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This Morning in Bethesda
October 24, 2013

This Morning
in Bethesda

Bisnow readers! VIDA invites you to start a new fitness plan or continue on your current journey at any of VIDA's 5 downtown DC health and fitness clubs. Click here.

Montgomery County has the demographics and flow of product to hang tough in the region's multifamily battle. But some panelists at our event there this morning feel there's lots of room for improvement. (You ready for some tough love, MoCo?)

Before 350 at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, StonebridgeCarras principal Doug Firstenberg (with Foulger-Pratt's Bryant Foulger) cautioned that flat job growth and a lack of hip amenities is a problem. (Any amenity can be a hip amenity if you have the right song on your iPod as you use it.) Bryant says the county's struggles with attracting business might also harm long-term prospects.
CohnReznick (Think2) MDCR

For now, the county's stats stack up well, according to Delta Associates' Grant Montgomery. Vacancy is down to 4.5%, compared to 5.1% last year. And rents in certain submarkets are trending up compared to last year—including a 1.3% jump in Bethesda and a 1.2% uptick in Germantown/Gaithersburg.

Developers like Evan Goldman of Federal Realty—the REIT behind the big Pike & Rose project at White Flint Metro—are working to get the amenity base up, though. Retail amenities, if done right, can up a project's rent premiums 15% to 20%.

Walkable amenities are the key to any new project, Evan says— even transit-oriented developments—so that residents don't have to deal with traffic hassles: "Transit without amenities doesn't really get you much." (Bumper sticker idea: There's no "fun" in transit," but there is an "amen" in amenities.) Stay tuned for more MoCo event coverage tomorrow.

30 Under 40

Last night, Tech Bisnow celebrated DC's top tech entrepreneurs in Rosslyn at a party celebrating our sister publication's 30 Under 40, and real estate was well represented. Snapped here: New Atlantic Ventures' John Backus with JLL's Harry Klaff and Jay Farmer. For more coverage from last night's event, check out today's Bisnow The Scene, and to subscribe to Tech, click here.

Dinosaur On the Prowl in DC

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, the biker bar/barbeque institution throughout New York State (and we don't mean the Michael Darby kind of bikers), is ready to tackle the nation's capital. The Rappaport Cos' Jim Farrell, who reps the chain in its search for space here, says Dinosaur's appeal is widespread with "young, old, bikers, executive assistants, lawyers, engineers, even commercial real estate brokers." He tells us DC will likely be the first stop for Dinosaur, with emerging neighborhoods like 14th Street, NoMa, H Street, and the Capitol Riverfront all possible landing spots.

Herb Miller and the Georgetown Gala

This past weekend marked the annual Georgetown Gala, the black tie extravaganza that celebrates the community's historic preservation, held at the Italian Embassy, part of the Year of Italian Culture in the US. Long-time Georgetown residents Western Development Corp founder Herb Miller and his wife Patrice were honored because, though they sold their N Street home this year, "We couldn't let them leave without a proper goodbye!" They're surrounded by Councilmen Vincent Orange and Jack Evans; at right, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Greensboro Station Scores Cvent

Cvent (and founder Reggie Aggarwal, center) is staying in Fairfax County. After being wooed by jurisdictions throughout the region, the event management software firm has signed a long-term lease for about 130k SF at Meridian Group's Greensboro Station development at the old SAIC site. Cvent, which went public earlier this year, will invest $7M in to the new space when it moves in sometime next year. (Who do you think Cvent uses for invites when it has an open house?)

Meridian's Gary Block tells us the firm was attracted to the site's high-end repositioning and location right next to the Greensboro Metro stop, to open in in the Q1 '14. "They were just interested in what we're doing."

Bisnow Creative Labs

Bisnow Creative Labs
In our Bisnow NY office at Fifth Avenue and 46th (20 colleagues stationed there), we now have "Bisnow Creative Labs" going full swing, where we're dreaming up new products and services. Here, our event guru Gary Chance is mapping out cool missions on a whiteboard. Either that or he's diagramming a somewhat-complicated sentence. We hope you'll start to see more of our team's handiwork soon.

Question of the Day

date:modify: 2012-10-04T14:57:00+00:00
In response to yesterday's question about sports news, a lot of you seem to prefer ESPN or Deadspin for your sports news, but SB Nation also got some love, like from Rappaport's Jim Farrell and Mac Mannes' Eileen Vaughan, who says she digs the site's "Hogs Haven" blog about the 'Skins.

For today's question, we want to know where your favorite spot to celebrate a deal closing is. Whether it's BLT, the Palm, or elsewhere, email Chris Baird with where you kick back and enjoy a deal well done.

Don't forget to send story ideas to chris.baird@bisnow.com.

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