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Food Hall Coming to GBT Realty’s DC-area Retail Center

Culinary clubhouse to blend global cuisines at Ellsworth Place by Spring 2022.

Silver Spring, MD — GBT Realty Corporation (GBT), in partnership with Cana Development (CANAdev), announces the addition of Commas to Ellsworth Place, the firm’s 350,000-sq. ft. value-oriented shopping center in the heart of the award-winning, revitalized Silver Springs downtown. Opening in Spring 2022 on the second level, Commas will offer a global culinary experience reflective of the market’s diverse international community.

“When we acquired the shopping center in 2018, we really saw the potential for Ellsworth Place to become an integral part of this active neighborhood through a variety of different strategies,” explains Trey Culpepper, vice president, GBT Realty Corp. “One of them is food. Food is a connector, and people gather around food. So, what better way to capture the energy on the streets than with a food hall — especially one that unites the diverse cultures that influence our everyday lifestyles?” According to WalletHub, Silver Spring, Md. is one of the most ethnically diverse cities nationwide with nearly a half-million consumers with an average household income topping $135,000, within a 15-minute drive.

Plans for the 13,000-sq. ft. food hall include a collection of 12 food and beverage merchants representing a range of international cuisines from local makers, purveyors, chefs and restaurateurs. Designed with cosmopolitan architectural and stylistic influences, Commas is named for the written symbol used to separate items in a list symbolizing the myriad of ways for patrons to connect through food and beverage. Commas expects to create a menu of bites from Ethiopia to Korea, Malaysia to El Salvador, and Italy to New Jersey.
According to CANAdev’s Principal Mike Morris, “A food hall, by definition, creates unique experiences that appeal to a broad and diverse collection of guests. Our team strives to create spaces that feel as comfortable as your own home, but also deliver one-of-a-kind experiences. The community surrounding Ellsworth Place is a true melting pot, and we expect Commas to fit in as the new living room for Silver Spring residents.”

Designed by Washington, D.C.-based architecture and interior design firm GrizForm Design Architects, Commas will offer a range of seating options and special event capabilities. In addition to the permanent restaurant spaces, the food hall will also feature a central bar experience. Design plans also include:

  • an adapted teamwork model that allows guests to order from various merchants but enjoy their meals at any of the seven vibrant communal seating areas;
  • open kitchen installations with window peeks and chef counters offering customers a look into each working kitchen; and
  • an extensive light-toned color palette with natural wood furniture.
    Interested food operators can inquire about opportunities via leasing@canadev.com.


Founded in 2008, Baltimore-based Cana Development is a full-service commercial real estate firm that specializes in retail placemaking. CANAdev defines, develops and activates places with a relentless approach to quality retail development, leasing and operations. Our team speaks the language of real estate and has collectively developed over 42 million sq. ft. of commercial real estate, including hotels, corporate headquarters, live music venues and sports arenas/stadiums, with a particular focus on guest experience. The team is known as a food and retail asset management expert. From its first food hall development in 2010, CANAdev has exceeded results in the planning, development and placemaking for large-scale, high-profile retail experiences in marketplace and mixed-use developments across the United States. placemakingworks.com

Founded in 1987, GBT Realty Corporation develops virtually all types of retail and mixed-use developments throughout the United States from its headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee, a suburban Nashville community. Since inception, GBT has been involved with the development, construction, leasing and management of over $7 billion of real estate totaling 37 million square feet of grocery-anchored, neighborhood and single-tenant retail; regional power centers; and mixed-use developments in 27 states. Currently, the company has over $1 billion of commercial development totaling five million square feet in the pipeline or under construction by its shopping center, net lease and diversified development divisions. For more information, visit gbtrealty.com.

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