Historic Neams’ Property Gets N.Y. Owner

“Selling was an emotional decision,” said George Neam of his family’s choice to let go of its building and property at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street, where Neams Market — beginning in 1909 — served Georgetown and became a local market legend. “It seemed like the right time.”

Sivan Properties, Inc., purchased the property last month, as first reported by Carol Joynt. A deal with Roadside Development, reported by the Georgetowner in November, did not work out, Neam said.

At first, “we did not want to sell but wanted to lease,” Neam told the Georgetowner, but the family’s elders ultimately made the call.

Neams Market grew upscale as Georgetown grew upscale in the 1960s and beyond, Neam recalled. It is one of the first places to offer Beluga caviar and the first place in D.C. — among its many premieres, as it were — to sell Haagen-Dazs ice cream when it made its debut. It is the one market — and there were many in town — that ranks high on the nostalgia index and stirs positive memories of Georgetown.

“We could have put together a great retail environment there,” Neam said. “But it would not have lived up to what was there. You can’t go home again.”

Around 1990, the Neam family let Capital Restaurant Concepts run the market until 2000. Then, the place was occupied by Marvelous Market, which closed in April 2014.

The new owner of the property — Sivan Properties of Port Washington, N.Y. (Long Island) — is looking to expand into D.C. It already owns a restaurant and a condo complex on 14th Street NW as well as the Comfort One shoe store at 1329 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

“I am hopeful that the new owners will take the history of the location to heart and put something in that will please the residents, however that will be their choice,” Neam told Joynt last week.


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