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January 5, 2009  

Big shout-out to great sponsor Arlington Economic Development. Arlington is the most highly educated community in the DC region: over 60% of the people hold a bachelors degree or higher. It's also an epicenter of scientific research for the defense and homeland security industries. Send them your best tenants! 


We hope you all had a great holiday season and are ready for lots more "interesting times" this year. Just think, in 3 or 4 months you could be golfing again. Assuming you can afford the greens fees.


On New Years Day, we popped in to see Boston Properties' head of acquisitions Ray Ritchey at his home in McLean (we do things like that, so watch out), and he gave us the perfect metaphor: He and wife Anne were packing up Christmas ornaments: "We're putting away 2008." And 2009 was getting off to a great start, with a visit from their two year old grandson (yep, son of Clark Realty's David Ritchey). Congrats to BP (and JLL brokers Rob Copito and Liz Cooper) for the Hunton & Williams lease as lead tenant (190k SF) at 2200 Penn. And for recently completed South of Market in Reston, where Ray and family took meals over the holidays at Mon Ami Gabi, Passion Fish, and Jackson's. Ray's New Year's resolution: less time in restaurants, more time in gym.

Lerner Enterprises


"Creativity and patience": That's what  Arent Fox attorney Mindy Hurwitz says are key ingredients for deals to happen this year. And she practices what she preaches, helping close a recent deal by negotiating for the seller to take back financing for a year to obviate the need to justify value to a bank for a construction loan. Other "hassle free" terms? Getting sellers to extend a contract by just covering carrying costs. And while she's showing patience, what else does she do? "Our family time is all sports." They were at Verizon Center for a great Caps win over Tampa Thursday; her eight year old daughter was in a basketball tournament this weekend (above); her 13 year old son does hockey and tennis; and both kids do soccer. As for her husband, hey, don't you read our tech issues

Crystal City


Over lobster burgers at Central Friday night before seeing West Side Story, former Fannie Mae CEO Frank Raines and friend Denise Grant of Russell Reynolds. Franks predicts that the coming crunch in commercial real estate refinancing "will largely bypass multifamily" because of the continuing role of Fannie and Freddie in financing the majority of those developments.


We also stopped by to get predictions from professor of finance and real estate Peter Chinloy at AU's Kogod business school. He says his latest data show a 12% vacancy rate in DC office space, yielding this view: "Any higher, and rents will begin to decrease. Conversely, residential housing in some parts of the metro area may recover soon. In Prince William, Loudoun and Fairfax counties, low prices on foreclosures meant excess inventory was burned much faster. Already in Prince William, the number of months of inventory is five, when six would be considered healthy. Because Southern Maryland had fewer foreclosures, prices didn't drop as severely, resulting in more than 10 months of inventory there."


Congrats to Stout & Teague's Neel Teague and Michael Gordon, who represented 8001 Forbes Place in Springfield, Va, in their recent renewal to INOVA Healthcare Services for 15k SF.  The building is in the Springfield/Burke submarket at Braddock Rd and the Beltway.

Reznick Group
Lerner Enterprises
Cardinal Bank
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