Mass Court Retail

The retail bays at Mass Court (300 Mass Ave NW) have sat empty for years. Since this blog’s inception nearly a year and a half ago I haven’t heard even one rumor about potential tenants.

The leasing agent for the retail space is the Madison Property Group, which has the following to say:

Retail space is located on the corner of 4th and H Streets, across from the Government Accountability office and numerous residential developments along Massachusetts Avenue. 4,350 sq.ft. of space can be subdivided to accommodate smaller users, and hot air exhaust is also available in the space. Space has 18 feet ceiling height, great window line and corner visibility, as well as wide sidewalk ideal for seasonal outdoor seating.

The leasing fact sheet displays a plat map for the space:

This location clearly has a truncated walk shed due to it’s proximity to I-395 and that will limit the site’s potential until the air rights project unfolds. However conditions for retail are improving around the building as a greater critical mass of residential and retail is being formed. Buddha Bar is set to open this year a block away. Ashton Judiciary Square on 3rd Street should be completed this year. The Madrigal Lofts continues to inch towards selling out and The DuMont, while needing a new corporate owner, appears to theoretically be move-in ready once that ownership issue is resolved.

What retail uses could this site support? Weigh in via the comments section.

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  1. 1

    tom veil says

    I live in Mass Court.

    First off, allow me to call bull on the claim of wide sidewalks — the sidewalks there are no wider than the average Judiciary/Chinatown sidewalk, and much narrower than the broad sidewalks that just opened in front of the CityVista and 455 Mass.

    I'm at a bit of a loss to come up with a good retail plan for that building. As best as I can tell, management is stubbornly refusing to take low-rent businesses, or to turn it into art space (which would earn it transferrable development credits). But I cannot come up with a high-rent business that would do well there. Foot traffic is probably only 1/10th of what it is on 7th & H, because the H/4/3/Mass/395 jumble is one of the most dangerous places in the city for pedestrians, and until the 395 Air Rights get developed, there's just not enough retail for it to be a destination.