City Vista retail purchased by Edens and Avant

Commercial real estate firm Edens & Avant purchased 116,585 s.f. of retail at City Vista from Lowe Enterprises in mid December. Their project page outlines an overview and links to a site plan that displays the tenants and vacancies (note: adjacent vacant bays can be merged).

In the past we’ve discussed this available retail at City Vista and pondered strategy and potential restaurants.

The portfolio of projects on the Edens & Avant website is overwhelmingly strip malls with unambitious retail like Cleaners, Banks, Hair and Nail Salons, Drug Stores, Dial-a-Mattress, and Dollar Stores. I looked browsed over 20 100 properties and didn’t see one comparable and existing mixed use walkable site. That track record is concerning.

Bisnow recently visited E&A’s Bethesda office to talk about their acquisition and reported:

There’s still 8500K SF for lease on the K St. side, and (we are) eyeing local restaurants that want to be part of “one of the new great emerging neighborhoods in the District.” They wouldn’t mind someone in the mold of current tenant Busboys and Poets: locally-owned, community focused, and politically engaged.

Let’s hope E&A understands the biggest priorities for our area. City Vista needs the mix of tenants to include some businesses that will be open later into the evening and keep eyes on the streets. Banks and nail salons close early and leave the streets dead after 7pm. Atleast one restaurant that complements Busboys and makes use of the wide plaza sidewalks with outdoor seating is also key. Other thoughts?

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  1. 1

    PQS says

    I can see your concern but I’m going to try and stay optimistic. It’s a great location and I would think they could maximize their return by higher end establishments like restaurants, cafes, etc, rather than dry cleaners. But what do I know? I guess it’s just good that someone bought the remaining space in this environment. Now if only the retail space at 300 Mass, 400 Mass, and the Dumont could be filled.

  2. 2

    CVBoi says

    I can’t wait! Having Busboys downstairs at CityVista is great but I would love more variety. Just last weekend I had 3 consecutive Busboy meals. I’m really don’t do much cooking as you can tell :). What else…I would love a yogurt/smoothie shop and a video store that stocks more DVDs than the DVD kiosk at Safeway would be on my wishlist :-)

  3. 3

    Anonymous says

    Video stores are a declining business given all the other mediums to get movies (Netflix, On-Demand, downloads, etc..)

  4. 4

    Anonymous says

    I can’t think of a video store for miles around, and I doubt we’ll ever see one.

    On another note, I have read neighborhood bloggers in other neighborhoods and they all seem to share this hatred of dry cleaners, banks, and salons, and they seem to have a universal love of restaurants, and they often mention “Busboys” specifically by name. As someone who appreciates having a dry cleaner nearby, who sometimes goes to the bank, and who rarely goes to Busboys, I don’t understand the hatred for locally-owned businesses such as dry cleaners that fill a vital community need.

  5. 5

    PQS says

    I don’t think its hatred. There just isn’t much of a residual effect from dry cleaners. It doesn’t attract people from other neighborhoods and more importantly they aren’t typically open at night. The more people that are around at night, the safer the neighborhood will be.

  6. 6

    fourthandeye says

    @Anon 7:25 – There are a variety of reasons to prefer that those types of retail don't land at City Vista including:
    1) They don't stay open late enough to maintain activity into the evening – which is key for increasing safety of our streets
    2) They don't activate and create life on the sidewalks – why have 40ft wide plaza sidewalks to fill the retail bays with bland uses?
    3) The retail bays along K Street have ~20ft ceilings and a wall of glass windows. That's exactly what most restaurants want. Why fill the retail spaces in the Triangle that are best suited for restaurants with a nail salon?
    4) City Vista is THE retail anchor development of the Triangle for the next 4-5 years as we have no new construction breaking ground in these economic conditions. Given this we need City Vista to establish our retail identity and pull people into the area.

    If E&A signs on 2 or 3 tenants that will add to the vibrancy of the neighborhood then it's perfectly acceptable to infill the last 900 s.f. with a less inspiring choice. But if they sign on the uninspiring choices first that will diminish options in the future and we could end up with a whole row of bland businesses.

    For the record, I'd personally have little issue with a hair salon going into the vacant retail at Mass Court or 400 Mass. Those spaces aren't as integral to the identity and success of the neighborhood. Mass Court is in a spot that will continue to be challenged for foot traffic so given it's lower potential almost any kind of contributing business would be a plus rather than waiting to shoot for the moon.

  7. 7

    Anonymous says

    I would like a good inexpensive nail salon in our neighborhood. I currently have to go to Georgetown since the one in PQ has burned my feet with their hot water. Trust me a good salon will benefit the many, many women in the neighborhood.

  8. 8

    si says

    I too would be very happy to have a good little nail salon close by thats open late :) but yes more eating options with outdoor seating for sure. even strolling down to chinatown the options are sparse and spread out. We could have a nice little concentrated cluster with the big nice sidewalks. there is dry cleaning service in the safeway and a bank next door already…

  9. 10

    Anonymous says

    One thing I find curious about this deal is that City Vista would want to relinquish control over the leasing of the retail spots before it is finished selling its condos. It seems that E&A's interests as the new owner may not coincide with City Vista's. For example, E&A could probably readily lease a retail bay to a McDonalds franchise, and it would probably do good business in that location. In terms of bettering the neighborhood and improving the attactiveness of City Vista's condos, however, I would think fast food would be a disastrous idea, especially given the crowds that tend to develop in and outside of them (see, e.g., McDonalds @ Verizon Center).

    Maybe there is a clause in the purchase agreement limiting the types of retail that can go in? Or maybe I'm just missing something and this isn't really a concern?

  10. 11

    Elizabeth says

    Personally, I would love to see another restaurant as well but what about something like Pottery Barn? With all the condos in this area, it sort of surprised me when I moved in that only West Elm is in walking distance. I think another home furnishing store in the neighborhood would be a nice addition.

  11. 12

    Anonymous says

    hahahahaha – Pottery Barn @ City Vista! wrong market, sister.

    Some more casual restaurants and take-out options would be good – maybe a real coffee shop with good pastries.

  12. 13

    fourthandeye says

    Re: Pottery Barn

    I think Pottery Barn has a really big foot print. Probably bigger than the ~5700K SF that is contiguous between City Vista K and Results gym entrances. Also, i believe they prefer their franchises to be clustered in a larger shopping complex like Clarendon’s Market Common or DCUSA. City Vista, while great, isn’t quite at the level retail wise of those two destinations.

  13. 15

    pqresident says

    take a look at the E & A press release here. they’re stated expectation is to “round out the retail space at CityVista with a mix of high-quality, local restaurants and boutiques.” the largest available single bay is 2178 ft2 and many are in the mid-1000 ft2 range. boutiques like clothing boutiques or card/gift shop boutiques or a framing/poster/art boutique work in those size spaces. definitely appealing for a small/mid sized shop or specialty retailer. cozy restaurants could apply too.

  14. 16

    fourthandeye says


    Re: E&A

    E&A has said the right things in a few quotations in press releases and articles by Bisnow. But since I found their website I've browsed over almost all of the site plans for the 153 project pages. All the existing projects are strip malls with a skew towards very uninspiring low end retail. Most of the "restaurants" in their VA/MD locations wouldn't look out of place in a shopping mall food court…

    E&A is pegged to be partners in a handful of conceptual mixed use projects but nothing else that has completed construction like City Vista. So we are their mixed use guinea pig. Let's hope they try to emulate what they see going on in PQ, Columbia Heights and Arlington rather bringing in businesses they've repeatedly worked with at the strip malls.

  15. 17

    fourthandeye says


    re:bay size

    Multiple bays can be joined if they are adjacent. I believe the 400 Mass CVS was once multiple bays. The design of the small bays is to ensure flexibility.

    By my account if maximum consolidation occurred this would be what could be leased:

    Bay 30: 1500 sf
    Bay 50: 1483 sf once CV Sales moves out
    Bay 70,80: 2905 sf
    Bay 90-130: 7482 sf

    I don’t necessarily think all of the bays from 90 to 130 should be merged – just stating what might be possible.

  16. 18

    pqresident says

    that is true…the bays could be consolidated to create a larger space. not ruling that out.