Ashkenazy Unveils Redevelopment Plan for DC Shopping Center

Ashkenazy Unveils Redevelopment Plan for DC Shopping Center

Ben Ashkenazy is plotting the redevelopment of a shopping center in the nation’s capital, even as his company remains on defense regarding other Washington, D.C. holdings.

Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation announced plans for the transformation of Hechinger Mall at 1518 Benning Road NE, Bisnow reported. Details are sparse, but the redevelopment at the edge of the H Street corridor is expected to span 2.4 million square feet and highlight both retail and multifamily space.

The 8.5-acre site is expected to have several mixed-use buildings surrounded by a public plaza, according to an AI-generated rendering of the project. The site’s zoning allows for medium-density, mixed-use development, and it’s unclear if Ashkenazy will look to rezone it.

Ashkenazy did not respond to a request for comment from The Real Deal.

The shopping center, which Ashkenazy has owned for almost two decades, is seen as a prime redevelopment opportunity because of its size and location, sitting at the nexus of four major thoroughfares. A 2017 proposal from nonprofit H Street Main Street noted the potential for up to 3,000 multifamily units on the site.

In 2019, Ashkenazy agreed to sell the site to MRP Realty and JM Zell, only for the deal to fall through.

The 370,000-square-foot shopping center currently features a Safeway grocery store, a Dollar Tree, a Ross Dress for Less and several other restaurant and retail tenants. 

Ashkenazy is in the midst of many battles, including one in Washington, D.C. Last year, court filings revealed the developer secretly recorded a lender, Rexmark, as the two scrapped over the $1 billion Union Station development. Ashkenazy says he was instructed by his lawyer to make the recording. Rexmark sued Ashkenazy in 2022 for allegedly interfering in the foreclosure of the property.

In 2020, Ashkenazy lost control of the Mazza Gallerie mall in the region after being foreclosed upon.

— Holden Walter-Warner

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