In 2011 a local developer bought it for $675,000, according to RealtyTrac. He then leased it to a chef, Aaron Silverman, who opened a restaurant that served unique food combinations and didn’t take reservations.
What happened next is well known to foodies. Silverman’s restaurant, Rose’s Luxury, was named the best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit magazine. Critic Tom Sietsema gave it four stars. The line to get in outside is sometimes two hours long, even in the summer.
For the building’s owner, Greg Selfridge of Novo Development, this was akin to hitting the jackpot. He put the building on the market this year and just sold it for $4.1 million.
The restaurant won’t be affected, Silverman said. He signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options in 2012 and has no plans to go anywhere. He is opening a second restaurant next door, in the former Homebody store. The sale “will not affect our restaurant at all,” Silverman writes.
According to the broker who lined up the deal, Bobby Meehling of CBRE, the $4.1 million price tag is very likely a record price per-square-foot on Capitol Hill. Meehling said the building was about 4,100 square feet, not counting the roof deck, which equates to about $1,000 per square foot. He declined to name the buyer, which is listed as 717 8th Street LLC.
“The sellers got lucky — they put in Rose’s Luxury and it ended up being the restaurant of the year,” Meehling said. “It’s more about the lease that’s in place than the bricks and the sticks. I think the buyers looked at Rose’s Luxury as a very solid tenant that is going to be there for a long time.”
Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz