Monday, July 23, 2007

Company Exploring a Redevelopment of Glebe & Pershing Corner

It Is All Very Preliminary, Sources Say

Georgetown Strategic Capital, of Washington, is in the “exploration” phase of redeveloping the four corners of the N. Glebe Road and N. Pershing Drive intersection, said Bob Moore, a principal partner in the group.

“We have been looking at this for about a year,” said Mr. Moore. “We’ve become very enamored by it as a sort of gateway to the community.”

Although everything is still very preliminary, Mr. Moore said his company is considering what can be done with the property given current zoning and historical restrictions. Zoning, he said, allows for mixed use of retail and residential space with buildings as high as 45 feet, or about four storeys.

The corner is protected by the county’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board.

Georgetown Capital has been talking with Jenco Group which owns the property.

Jennifer Smith, a coordinator in the county, said, “I just am trying to pull together some information for someone who’s looking at some options for the property….It’s really a preliminary proposal right now.” She added later, “It’s just not at a project stage.”

The company would lease the buildings from Jenco and redevelop them, eventually returning the improved property back to Jenco, Mr. Leventhal said, an idea that Mr. Moore confirmed.

The redevelopment as Mr. Leventhal understands it is to leave the two strips on the east side of the road as is, but to replace all the buildings—Glebe Market, CVS, El Paso Café, and Popeye’s Chicken—on the west side with four-storey buildings of combined residential and commercial space. It was also Mr. Leventhal's understanding that the owners of the restaurants have been asked to stay in new spaces.

Mr. Moore said that sort of project might be allowed under current zoning. His company likes the idea of redeveloping the west side since there is a lot of parking lot space that could be developed, but access to and from the building is a concern. There are a lot of “ifs,” he said.

“The goal is for everybody to have an improved place there,” he said.

“They are not doing anything at present,” Mr. Leventhal said. “This is not like this is imminent.” No site plan has been drawn up, he said.

“If someone told you there is an agreement with anyone, that’s not accurate,” said Marvin Jower, of the Jenco Group, in a telephone interview today. “I’m talking to a number of people about it.”

Mr. Moore seems sensitive to the historic nature of the property. He called it “a shame” that the corner, with the dirt and disintegrating sidewalks is not appealing right now.

“We have pictures from the 1930s that show landscaping with bushes and trees on the corners,” he said.

He grew up in Alexandria, and remembered going to the Buckingham Theatre (what is now the post office) in his coonskin cap to see a Davy Crockett movie back in the 1950s.

“It has a lot of old time memories for me,” he said.

The plan came to light when Mr. Leventhal spoke at the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board’s most recent meeting because it is similar in scope to the Lee Gardens redevelopment now in front of the HALRB. The four corners is protected as a county historic district and is regulated by the HALRB, Mr. Leventhal said.

It will be interesting to see how the HALRB handles a proposal such as this, should the project make it that far. AHC Inc. was allowed to build additions onto their buildings at the Gates of Ballston, but were not allowed to change the real slate roofs with faux slate, though it would have saved them about $4 million, AHC officials have said.

“[Georgetown Capital’s] idea was not met with wild excitement” by the HALRB Mr. Leventhal said.

Any more news on this lately?
Good morning Steve:

Would you happen to have and be able to share the contact information for Mr. Robert Moore of Strategic Capital, LLC?

Directory Assistance has no listing for them..


Terry Smith
Commercial real estate Financing, Inc.


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