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January 14, 2011  

Our friends at Jackson-Shaw have incredible residential and industrial opportunities around the Beltway. See the ad at right for more about Andrews Federal Campus and the Brick Yard.

Big news: A little birdy tells us The Palatine apartments in Arlington is about to sell again.
Alan Davis on Jan. 14, 2011

HFF's Alan Davis was out touring multifamily investors this morning and says our little bit of snow is nothing after the Feb. '10 auction of the Palatine on the Arlington Courthouse steps—in the midst of a blizzard. HFF arranged Crescent Heights of America's purchase of the 262-unit, Class-A tower (built in 2008) for $118M at that auction. No comment from the HFF multifamily team of Dave Nachison, Brenden Flood, and Alan on an impending second sale. Dave did tell us they closed $900M worth of transactions in greater DC in 2010 ($1.2B in the past 18 months). That volume comes after practically nothing in the second half of ’08 and the first half of ’09, and expectations are even higher for 2011. Investors in DC are wildly pursuing the core deals but are also ultra-focused on well-located value-add and development deals as rents are set to take off, he says.



Chris Russell

Last night, Redskins ESPN radio personality Chris Russell told us he’s heard that Mike Shanahan would like to build a new Redskins HQ closer to the District. (Every reporter can say they’ve arrived when they have a press pass and the White House in the same picture.) Redskins Park, the team’s current HQ, is on 160 acres in Ashburn, along Loudoun County Pkwy., with four practice fields, an auditorium, meeting space, offices, and a media building. And let’s just say the NFL isn’t known for downsizing its properties, so there’s a potential huge land transaction down the pike. Chris tweeted last night that Williamsburg was one spot mentioned in the past, but lots (pun intended) would depend on what packages counties could offer. He sees an eventual move as inevitable, and it would do wonders to be able to be able to show off the District to free agents and draft picks. (“We can see DC from our house”?) Plus, it could be an olive branch to the city for all the clamor for a Downtown stadium, Chris says.

1100 First St. NE in NoMa, DC

Any submarkets out there getting jealous of NoMa yet? The government, nonprofits, and associations have been friendly with NoMa for a while, and now the private sector is following suit. We hear that Mathematica Policy Research has signed 125k SF in Tishman Speyer’s 1100 First St. NE. The NoMa BID confirmed with Bisnow that it met with Mathematica’s DC folks yesterday and the bike- and pedestrian-friendly environment appealed to the think tank's employees. The tenant will move from 600 Maryland Ave. SW to the 348k SF building, which opened Nov. ’09 at First & L. With 30k SF floor plates, the lease represents about four floors. Gosh, we wonder if they got a window seat.

Paul Fangmeyer, Keith Clark, Kathy McCormick, Paul Moore, and Jeff Martello at K3 Construction Group's office

With 2010 (thankfully) in the rear-view, K3 Construction Group enters the new year positioned for growth. “We did not shrink in size like so many other companies did,” says prez Jeff Martello. In fact, the commercial construction contractor recently completed three jobs (each between 40k and 80k SF) and added four employees. K3’s vision is to capitalize on strategic partnerships forged last year “not just by building spaces but by being a resource to our clients in growing their businesses,” Jeff says. “For those people who are looking for what’s next in their career, we have an entrepreneurial culture that promotes from within.” K3 just announced that biz dev VP Kathy McCormick has become K3’s fifth principal. We snapped her with fellow VIPs Paul Fangmeyer, Keith Clark, Paul Moore, and Jeff. She tells us business is up and the company is “definitely going into the year with an upbeat attitude.” More on K3 here.

RealEstate Business Intelligence's DC Pending Home Sales Index as of Dec. 2010

Metropolitan Regional Information Systems' John Heithaus, whose company puts out the Pending Homes Sales Index with RealEstate Business Intelligence, tells us that in the built-out DC metro (with a scarcity of single-family), condos and townhomes form a bigger chunk of inventory (20% of the 85,000 to 90,000 DC listings) than in other cities. The April 2010 expiration of the second homebuyers' tax credit sped up sales, leading to an artificial lull for the rest of the year. December’s pending sales were 3.4% lower than a year earlier but 10.3% higher than two years ago. Condos seem to be making a development comeback in DC, but John cautions that the condo market will react strongly to the anticipated rise in interest rates, as affordability matters more to first-time buyers and empty nesters. Plus, condo dues and homeowners' associations add to expenses and factor into underwriting, and lenders are more conservative in downpayment requirements than at the dawn of the credit crunch.

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