Housing Complex

East-of-the-River Seafood Icons Almost Sold

What is it with fried fish and development opportunities? Two shuttered seafood spots—the Shrimp Boat at the Benning Road Metro station, and Morgan's Family Fish Fry on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue—have been up for sale for months now. Broker Ali Javad tells me that both have found buyers, although the deals haven't yet been signed (two of the usual river-east developer suspects, Tim Chapman and Stan Voudrie, deny it was them).

The Fish Fry building was a hot commodity, receiving five bids, three of them all cash. The owner was asking $650,000, and Javad says the price got bid up over $700,000—rare for a property in the area. Javad wouldn't name the purchaser, since they're still going through due diligence, but said they're considering uses from a drive-through restaurant to assisted senior living.

The Shrimp Boat building was more of a hard sell. The owners wanted $1.5 million for the property, which is ideally located at the intersection of major roads and transit, but unable to handle underground parking. "We are looking for that one developer that would fall in love, and would actually see the potential of the property," Javad says. "The beauty lies in the eye of the developer."

They've received four letters of intent to purchase in the last week, and think they've settled on one, from a buyer who'd like to add density on the site. If they go through, the pending sales are pretty good indicators for the strength of the market—though a speculator could still let them sit for a long time. Of course, brokers are always sunny.

"Many many developers now looking east of the river," says Javad. "There is a noticeable shift in the market from a year ago."

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    A crab cake sandwich & fries (easy on the Old Bay) from the Shrimp Boat por vida!

    Dude who ran Morgan's was a punk pouring the grease out on the curb. Don't know if he was ever fined but he got his, as I've heard he owes big bread in back taxes.

    Look forward to seeing what happens at the Shrimp Boat.

    Your coverage of east of the river will be missed, LDP. Sincerely.

  • Nicole Nova

    The Shrimp Boat looks like it could be turned into a copy of Pat's in Philly easily. If you wanted to go to that part of town, that is.

  • blkwrestl

    Don't worry NN. In about 1 year you and your crew will be coming EOTR. Wonder if you will be welcomed?

  • AJ

    Let's see if these close. "The beauty is in the eye of the developer" - priceless Javad. Shrimp boat doesn't have ft2 to develop into senior living.

  • http://www.twitter.com/GarberDC David Garber

    A drive thru or a senior center for MLK Ave? Please oh please develop this with an eye for making MLK better, not worse/status quo!

  • Anna Costia

    Amen,David! We don't need something that would bring the neighborhood down, we're trying to move FORWARD! I hope they think "outside the box" on this one

  • Chekesha Rashad

    To show amore accurate representation of the neighborhood, I would suggest that the author use a more updated picture to show the Morgan's Family Fish Fry building. The lot to the left of the building in the picture has not existed in more than year and a small office building has been constructed in it's place. As a fairly new (less than 2 years) Anacostia resident, people often don't come investigate the neighborhood for themselves and there has been progress made over the last few years that we are proud of and want to show off. I do not intend any disrespect but I would suggest even checking the satellite view on Google map the next time.

  • Tracy

    Cudos Checkesha!

  • St Elizabeths East

    I agree that a drive through would be a step in the wrong direction.

    I know the riverfront has a BID to attract businesses - Does Anacostia have one?

  • Lydia DePillis

    @Chekesha Rashad

    Fair point - I go by there quite often, and thought I'd taken a picture of it, but couldn't find it yesterday. Lo and behold, it was on my phone, so I swapped it in.

  • http://ruseriousingme.blogspot.com ruSERIOUSINGme

    LOL @ David and Anna: A brand new apartment building for senior citizens will bring the neighborhood down? This is why we can't have nice things.

  • http://ruseriousingme.blogspot.com ruSERIOUSINGme

    @Lydia (Javad not Javab in the last paragraph)

  • Lydia DePillis

    @ruSERIOUSINGme Egads. Thanks!

  • SEis4ME

    I just figured it was a stock photo and didn't think Lydia meant anything ill by using it.

  • http://www.AnacostiaRiverRealty.com Darrin D. Davis

    Lydia, you're leaving the City Paper? :-(

  • AB

    @Anna Costia/David Gerber/ruSERIOUSINGme - what do you recommend the buyers bring to these sites? I've worked in Anacostia for years and I'd love to see a CVS!