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Property Managers Don't Take Snow Days
December 10, 2013

Property Managers
Don't Take Snow Days

Moseley Construction is a world-class "customer first" construction firm. It specializes in multi-family projects, both new and renovated. Find out more here.

A lot of folks are working from home today (translation: catching up on Homeland). But for the area's property managers, it's a full day. We asked one of the expert panelists for next week's DC Property Management Summit how they prep for a day like today.

photo (10)
Vornado/Charles E. Smith property management chief Joan Berman (snapped in her office this morning) oversees the firm's 25M SF local portfolio. She says responding to the elements starts well before any snowflakes fall. Joan's engineers were in by 6am to get working on snow removal and other maintenance, since every Vornado property remains open (even if some tenants have decided to close). Oh, and that walkie talkie she's holding? Vornado's got a proprietary radio network that connects her office in Crystal City with property managers and engineers at every building in the portfolio.
Moseley (Multifam2) MDCRE

Winter storms are always a team effort, she says. During 2010's "Snowmageddon," Vornado enlisted engineers with four-wheel drive vehicles to pick up teammates and have buildings fully staffed. (It's cool your car has satellite radio, but that's not as helpful right now.) Our teams "are our unsung heroes," she says.
CohnReznick (Think2) MDCR

As for other trends buzzing in property management, Joan (with First Potomac's Judy Tria and Akridge's Kathy Barnes at last year's Summit) says real-time energy monitoring is making a big difference in keeping consumption down while still giving tenants comfort. Vornado uses a software called Energy for Tomorrow that allows engineers to monitor any property's energy usage 24/7. Joan, Judy, and 10 other great speakers are on board for next Tuesday's event at the Willard—don't delay, sign up here!
Forrester (Red) MDCRE

On the Floor at ICSC's New York Conference

Big openings at JBG Rosenfeld properties last week boosted the company's Jay Klug and Krista Di Iaconi at the ICSC New York Conference, where we snapped the pair yesterday. They tell us the first two urban-format Walmarts in the country opened in DC on Wednesday, one in JBG's 77 H (also the first with residential above a Walmart—mail carriers used to fear dogs, and now they fear trying to get to those apartments on Black Friday) and Foulger-Pratt's project on Georgia Avenue. The following day, LA Fitness opened in JBG's 260k SF Downtown Crown project in Gaithersburg. It's over 70% leased with Starbucks already open and Harris Teeter opening in mid-January, and Bozzuto will top it off with 538 apartments.

We also snapped Peterson guys Marc Menick, Mark Kufka, and Andrew Kabat, who tells us Regal Cinemas, Bar Louie, and Nando's are open at the 300k SF Promenade at Virginia Gateway. One focus now for the massive National Harbor (the 4.4M SF built reps 30% of the total development) is restaurant leasing for the residential Esplanade. And the company's first major project in the District, Ontario 17, will open in Adams Morgan in spring '15 with 80 luxury condos (to be marketed by McWilliams Ballard) and 9,200 SF or retail and restaurants.

You know Danny Meyer for his frozen custards and ShackBurgers, but do you know his first job in NYC was actually shaking down shoplifters? The Union Square Hospitality Group CEO and Shake Shack founder (center, snapped with Urstadt Biddle Properties' James Aries and Massey Knakal's Benjamin Fox) once worked for retail security firm Checkpoint Systems, where he'd apprehend folks like the man who tried to hide meat under his hat—only to have tell-tale blood dripping down his face, he told the crowd yesterday. His advice to retailers: you have to keep enough on the menu to keep people coming back, but the Internet has turned retail into a commodity, and anything you do can be copied within two seconds (thanks, Instagram). The more high tech the world, the more "high touch" is needed to succeed.

Eastbanc Takes Next Step at 1800 Eye

Anthony Lanier is one step closer to moving his development empire eastward from Georgetown, as a partnership led by Eastbanc officially purchased 1800 Eye St last week for $6.5M, according to DC public records. Eastbanc and Union Realty Partners are hoping to turn the 25k SF office building across from the Farragut West Metro entrance into downtown's next highly efficient space, complete with a new glassy 2,400 SF penthouse.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 2.29.07 PM
A rendering of said penthouse. Sources tell us the owners won't move forward with redevelopment until they can secure a commitment from a full-building user—Eastbanc will continue to lease and operate the building until then. The seller was a partnership controlled by investor Robert Wolpe, we're told.

Stay safe out there, folks. Email chris.baird@bisnow.com.

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