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January 19, 2010  
 
 
THIS MORNING IN MOCO

Where Do Women Stand? We've assembled five of DC's most powerful women to talk about how their gender is doing in the executive workplace. In November, this event sold out when signups reached capacity of 450. Sequoia Restaurant, Friday, Jan 22.
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425 of you took Montgomery County by storm this morning for our Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze at Woodmont Country Club as ten of the top specialists in the area’s commercial real estate gave predictions for 2010.
 

We could have sworn we heard some say they’re expecting that lending will start to resurface this year for “best operators” and that even the CMBS market will poke its head out from the covers.

 
Sigal - in-text or right
 

Bozzuto Group founder Tom Bozzuto fielded questions from Margaret McFarland, who heads the UMD master’s in RE program. Tom says with just 575 units starting up last year in the DC region compared to 5,000-units in previous years, rents will need to go up 10% before developers are incented to create new product. He’s focused on building a community with his customers, including, he said, learning to use Facebook and attending pet weddings. And while Tom says he’s not pushing for “suburban sprawl,” he believes areas like Germantown and Gaithersburg will continue to exceed expectations as people push further out in search of good prices.

Reznick Bethesda co-managing partner David Kessler with Fraser Forbes CEO Rich Samit, who said this time a year ago his land company was feeling pretty depressed, but that starting in Q2 last year things began picking up and are now exciting. Anticipating constrained residential supply in coming years, developers know they will need land and are looking for it—all 16 major home developers based here are calling them, Rich says.

Sunbrook Partners’ Steve Coniglio called Montgomery County the “perfect storm” thanks to job growth, government spending and land-use constraints.  

Moderator Roger Winston (right) of Ballard Spahr teed up questions for Federal Capital Partners’ co-founder Lacy Rice and RBS Citizens Bank head of institution real estate Tim Leon. Lacy says his search for distressed sellers came up empty in the past year as people continued to hold on tight to their assets and prices. Despite the strength of DC’s condo market, Lacy remains doubtful about the success of costly mixed-use projects. Tim says a recent FDIC statement on over-leveraged real estate will push banks to work with borrowers rather than taking ownership of assets they’d have to sell at a loss.

 

Foulger-Pratt president Cameron Pratt and CB vice chairman Bill Roohan. Cameron says Montgomery County offers a double whammy: it costs more to develop there, and being perceived as less business friendly than other jurisdictions means lower job growth and housing demand. With the county “asleep at the switch,” Cameron hopes new leaders will improve economic growth and aid long-term real estate deals. The duo later turned the microphone on Roger, asking about a statute that now applies to all rental facilities, allowing the Housing Opportunities Commission to acquire rental properties that private contractors have developed, using their competitive advantage of cheaper borrowing and no property taxes. Roger gave such an excellent exposition, we plan to devote a much larger story to this matter soon.

 

Novo Development’s Darryl Shrock, Brad Coker, Reznick’s James Martinko, Jeanne Parker and Joann Cangelosi. Reznick’s first office was in Montgomery County. With accounting’s busy season quickly approaching, Jeanne recently relaxed in Florida (where the Sunshine State did not live up to its name).

 

Minol’s Suzanne Torosian, Champion Title’s Bryan Malickson, Green Earth’s Demetrius Robinson, and Electric Advisors’ Russell Lacey. Suzanne says Minol hopes to offer more energy management, conservation, and billing services to multifamily projects nationwide.

 

MRP Realty’s Matt Robinson, Legum Norman’s Shayna Rudick, and Ballard Spahr’s Shelia Lynn.

 

Willco Residential’s Brett Meringoff, CB’s Michael Muldowney and Andrew Boyer, and Willco Residential’s Gary Cohen. Willco recently sold out their 8-unit luxury condo building the Providence at 1515 11th St, built by McCullough Construction.


UPCOMING EVENTS
 

January 20 - DC/Maryland NAIOP Real Estate Forecast. Bethesda North Marriott - 8-10am. Info

January 20 - GWCAR Real Estate Summit - 7:30-10:00am - Four Seasons. Info

January 21 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - 2010 DoD Outlook - 7-9:30am - Fairview Park Marriott - Info

January 22 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze, What do Women Want? (Part II) - 7:45-10:00am - Sequoia Restaurant. Info

 
 
 
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