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Baker Furniture signs up for another 10 years at Cady’s Alley

Baker Furniture has signed up for another decade at Cady’s Alley corridor in Georgetown, the innovative retail space owned by Anthony Lanier’s EastBanc and Jamestown Properties.

Baker, which was the first tenant at the Cady’s Alley corridor in 1998, is downsizing from 20,000 square feet to 9,390. The new lease calls for “market rent,” which has increased significantly since Baker first signed on more than a decade ago.

“We took some space back, which gives us the opportunity to diversify,” Lanier said.

Lanier said he is looking at a couple of options for the 10,000 square feet that Baker will vacate. One opportunity would be to cherry pick one of the companies that are leaving the Washington Design Center showroom in Southwest D.C., which is becoming a Bible museum.

Many of the 30 or so high-end home furnishings tenants are moving to 14th Street NW, but Lanier has his eye on a few who may still be looking.

“I am curious how the Design Center demise ends up,” the developer said. “Where are all these tenants going to go?”

Lanier said he is also considering some options that are not so obvious, such as leasing to businesses that stay for a short term, perhaps six months to a year, and then move on.

“It’s not like we don’t want tenants to stay longer, but an environment where every time you go there, there is something different,” is desirable, he said. “The perfect retail concept to me is the souk,” which is an open-air marketplace found mostly in the Middle East.

Cady’s Alley is part of a collection of high-end retail properties, known as the Georgetown Renaissance portfolio, owned by EastBanc and Jamestown. Its 17 properties include luxury rental apartments and boutique offices across 300,000 square feet.

TV history

National Geographic Channel on Oct. 28 premieres “Killing Kennedy” at the Newseum in Washington. The show airs in November, marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination. Look for Rob Lowe, who plays President John F. Kennedy, Michelle Trachtenberg (Marina Oswald), Ginnifer Goodwin (Jackie Kennedy) and Will Rothhaar (Lee Harvey Oswald) to attend the opener. The movie, produced by Scott Free Productions, is based on the book by Fox television news host Bill O’Reilly.

The Buzz hears:

That Former Washington political numbers-cruncher Amy Gershkoff is at eBay.

We profiled her four years ago when Gershkoff, who has a Ph.D. in politics and quantitative methodology from Princeton, invented a software called Precision Buy, which finds broadcast and cable programs that reach the highest number of persuadable voters at a cost much lower than traditional television spending.

That got her a top job in the 2012 Obama campaign as director of media planning, where she reported directly to campaign manager Jim Messina. She was responsible for all advertising across television, radio, print, digital, mobile and social media advertising.

After serving in the political trenches, she became global managing director of analytics and strategy for Burson-Marsteller, the global public relations firm. She was also chief data scientist for WPP Group’s Data Alliance initiative. (WPP is the parent company that owns Burson-Marsteller and about 350 other global advertising, PR, and marketing firms.)

Now Gershkoff, who just celebrated her 33rd birthday, is director of customer analytics and insights at eBay.

A new family get-together

Two family-built businesses and building suppliers have married: Bladensburg-based Ernest Maier, owned and run by Brendan Quinn, acquired Gaithersburg-based Standard Supplies this month.

The two families go back at least 15 years with a business relationship.

Standard Supplies was founded in 1947 by the Murphy family and is run by Debbie Murphy, who will stay on with the new company.

Ernest Maier was founded in 1926. The goal is for Ernest Maier to expand its steel fabrication division across the Mid-Atlantic.

Ernest Maier negotiated a 10-year lease for the acquisition of Standard’s operations, which includes two locations and steel fabrication equipment, in what we hear was “a very friendly deal.”

The acquisition gives Ernest Maier five locations, including Charlottesville, Gaithersburg, Bladensburg, Fruitland and Millsboro, Del. The goal is to allow Ernest Maier to service job sites throughout the region.

“From concrete to the steel your house sits on, to the brick, stone and block, we now have a complete offering for commercial and residential builders,” Quinn said.

The move boosts the number of Ernest Maier employees to 150.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.



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