Sparks Fly at "Real Estate Group"
No, Monument co-founder Jeff Neal, right, was not sitting on a whoopee cushion, nor was Holliday Fenoglio capital king Steve Conley trying to give him a static electric shock. They were just cutting it up at the Watergate Thursday night in the spirit of the annual spoof event at The "Real Estate Group." If you don't know it, that's a club started in 1972 of stars under 40 who evidently apply their brain power to things other than imaginative names for their group.
If Neal and Conley seem like they might not make that age cutoff, they were, with CB's Scott Frankel, invited panelists who waxed lighthearted on their topic of the future—presenting the only market forecast, Jeff said, not based in historic fact. Jeff called Steve "Mr. IPO Man," since HFF is planning to go public, but Steve parried back and challenged Jeff to spell "IPO." Jeff predicted sales reaching $900 or $1000 this year (the record is $828), and mused that because 250 million SF will be needed in the next 20 years, we may see the end of height restrictions on upper Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenues. All seemed to think that rents will only be going up.
But, enough about these old geezers, let's see the real future:
Jon Couch, right, Rand Construction president, is also this year's head of the Real Estate Group and gets the kudos for a swell party. Sarah Hubbard is Lowe's condo queen around here, managing the huge City Vista project (first phase of 149 condos delivering in May), and now getting ready to do the design and permitting for an even bigger project in Adrian Fenty's old ward in Northeast: The one million SF Dakotas (named because it's at South Dakota and Riggs). Dennis Perkins, originally from Cushman like Sarah, is now at CB as a top tenant broker for non-profits.
Shawn Seaman and Kevin Riegler, center and right, lead the PN Hoffman team for the SW Waterfront, just starting the entitlement and design process for Maine Avenue south of the fish market down to the Odyssey wharf, working with people like Nina Albert, left, a new development manager at the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, recently moved back from Seattle. Working with Struever Brothers out of Baltimore and McCormick Baron Salazar, the nation's largest developer of affordable housing, PNH is planning 1000 units (30% affordable), plus 200k of retail and 80k of office.
Arlene Dedier, right, head of a new hospitality group at Jones Lang, and her boss, Gary Helminski, left, who runs all development for JLL in the region, are busy doing design work for Hotel Washington (rumor is it will become a "W"), although Gary has lots of other projects like Silver Place in Silver Spring and Victory Center in Alexandria. With them, Carlyle real estate analyst Gene Stacy, center left, and Wall Development Group's (and former JLLer) Stan Wall.
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