Housing Complex

Mr. Georgetown Moves to Logan Circle: “The City’s Moved East”

Miller's former Georgetown home

Here's a sign of the times if there ever was one: Herb Miller, a 50-year Georgetown resident and the man responsible for developing much of the neighborhood, has packed up and moved to Logan Circle. His reason: "The city's moved east."

"There was a local grocery store and cleaners and hardware stores," says Miller of his longtime neighborhood, to which he brought Washington Harbour and Georgetown Park in the 1980s. "Now there’s none of that. I’m looking out the window at 14th and P. There’s Whole Foods, and a hardware store, and cleaners, and restaurants. There’s all that."

Miller is CEO of Western Development, a company he founded in 1967. The company transformed Georgetown before looking further east, like Miller now, and developing properties like Gallery Place. Miller's sons Ben and Daniel own the investment firm WestMill Capital and have had early success using crowdfunding models for commercial real estate ventures.

Miller lived in a six-bedroom house at 3249 N St. NW that was assessed last year at $5,767,360. Now, with his last kid having left for college, he felt it was time to downsize, to an apartment at 14th and P Streets NW near Logan Circle.

"I don’t want a house," he says. "I have three other houses in different places. I want to be able to lock it and leave. I don’t want to have to worry about a pool guy and all the other stuff you have to deal with when you have a house."

He adds that he spends four to five days a week at his farm in Easton, Md., anyway, so he just needs a place close to the action. "Since I couldn’t move to Paris," he says, "the next best thing is 14th and P."

Miller still has fond feelings toward Georgetown, which he calls "sweet and nice and a wonderful village," but he's excited by the shifting center of gravity eastward. After all, he says, "I was responsible for some of it."

  • Kurt

    Yeah, I don’t want to have to "worry about a pool guy and all the other stuff you have to deal with when you have a house," too.

  • Liane Kerry

    I worked as a temporary for his organization years ago. I only have one question: are you sure he is 50? If so, he would have been 5 years old or so in 1967, the year he founded Western Development.

  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/ Aaron Wiener

    Ha, no. 50-year Georgetown resident, not 50-year-old.

  • Liane Kerry

    Thanks for clarifying. I can't read complex sentences beyond 8pm!

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

    Didn't realize there are no grocery stores in Georgetown. That's too bad. Someone should build a grocery store, there might be a market there.

    Also, I totally hear him about the pool guy. I have those problems with my house as well.

  • Beth Robins

    Don't the Georgetown Safeways and Whole Foods count as grocery stores? And Dean & Deluca is a high end grocery.

  • zazzabas

    Where do you think the stores use to sit? ON THE PROPERTY THAT HE DEVELOPED IN THE 1980'S. He is the person responsible for removing the grocery store, hardware store, etc. etc. that use to be in Georgetown when he was at the height of his GREED---ooops, I mean development/visionary mode. Now he's complaining about not having these amenities in Georgetown. When the residents who resided in Georgetown in the 1980's petitioned against and complained about his removal of these amenities and how his development would bring major congestion and discord to the community, he was the one who stated that they did not have a vision and did not want to see growth or change for the better in their community. This was not the reason of their complaints. Now he is older---and his stance has changed dramatically (the same stance that the then residents had about needed amenities being taken from Georgetown).

    My message to this man: Go straight to hell!

  • Chris in Eckington

    Despite its name, the Georgetown Safeway is actually in Burleith, not Georgetown, and there's a Whole Foods in Glover Park and another in Foggy Bottom, but none in Georgetown. Yes, the Dean and Deluca could be considered a Grocery store, but it's pricey and doesn't carry a lot of items.

  • MJ

    Yeah, my pool guy is a total nuisance. #richpeopleproblems

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  • No Fan

    Also, wrong house! Maybe they are talking about a different Herb Miller. If Herb is 50, I am 29. I can live with that.

  • jj

    I lived in Georgetown for 20 years, but as I got older I found the lack of accessibility, uneven sidewalks, desolation at night in the residental parts etc, to be un-nerving as a senior. I much prefer where I am in Dupont now. I can get to the metro, get a cab, walk to Safeway or Whole Foods and when I'm out for my evening walk, there are plenty of people around. Georgetown will always be a quaint village to me, but life begins at Dupont! (and Eastward) even for this senior!

  • realtor 20009

    I wonder if he's the fool who just paid $2M for an apartment at the corner of P and 14th at the Cooper Lewis? I sold one there a year ago for $1.3. He went $700,000 over that and literally everything else that's sold in the last year. Special apartments will sell at a premium but 50% higher than other similar units in that and other nearby buildings is down right ridiculous. Not sure I'd trust this guy's vision although I do agree that Logan is one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. Pretty obvious!

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  • Bill S

    We've got plenty of grocery stores in the East Village. Scheele's and Sarah's, a modernized 7-11, and two CVS's. Plus the new Stachowski's, which is rockstar awesome. And don't forget that Safeway delivers for free if you spend enough.

    Plenty of cleaners, too. No hardware store anymore, though.

  • realtor 20005

    Logan is officially OVER as hip and cool. Thanks Herb.

  • Kerlin4321

    Now if we can just get rid of Lanier and Jamal....

  • a

    There is actually a hardware store near the corner of 35th and N Street, about 3 blocks from 3249 N St.

  • alicemthornton

    I avoided the pool-guy problem altogether. When it's time to clean the pool, I just dump the water out and deflate it.

  • Asuka

    "I’m looking out the window at 14th and P. There’s Whole Foods, and a hardware store, and cleaners, and restaurants. There’s all that."

    Uh, there's a Whole Foods, a hardware store, and cleaners, and restaurants about five minutes from his house on Wisconsin between S and Calvert. But everyone knows there are no restaurants in Georgetown.

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