NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Sept. 21, 2020—National Harbor is not only a popular tourism destination for more than 12 million annual visitors and home to more than 2,200 residents, it also features class-A office and more than 280,733 square feet of flexible retail. High-profile tenants include MGM National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Tanger Outlets, and Topgolf. With its prime riverfront location and tree-lined promenade streets, the Waterfront District at National Harbor offers a unique experience for dining, shopping, entertainment, special events and water activities.
To effectively bring in top long-term retail, a fresh perspective and additional national expertise, National Harbor hired Newmark Knight Frank, known for its placemaking strategy and history of working with properties like Time Warner Center in NYC, Disney Springs in Orlando, Dania Pointe in Ft. Lauderdale, Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach and High Street in Atlanta. The NKF retail team led by Mitch Friedel specializes in national ground-up, mixed-use development projects that contain a significant retail presence and provides focused and curated retail leasing services. The team views National Harbor and the Waterfront District as a tremendous draw for both the local and regional residents as well as tourists. The firm’s strategy for the retail offerings is to build upon National Harbor’s success and continue to make it a destination by adding more best-in-class purveyors.
“National Harbor is a great reflection of the diverse D.C. community—known for its food, experiences, art scene and retail options,” said Mitch Friedel, vice chairman with Newmark Knight Frank. “We’re looking to build upon the success of the property while bringing in forward-thinking retailers, entertainment options and food purveyors creating an authentic destination for both residents and visitors cementing National Harbor as THE destination center in the market.”
Known for its specialty one-of-a-kind shops, support of retail entrepreneurs and pop-up retail, National Harbor enlisted Pro Retail, Inc. just over a year ago. PRI has brought in multiple new tenants with a philosophy of providing entrepreneurs and small merchants, with a sound business model, an opportunity to try out their retail concept short term. PRI has over 25 years of experience consulting for specialty leasing, it effectively assesses retail concepts—often leading to long-term tenants. Pop-up retail provides an opportunity to fill spaces left vacant between tenant leases. “National Harbor provides the perfect location for retailers and entrepreneurs to effectively test a concept,” explained Allison Szabo, PRI director of specialty leasing. “We work with small merchants as well as larger merchants who want to try out a location or market before they sign a long-term lease. Given National Harbor’s consistent traffic, easy access and parking along with highly adaptable space, it is a very desirable location.”
PRI current clients include the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, Calif.; Skyview Center in Flushing, NY; St. Augustine Outlets in Fla.; The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles, and others. Shops the firm has brought to National Harbor include: A Beautiful Closet Boutique (women’s apparel and accessories); Brackish Waters (a surf, skate and snow shop with men’s and women’s private label apparel) opened in March 2020; Messy Treatz (cupcake concept using authentic local ingredients) opened August 2020; and ZAAF (a collection of high-end leather goods created by skilled artisans). Other temporary leases include BrookieGirl (natural bath and body care products,) and The Furlough Cheesecake (owned by two sisters, offering seven cheesecake flavors in varying sizes.)
“We are delighted to engage these two high-caliber firms,” said Kimli Cross, vice president of leasing at National Harbor for Peterson Companies. “Their complementary talents and contacts provide a great addition to our leasing team and will continue to position National Harbor’s Waterfront District as a major destination and exceptionally desirable location for retail.”
As pandemic restrictions begin lifting, traffic at National Harbor has been strong with restaurants reporting higher sales than most of the region. As people begin to get back out, National Harbor is the perfect location with its outdoor amenities (waterfront plaza and piers, hiking/biking trails, outdoor picnic tables, restaurants with outdoor dining, etc.) and boutique shopping and entertainment.
“We know that National Harbor is a special place,” Cross added. “There is nothing like it in the country – proximity to the nation’s capital as well as its combination of sizable river frontage; notable easy interstate access; mix of retail, prime residential and Class-A office space—all part of a community that has been master-planned by one developer so that it’s architecturally cohesive and well thought through.”
For more information on National Harbor, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.
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About Newmark Knight Frank
Newmark Knight Frank (“NKF”), operated by Newmark Group, Inc. (“Newmark Group”) (NASDAQ: NMRK), is one of the world’s leading and most trusted commercial real estate advisory firms, offering a complete suite of services and products for both owners and occupiers. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NKF’s 18,000 professionals operate from approximately 480 offices on six continents. NKF’s investor/owner services and products include investment sales, agency leasing, property management, valuation and advisory, diligence, underwriting, government-sponsored enterprise lending, loan servicing, debt and structured finance and loan sales. Occupier services and products include tenant representation, real estate management technology systems, workplace and occupancy strategy, global corporate services consulting, project management, lease administration and facilities management. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
About Pro Retail, Inc.
Pro Retail, Inc. (PRI) is an international specialty leasing consulting firm that offers landlords, management companies, institutional investors and asset managers value added leasing services to increase their revenue. PRI creates, leases, manages, merchandises and consults on every type of shopping location including traditional shopping centers, high streets, lifestyle and entertainment centers, hybrid locales, transportation hubs including train stations and airports. PRI offers common area programs of carts/RMU’s (retail merchandising units)/Kiosks; Pop Up store programs and other ancillary income opportunities for their clients. For further information, visit www.ProResourcesInc.com
About National Harbor
Situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River and just minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination unlike any other. National Harbor is home to eight hotels including two of Maryland’s Four Diamond rated hotels—Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and MGM National Harbor. Also within National Harbor is Tanger Outlets’ 85 designer brands. The vibrant Waterfront District at National Harbor features boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options along picturesque promenades as well as the iconic Capital Wheel, a 180-ft observation wheel and the Guide by Cell outdoor art gallery tour. National Harbor typically welcomes more than 12 million visitors a year. For more information, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.
About Peterson Companies
As one of the largest privately-owned real estate development companies in the DC region, Peterson Companies consistently delivers some of the area’s most exciting mixed-use retail, residential and commercial destinations. Over the past 55 years, Peterson has created such exceptional landmarks as National Harbor, Downtown Silver Spring, Fair Lakes, and Fairfax Corner. With a proven ability to move quickly on opportunities to reshape and enhance local communities, the company creates vibrant residential and business districts that benefit all who live and work in our region. For more information about the Peterson Companies, please visit www.petersoncos.com.
Contact: Vicki Bendure