Georgetown's Garbage

Lends It Some Glamour

Anthony Lanier loves the trash in Georgetown. The Brazilian-born developer, who brought Pottery Barn, Loews Theatres and Ritz-Carlton to the neighborhood, says the growing piles of garbage on M Street give the District a certain panache.

"It makes us look like SoHo," he said. "If you don't like that, go to Montgomery Mall."

Lanier, president of the development firm EastBanc Inc., held court recently before the District of Columbia Building Industry Association's retail business development committee, a group of retail executives who promote development in the District, at one of the group's monthly breakfasts at the offices of Nixon Peabody LLP.

During his talk, Lanier offered his views on a number of issues facing District retailers and retail developers.

On parking in Georgetown: Lanier dismissed the idea that there is a parking crunch. "There is so much paranoia every time we build something," he said.

On retailers in Georgetown: They should sell at least $500 a square foot in their stores, he said, or "I think they should shut down."

On tourists in Georgetown: "They spend zero dollars" on retail, he said. Instead, all their money is directed toward hotels.

On young consumers: When it comes to shopping, "they prefer the street to the mall."

On retail in Chevy Chase: "They are marketing to a dying market," he said. "Chevy Chase is a Viagra market." Retailers, Lanier said, "need to market to my kids."

-- Michael Barbaro

Developer Anthony Lanier