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January 13, 2012
 
 
LAST NIGHT WITH
TED LEONSIS

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What makes a city great? (In our opinion, the average size of a slice of pizza ought to be a big factor.) Last night Washington Capitals, Wizards, Mystics, Verizon Center owner, and Groupon board member Ted Leonsis said it comes down to six things—one of which, of course, was sports teams.
 
Ted, snapped with Cassidy Turley's James Cassidy, can't go anywhere without getting free advice on who to trade and who to cut. His love for sports comes from his dad, who worked as a waiter. He bought Ted season tickets to the NY Jets in 1968 ($7/seat), taking him to the ticker tape parade when Joe Namath won the Super Bowl in 1969. (When he saw a replay of the big game decades later, it was enough to bring a tear to his eye.) Cities are known by their teams as much as their industries and landmarks, he says—when you say “New York,” chances are the Yankees come to mind as readily as Wall Street and the Empire State Building. Rounding out Ted's list: Universities, public space, iconic real estate, healthy media institutions, and a vibrant business community. What makes your city great? Tell us.

Bisnow
THIS WEEK IN BISNOW EVENTS
 
Despite working in DC, The Real Estate Roundtable CEO Jeffrey DeBoer is a self-proclaimed truth-teller. (Don't ask him if he likes your new sweater.) Yesterday, he laid it on the line in Dallas at the Bisnow Texas Hotel Investment Summit, calling 2012 a “challenging” year, largely because of the elections. While he wouldn’t predict who’ll take the White House, he thinks the Senate will flip to the Republicans and the House will stay with them, too. Another issue to watch: tax reform. Every entity is going up for review: REITs, LLCs, you name it. And, interest deductibility, in general, is up for review and capping. Time to start stuffing the mattresses again.
Yesterday in Boston, more than 525 industry folk trudged through icy sleet to join us for our 2nd Annual Multifamily Summit. (We didn't even need to send out any St. Bernards to find lost guests... so we kept the brandy.) We pride ourselves on fresh coffee and schmoozing, but we think our speakers were the big attraction: The Hamilton Co CEO Harold Brown, AvalonBay’s Bill McLaughlin, Equity Residential’s Alec Brackenridge, and many others you can read about in our Boston edition next week. Traveling? In a strange city? Come hang out with us at one of our many cool and exciting events.

Bisnow
IF THE RAIN IN SPAIN...
 
If Greece defaults, the US may not feel it as much. But if Spain defaults? Expect trouble. “You can’t decouple the US from Europe,” Integra Realty Resources prez & COO Jeffrey Rogers told us yesterday. “It buys 24% of our exports and will eat at our growth.” Deal volumes have temporarily leveled off because of this global financial uncertainty, so it’s hard to paint a clear forecast. But 2012 will be pivotal in many respects, Jeffrey says. Overall, the US is approaching stabilization in stronger institutional investment markets, and value recovery will spread to secondary markets.

Bisnow
UDR/METLIFE GO BACK FOR SECONDS
 
Late yesterday, UDR and MetLife announced they’d snapped up five high-rises in NYC’s prestigious Columbus Square from The Chetrit Group and Stellar Management for $630M. (That’s us partying on top of 808 Columbus two summers ago). This is the second helping of apartment communities for the JV, which pooled the purchase with its first JV from 2010, now encompassing $1.3B in 12 properties with more than 2,500 units. UDR reports that the deal is partly funded from $300M in loans, a mix of 10-year fixed- and floating-rate debt from Fannie Mae.

Bisnow
AND IT KEEPS ON GIVING
 
Apartment vacancies fell sharply from 6.6% to 5.2% in 2011, a 10-year low. And 2.3% growth in effective rents rounded out a great year. “We expect 2012 to be another great year for the apartment sector,” says Reis apartmentologist Dr Victor Calanog. “Rent growth should accelerate even more as vacancies dip below 5%.” Developers are rushing to cash in. Multifamily housing starts surged 25.3% in November. Related Cos’ MiMA, a 63-story development in Manhattan’s West Side, is now going to rent out 151 units it had planned to sell as condos. Any takers? The smallest studios go for $4,595/month, while families with kids (a la Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Blue Ivy) can spread out in a three bedroom unit for $20k or more.

Bisnow
WHAT'S ON MITT ROMNEY'S iPHONE?
 
A little scandal in Britain taught us that phone tapping is wrong. But, let's just say this one fell in our lap. Here's a screenshot of Mitt Romney's iPhone. It seems Siri really does have all the answers.

Got big growth plans for 2012? Contact our national real estate editor Sibley Fleming (or a discreet surgeon) and tell us your hiring and investment news. Email sibley@bisnow.com.

 
 
 
 
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