Choose at random a storefront or luxury condo building along M Street or Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown and there is a decent chance Anthony Lanier developed, leased or owned it. No one has had a larger hand in shaping the neighborhood’s commercial corridors than the design-focused developer with a silky gray head of hair and an Austrian accent.
Now Lanier, known to spend much of his time in either Georgetown or Portugal, is branching out into District neighborhoods that have little or none of the luxury housing on which he has made his name.
In April, EastBanc bought an office and retail building above the U Street Metro station, 1250 U Street, for $18.8 million, according to property records. The city’s Department of Parks & Recreation announced in February that it would move its headquarters offices there. In the ground floor there is a Starbucks.
And last week, EastBanc closed on a deal to buy the CVS at the intersection of H Street and Bladensburg Road Northeast for $6.1 million. That site is across the street from Hechinger Mall, and it’s a long way from Georgetown in more ways than one.
For the U Street and H Street real estate markets, Lanier’s entrance could amount to a sort of coronation of their rags-to-riches return from years of boarded-up storefronts and vacant lots to prices that many home buyers and renters can no longer afford.
Next up? Lanier has hinted he has deals lined up on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast as well.
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz