The expected tenant for the renovated Georgetown Theater property at 1351 Wisconsin Ave. NW., Footaction has pulled out of the deal.
Property owner and architect Robert Bell told The Georgetowner in an exclusive interview: “On the day of signing a 20-year lease, after eight months of negotiations, completion of contract drawings and construction scheduled to start October 1, 2017, Footlocker downsized its future — and withdrew from the lease agreement.”
Footlocker, parent company of Footaction, sent the following message to Bell: “Due to the recent sales trends and reduction in capital, the decision was made not to move forward with the deal on Wisconsin Avenue for Footaction. I am so sorry for all the time and work that everyone has put into this deal.”
“This is bittersweet for me,” Bell told The Georgetowner. “Although I am disappointed not to have a lease for the next 20 years and have the theater in full use, I am optimistic that the theater will have a more inspiring retail business to revitalize the building and the neighborhood.”
“Alternative tenants have already contacted me since Friday,” Bell continued. “I am also debating whether I should accept offers from potential purchasers for the theater.”
Bell presented designs for signage on the property to Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission earlier this month. The building which had been a theater for decades fell on hard times and was renovated and reopened last year by Bell. The first and lower levels each measure 120 feet deep by 30 feet wide. Upstairs are offices and apartments. Also, plans are afoot for nearby buildings to undergo similar renovations.
The building is best known for its iconic theater sign with the capital letters, “GEORGETOWN,” switched back on last year and aglow in neon-red for the first time in more than 20 years.