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WASHINGTON, DC-Two Georgetown buildings owed by the Heon family have been put on the market, one of which is at the iconic corner of M and Wisconsin Ave. They are: 3150 M St.–a 6,662 square foot building which currently houses Nathan’s restaurant–and 1351 Wisconsin Ave., another retail site of 6,086 square feet. Both buildings are going to be delivered to the market vacant as the tenants are now preparing to leave, Josh Feldman of Marcus & Millichap, who is representing the seller, tells GlobeSt.com.

A vacant building entering the current market would have a steep path to climb now, but the Georgetown market is an exception in many ways. A high-end retail and residential part of town, buildings rarely trade or even come to market here. Indeed the Heon family has owned these properties for close to a century. These are the only two major retail assets listed for sale in Georgetown right now, Feldman says.

Thus, even without the recession, there are few comps against which to compare this deal, he continues. The property at 1329 Wisconsin sold for $6.7 million, or $1592 per square foot in 2007–one of the submarkets highest deals. More recently, 1229 Wisconsin Ave.–future home of the new Apple store–traded for $13.39 million.

Feldman declines to name an asking price for the buildings, stating the prices will be market determined. About a year ago the family did have an offer for $20 million for the two buildings, but that deal eventually fell through.

Even Georgetown’s tony location, though, has not been able to overcome the bid-ask price spread that has hindered investment sales for the last nine months. Feldman thinks that is changing even though financing remains challenging. The biggest shift, he says, is a realization on the seller’s side that banks are no longer willing to finance high LTVs and that buyers must come to the table with a lot more cash as a result. “When it is presented in those terms,” he points out, “the seller no longer sees this as an indictment of the building’s value but rather a problem of financing.”

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