Next Up in CityCenter Retail and an Eviction


A reader reports:

“1. Alexis Bittar [jewelery store] opened up next to Kate Spade.

2. Someone was evicted from City Center, the sad/interesting part was they moved out their own belongings, they weren’t dumped on the sidewalk, they packed up some items and left most of them in a pile for people to scavenge from. People were scavenging all afternoon yesterday.”


41 Comment

  • I’m curious how we know this was an eviction, and not someone leaving their unwanted items from a move on the street. Or — in potentially juicier news — a slighted lover putting his or her ex’s things out to the curb.

    • I too am wondering how the OP can know for sure whether this was an eviction. Were there U.S. Marshals present? If not, not an eviction.
      Are tenants being evicted even allowed to move their stuff out themselves?

      • I asked someone there “Is this an eviction?” and he replied “Yes” but that is not conclusive. Anyway, it sure had the look of an eviction to me. Isn’t putting stuff out on the street (e.g., in a lovers’ spat) otherwise illegal/littering?

        • “Isn’t putting stuff out on the street (e.g., in a lovers’ spat) otherwise illegal/littering?” Yes, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who think it’s an acceptable way of getting rid of unwanted belongings.

        • I wonder if this is an informal eviction, like someone moving out a roommate or lover’s things. To evict someone formally and legally can take months, if not years, and as Textdoc says, requires US Marshals. I’m not sure anyone has lived there long enough to be able to face a formal eviction, but I guess it’s possible?

          • Maybe they were moving in a hurry and couldn’t deal with it and left it., like folks do with mattresses in alleys. And no, I did not take anything :^0 !!

          • Bruno, you are very charitable in giving them the benefit of the doubt. All too often, people who leave stuff in alleys just can’t be bothered — it’s not as though they meant to do it correctly but just ran out of time.

          • @shawness, I was going to say the same thing. It took me almost 16 months to get my tenants evicted. It’s always a sad event; a bit disrespectful to be honest, posting pictures of it on the internet for fodder.

          • I am a CC resident. This is exactly what happened.

            FYI, people have been living there since November of 2013.

    • Staff and police present. Staff confirmed eviction.

  • Can we maybe consider that the developers misread the market for hyper luxury retail downtown? Store clerks just stare at me when I walk by because they’re utterly bored in their empty stores.

    I know it’s still early but it’s a big jump from what is there otherwise and even that really just got established in recent years. It’s not like we have a bustling Michigan Ave, 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive that attracts people to wander.

    • Too early to call i would say. The place isn’t fully built out and we haven’t started the height of the tourist season yet. With the Marriot on Mass, the Trump hotel coming to Penn, and the Hilton going in by Citycenter I don’t think the potential is fully realized.

      • +1. With the massive amount of development going on in this area, I think it will be years before we really know. I wouldn’t want to be the early-adopter businesses in the meantime, though. Some of them will probably make it; others maybe not.

      • I disagree. Families that come to DC to tour the monuments and the (free) museums are not shopping at Arcteryx, Tumi, and Longchamp. And even, assuming they do, that business is not consistent enough to compensate for what I have to assume are exorbitant rents. These places are consistently empty.

        • So are many of the high-end stores in Georgetown, including ones that have been around for years. Tyson’s Galleria has never been buzzing either, the few times I’ve been there.

          It seems like some high-end luxury brands operate a handful of stores in large, wealthy metro areas because they know that’s where their customer base is. The stores themselves may not need to turn a profit and could serve as “showrooms” more than anything else.

        • A couple new hotels isn’t going to save this place. As for points of comparison…Michigan Avenue has been an upscale destination for decades and the hotel construction mostly happened ages ago. It also doesn’t have the kind of suburban competition (or a place like Georgetown) as competition. Fifth Avenue is a tourist trap, but Madison Avenue has a concentration of shops and proximity to wealth that DC will never have.

        • As someone else below mentioned, these stores aren’t counting on families of tourists for business, but on the folks who are staying in the pricy hotels nearby on business/expense accounts.

        • You seem to be conjuring families coming in from middle America, and we do get a lot of those. We also get tons of families coming to visit from overseas, many of whom have a ton of money to spend, especially on things they may not be able to easily acquire at home.

          • +1. Yeah we’re not exactly a shopping destination like LA or NY, but you are correct. I have friends from overseas whose families basically spend most of their time shopping when they come to visit.

          • With the way exchange rates have been going the last few weeks; I doubt any foreigners are going to be dropping dollars at City Center anytime soon.

    • I agree and have been saying this since the first tenants were announced. There is zero, ZERO market for these stores in that location. Most of these places will close up shop in 3-5 years.

    • I wouldn’t be shocked if some of these stores close in the next 12-16 months. The area is pretty dead at night, and if they think tourists are going to want to shop there, after all the money spent planning a trip here, then I’m not sure what type of business they’re expecting. I was a fan of mixed mid to high end retail. I thought that was right call. This…IDK.

    • I don’t think the retail mix in CityCenter is meant for us. The Conrad Hotel will be build on the site and Trump’s Hotel is close. There’s a lot of large international conventions booking for the convention center which will fill up these hotels and those are the shoppers who will purchase from these stores. Plus, that whole development is funded by Qatar. They have money to wait out the quiet starts.

    • I see the same bored looks at Tyson’s Galleria during the daytime and in Chevy Chase’s Collection. Makes me wonder in general how “hyoer luxury” stores make it anywhere outside of NY, LA, Paris, etc.

      • How? Ridiculous profit margins.

        • Those places bustle in comparison to City center which is dead on weekends and evenings, when other places do have more customers.

      • Good point but I think Tyson’s has proven it can generate traffic on weekends and evenings, whereas CityCenter is a ghost town no matter when I walk through.
        There’s a mall in suburban Detroit called Somerset Collection that has many similar luxury stores. It was surging with people from the day it opened and is among the most profitable per square foot today, so I don’t think luxury has to go along with minimal foot traffic, but perhaps my perspective is off.

        • Mind you when the Somerset Collection opened in Suburban Detroit, the real estate values of Oakland County were the most expensive in the country. (Topping event Manhattan.) Saks was the first store to open on Big Beaver Road in a stand alone location like they have in Chevy Chase. Even today, that part of Metro Detroit has a ton of money both new and old and plenty of “ladies who lunch”. My grandmother would shop and lunch at Somerset Collection while my grandfather worked. I’m not sure downtown DC has that kind of day time draw.

  • I passed this pile yesterday and could not believe it. Such a chic-chic place and — an eviction :^)

    • No place is immune. I’m on a condo board in what probably seems like a well-off established building and in recent years, we have had an eviction (of a renter) and several people who have had trouble managing the condo fees.

  • I doubt they person moved out their own belongings. It looks more like they were partially done packing by the time the eviction occurred. I never scavenge through eviction items – it’s totally hitting the person while they’re down.

    • The people took the stuff to the curb themselves to load into their U-Haul, instead of using the underground loading dock (maybe they were no longer entitled to the amenity, even though that would have kept it more discrete . . .

      Anyway, the stuff they filled up a U-Haul and left the rest of the crap.

  • Seems awfully fast for an eviction…how long have those apartments been open? Don’t evictions in DC usually take like 12 months from the time the tenant stops paying rent?

    • Doesn’t take that long and the person may have stopped paying rent fairly shortly after move-in.

    • I thought I’d read it usually took about 6 months.

      • Textdoc, I could be wrong, but I believe the process takes longer, if only because there is a long lag between requesting an eviction and actually getting the US Marshals to carry it out. My former landlord — a lawyer — evicted our downstairs neighbor and told us that the process took about a year from when she sought an eviction. And that was after he hadn’t been paying rent for some substantial period of time because she was giving him the benefit of the doubt.

        • The building is managed by Bozutto. I’m sure they’ve got the process down pat.

          • This might be the case…grease the right palms down at City Hall and your paperwork might get processed ahead of us lowly one tenant landlords.

        • Shawess — Yikes!
          Yeah, I had the feeling that 6 months was more like a minimum and that the reality could be even longer. I think PoPville poster Victoria has posted that she had to evict someone once and it took a really long time.

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