the Gordon Biersch, Old Chicago, and Chophouse brands.)

 

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Alex_Bill_Photo

Two well-known retail brokers in the District have teamed up to start their own venture.

Transwestern Retail alumni Bill Miller and Alex Walker have joined forces to launch Miller Walker Retail Real Estate. Their new firm will focus on representing both retail landlords and potential tenants in D.C., Virginia and Maryland.

The new venture is headquartered in Georgetown in Suite 300 at 2715 M St. NW, where they have leased about 1,000 square feet of space.

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