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FAIRFAX, VA-Washington Property Co. has rezoned 13.5 acres at a vacant lot it owns in order to accommodate two retail leases it just inked with Walgreens and PNC Bank. The lot is located at the southwest corner of Nutley St. and Old Lee Highway in Fairfax, VA.

The two retailers will build out, respectively, a new pharmacy and bank branch with a drive-thru. They will break ground this summer, handling the development on the one-story buildings themselves, according to a company spokeswoman. Washington Property Co. does not typically provide asking rates, she also says.

It may well be that Walgreens and PNC are precursors to a wave of retail development in the DC area – at least according to projects that Delta Associates’ Sandy Paul gave at a retail conference sponsored by the Washington Economic Development Corp. last week. He told the audience that while the current environment is grim, a confluence of events will usher in better times for retail within two years. These include the chronic underserved market for DC retail, higher than average incomes here and a projected shift in dynamics by 2011. That is the year, Delta Associates, predicts, that retail will begin to transition to a landlord’s market in the DC area.

Now is the time developers to start thinking of this upcoming shift, Paul concluded – something Washington Property Co. apparently has been doing. The rezoning was a long process, according to Charles K. Nulsen, III, President of Washington Property Company.

Marc Witowski, VP of Leasing at WPC, and Joe McDonnell of Trammell Crow represented WPC in both transactions. Melissa Webb of Rappaport Retail Brokerage represented PNC. Walgreens was represented by in-house staff.

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