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Exchange at Potomac Yard Comes To Life
March 29, 2013

Exchange at Potomac Yard Comes To Life

ULI Washington presents the Real Estate Trends Conference at the Ronald Reagan Building on April 10. Over 500 powerful real estate professionals and over 25 high-level presenters track the future of our industry. RSVP here.

Another local TOD has started construction, this time in Alexandria's Potomac Yard. And after sitting in the pipeline for almost seven years, it's been well worth the wait. (When the idea was conceived, Alexandria still had a huge library, unscathed by Caesar.)

MRP Realty and JBG have officially started construction on the first phase of The Exchange at Potomac Yard, a 2M SF mixed-use development just north of Old Town. MRP's John Begert tells us excavation began six weeks ago on The Alric (rendering above), a 323-unit apartment complex that should be completed by late 2014. The partnership could break ground on a second residential site by the end of 2013. MRP originally purchased the 14-acre Exchange at Potomac Yard site, also known as Landbay G, in 2007, and JBG joined the fray in 2011 (in a deal you heard here first).
Chris4Life (Patooty) JDC

John (flanked by colleagues Kevin Schaar and Matt Robinson) says the site's ideally located, just off of Route 1 as well as next to the future Potomac Yard Metro stop (scheduled to deliver within three to four years, he says). John says MRP's also in talks with a large user for Exchange at Potomac Yard's office space. It'd be a build-to-suit for the tenant, he tells us, and if all goes to plan, could get started by the second half of 2014.
Kane Comp (Office) MDCRE

Yesterday in Arlington: The RB Corridor Adapts

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At our Arlington County State of Market yesterday, Monday Properties' Brian Robin pointed out sequestration is forcing federal agencies to stay in place rather than spend the money to relocate. And it's forcing private sector contractors to leave at the end of their leases because of cancelled contracts. But the R-B Corridor, where all but one property of Monday's DC portfolio is concentrated, has nothing to worry about, with attractive demographics like increasingly younger residents and rising disposable income. He predicts more green space, retail, and mass transit for the area. 
CohnReznick (May6) MDC

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Crimson Partners' Christian Chamber, on the mic, says the small condo projects he's looked at have improving resale values, but the pipeline is low. And small projects bring lower profits and higher risks. However, retail is looking good for Penzance's Matt Pacinelli. His company's 250k SF building at 1500 Wilson Blvd, which previously housed DoD, is attracting private sector office and retail interest. It's now able to offer up to 35k SF of retail. But the office market in the R-B Corridor needs to watch DC's lease rates, which are coming more in line with Arlington as more DC Class-A office space becomes available. When DC's office is strong, at least 3M SF of office space moved to Rosslyn in the last decade, Matt adds. 

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Brookfield SVP Greg Meyer, left, says one Arlington challenge is the age of its buildings. Attracting and retaining tenants has become hugely competitive, so repurposing and replacing buildings will improve the area in some cases. Shooshan Company's John Shooshan says government agencies should take a closer look at Arlington's Class-B office buildings, especially in light of GSA's lease caps, which put Class-A buildings out of reach. Government leaders need some pressure to make changes to rent caps, John adds. Otherwise the industry will be hamstrung. "We can conduct business. Just tell us the rules and we'll figure it out," John said to a round of applause. 

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We ran into Crystal City BID president Angie Fox, Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone, and HGA corporate principal Kevin Farquhar. Crystal City has long been evolving from a work community to live, work, play. Angie tells us the BID is kicking off Friday night 5-Ks where anyone who's in the mood to run in a short race through Crystal City can do so after work on Friday nights. (We look forward to when Angie announces Jersey Shore watch marathons.) 

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We also caught up with HITT Contracting's Elaine Gray, Structure Tone's Claire Caldwell, and Rushmark Properties' Neal Kumar. Elaine's firm is getting ready to start work at 3901 N Fairfax, an R-B corridor office building, and just finished a $30M community center that will include affordable housing near Columbia Pike. 

Angela Mederos and Raya Sfeir of our sponsor Cleaners of America Corp, with Information Concepts' Megan Bucelli. Angela's running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2013 Woman of the Year and is raising donations (through June 8) for blood cancer research. Click here to donate!

35 Under 35

We're still on the hunt for the rising stars of Washington commercial real estate for the Bisnow 35 Under 35. Here's the deal: through May 1, email 35under35@bisnow.com with a paragraph or two on why your nominee (35 or younger at any point this calendar year and working in Greater Washington) is so great: deals, projects, responsibilities, transaction volume—whatever makes them rising stars, but please include specific examples. Also include details about their interests and accomplishments outside work. A special committee will select the group, to be announced in June. Celebration event to follow this July!

Tania Anderson contributed to this issue. Getting out of town this weekend? Tell us where. Email chris.baird@bisnow.com

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