New Retail coming to the awesome National Bank of Washington building at 14th and G St, NW

armenian
14th and G St, NW

Finally some movement at the beautiful former National Bank of Washington building – no longer plans for an Armenian Genocide Museum – next up retail. Washington Business Journal reported (thanks to all who sent links):

“The marketing materials for the space identify a number of possible layouts, including a potential restaurant space with nearly 3,500 square feet split on three levels as well as a nearly 16,000-square-foot “flagship retail” space.

The Armenian Genocide Museum of America, which went through an ugly legal battle with the property owner for the past several years, is no longer pursuing a museum at the site”

Pre-demo: RIP Clement’s, Grafix Tattoos and Italian Kitchen:

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31 Comment

  • PLEASE BE AN APPLE STORE.

    • Yikes! God no! That would be a complete cluster…. of traffic, pedestrians, moreso than it is already

      • Uh yeah, that is kind of why Apple would want it there.

      • Agree. Plus, it’d be nice to have something you might want to frequent more than say once every two years (although Im sure the crazies would visit Apple stores every weekend).

  • Blithe

    Glad this is happening. I’ll miss the Hahn’s sign though.

  • I’d love to see what’s inside before renovations begin. It’s been sitting empty for so long, it must look like a time capsule.

    • It will be interesting to see what they can do with the space. This building is historic, including the interior, so any changes have to go before HPRB. I’m guessing this means it will be a loooong time before anything opens, and that it won’t be an Apple store or anything else that would want to dramatically alter the interior.
      .
      Unfortunately, as a few commenters below indicate, I’m guessing the only thing that would fit all these criteria would be a mostly conservative restaurant. I’m sure you could design a cool dining room in the old bank, but probably it would serve steaks.
      .
      In my dreams something like Le Diplomate goes in here with really interesting design features incorporating the old building. That will never happen though because DC can’t have nice things (good work tanking the Franklin School museum, Bowser).

      • I don’t think the historic status precludes an apple store. They we’re able to work out their Grand Central location in NYC just fine.

        • I was about to point out the Grand Central location as a perfect example of how Apple would fit perfectly there. Apple stores just need tables and wifi.

      • Stephen Starr did that very thing in Philly with a restaurant called Butcher and Singer. Steak house in an old bank

  • I hope they do something with the rooftop since there wouldn’t be room for outdoor seating. A more affordable bar/restaurant would be good here…midrange lunch location would be awesome. Between fancier Hamilton type spots and the fast food places (potpelly etc.), there are not many choices for a low key sit down lunch or Happy Hour. All the happy hours in this area are not much of a deal…besides Laughing Man… which is the only one of it’s kind around here, and they’ve even increased prices recently.

  • justinbc

    Oh great, just as my office is moving away from here.

  • pcat

    I can remember shopping at that Hahn’s when I was a little girl. I’m so happy that this space will finally be renovated.

    • Blithe

      Me too! I’m pretty sure that’s where I got my first beloved pair of blue Bass loafers. (sigh of nostalgia)

  • It’s such a beautiful building that I’m happy to see something will be done with it but I hope the character won’t be completely destroyed by some greedy profit digger.

  • Great to see this building repurposed as retail. I’m curious if they have any tenants in mind. It is proximate to retail, but this isn’t exactly in the F Street retail corridor. I would think whoever takes it we be either:
    1) typical DC downtown high volume “power” restaurant.
    2) a destination retailer that will have enough cache to draw shoppers a couple blocks over.

    I’m hoping for the latter, but betting on the former.

  • I’m going to go out on a limb and say boutique steakhouse that does something really unique like seafood.

  • I’m thinking it could end up as a CVS or something disappointing like that.

  • I hope they turn it into a bank.

  • Talk about memories! I remember buying my first pair of Cole-Haan shoes there and going constantly (on various days) to the Clement’s bakery/pastry shop next door or crossing the street to shop at Garfinckel’s Department store. Then taking a moment to stop by the old Banana Republic store that was located on the corner at National Press building, back then Banana Republic sold those safari looking clothes lol, all the trend range back then. Bought my first Michael Volbracht designer swimsuit and thought I was Mr. It, lol, went to Woodies (Woodward and Lothrop) -Oh the memories and many, many stories of an innocent quieter time in DC When shopping and eating downtown on a Saturday was considered and event!loL…I cringe to think that if that building and that area isn’t handled right what it will turn out to be, but hey maybe it’ll be the new Tysons a la downtown, who knows?

    • Do you think anything could happen to that building that would be worse than what it has been like for the last 20 years? Cringe at that.

  • At last. I used to bank at NBW before it became Riggs, and now it’s PNC Bank. I’ve been pissed at the Armenians for years over their holding on to this place and letting it deteriorate. PICTURES of the inside as it is now, or how it was when it closed would be interesting.

  • I’d also love to see pictures of the interior now, or maybe figure out a way to get permission to go in and check it out.

    Other than that, I hope they turn it into a Pret, Corner Bakery, or a Gap!

  • Uniqlo, plz

  • Two fantastic old banks are now Walgreen’s flagship stores, near Wall Street and in Wicker Park in Chicago. The latter one put the vitamins into the old vault, which is pretty cool.
    A Uniqlo flagship would be a tight squeeze there, but might work. Their downtown stores are usually more like 30,000 sq. ft., vs. around 25,000 here, but a downtown location also is prime territory for lines like suits that their smaller stores usually don’t carry. (Yes, I know they’ve announced at Tysons Corner Center, but Uniqlo doesn’t go into a metro area with just one store.)

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