Housing Complex

Neighborhood Development Venture Capitalists

The Miller boys' first project. (WestMill Capital)

This week's Business Journal profiles Ben and Daniel Miller, son of Herb, who've split off from their father's empire and set up a $10 million fund for something desperately needed around the District: Startup capital to help promising retail and restaurant projects lock down real estate.

Starting in May, WestMill Capital Partners–soon to be headquartered right above Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle–wants to do five deals in 12 months with operators who've already got successful projects in the Washington area and are looking for a second or third location. They'll focus on "underused buildings in vacant parcels" in "up-and-coming neighborhoods such as H Street NE, Bloomingdale and North Capitol Street."

These are the guys who recently bought Autozone on H Street and will eventually develop it into something more enlivening than an autobody shop. Their website they "built WestMill from the ground up to assail the status quo." Yikes!

So if you've got an empty spot in your neighborhood where you'd like to see something like Wonderland, Heller's, Big Bear, Busboys, or Tryst instead of a Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Cricket, or BB&T–get in touch!
  • nwdc

    note - the father is Herb, not Bill

  • John

    The old Ontario Theater on Columbia Road. Please buy it and turn it into something awesome before walgreens gets to it. It would make a sweet venue/theater/bar. The Clash played there.

  • deedle

    Autozone is an auto parts store, not an autobody shop.

    Sigh. I guess DIY is cool if the person is knitting a cozy for a squirt gun, but completely verboten if the person is fixing their own car.

  • Devoe

    so many exciting empty spots in Bloomingdale - empty Apt Bldg at NW Corner of 2d and Fl Ave NW; Ex-Convenience Store at NE Corner of 2d and Fl Ave NW; empty lot at NW Corner of N. Cap and Fl. Ave; part-time flea market building at NW Corner of 1st and Seaton NW; all underutilized commercial on RI Ave btwn 1st and 2d NW and on Fl. Ave btwn 2d and 3d NW.

  • Rick Mangus

    Yes everything in DC needs to be turned into a TRENDY BAR for TRENDY white people to hang-out in, PLEASE!

  • bonk

    there are far more autozones in dc than craft stores.
    so one is closing? cars are still more popular than knitting.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    the vacant corner store at oates and montello in trinidad - at the end of the block where the owner of sticky fingers lives - would be an AWESOME second location.

  • went

    are they looking to rehab buildings or to develop on available lands?

  • http://www.westmillcapital.com Daniel Miller

    I’m one of the partners at WestMill and wanted to give you all more info on our fund.

    We’re starting with redevelopment—rehabbing underutilized or vacant buildings. We plan to leverage the community to select buildings and tenants, so reach out to us with any properties or concepts you think should be developed in your neighborhood. You can contact us through our website.

    Our initial focus is on Bloomingdale, H Street NE, LeDroit Park, Brookland, Petworth, Barracks Row and U St, but we’re open to any suggestions. We hope you’re excited as we are about energizing DC’s emerging corridors and turning underused properties into great local businesses.

    Daniel Miller