With 8 Years Left on Lease, Harris Teeter Reportedly Stymies Effort to Find New Tenant
by Larry Janezich
Last Tuesday, February 15, the status of the now-closed Harris Teeter on Jenkins Row was the subject of a brief discussion at ANC6B Commissioner Brian Ready’s Capitol Hill Business Interest Group Meeting. Ready cited an internal ANC email saying that Harris Teeter’s lease on the space it occupied on Jenkins Row will continue for the next eight years and the company is refusing to let the space be shown to potential tenants. A source familiar with commercial space leasing practices said that leases come with conditions and penalties and surmised that the refusal to permit showings of the property could be related to an attempt to renegotiate the terms for terminating the lease early.
Earlier in day on Tuesday, PoPville posted a piece on the term of the lease and Harris Teeter’s refusal to permit access to the property. The popular blog published a portion of a letter which it said came from the Board of Jenkins Row.
In summary, the letter said that [the board] has been informed that the Harris Teeter lease has 8 years to run and company has not allowed the owner of Jenkins Row’s retail portion – Edens – to show the space to potential tenants. The letter notes that this could result in a prolonged vacancy, but that under the Reciprocal Easement Agreement (REA) the building owner can require Harris Teeter to pay for the property’s security. The letter concludes with a statement that [the board] has no information about any future plans Harris Teeter has for the property. See Popville here: https://www.popville.com/2022/02/the-future-of-dc-harris-teeter-space/
Asked for his reaction to the report, ANC6B Commissioner Edward Ryder, in whose single member district Jenkins Row lies, says, “If Harris Teeter intends to keep a property vacant for 8 Years, that’s not being a good neighbor.”
The store opened in May of 2008 and closed in mid-January of this year. There is another Harris Teeter at 401 M Street, SE, an 8 minute drive away.
Edens, a national retail real estate investment company, purchased Jenkins Row retail portion in December of 2011, for more than $20 million. The 45,888-square-foot Harris Teeter store is the largest tenant in the retail portion of the Jenkins Row mixed-use building which includes 247 condo units.