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Real Estate Bisnow
January 10, 2013  
Manhattan LTile2
Transit Madness

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Yesterday, we filled you in on one of Tysons’ biggest TODs. This week, developers announced two more projects across the street from Metro stops. At this rate, expect someone to announce an apartment complex inside the Farragut West station tomorrow.

1) Huntington
Kevin Schaar, John Begert, Matt Robinson - MRP Realty

MRP Realty and AEW Capital Management are planning an office, multifamily, and hotel project next to the Huntington Metro in Alexandria. MRP’s Matt Robinson (right, with colleagues Kevin Schaar and John Begert) tells us they’ll break ground this summer on 360 multifamily units and deliver them in summer 2015. High traffic in the DC region has forced developers to Metro TODs, Matt says, and the Huntington stop area is under-developed. (And here we thought it couldn't get any better than Huntington's self-cleaning bathroom.)

Kane (OfficeShred2) MDCRE
2550 Huntington Ave

The JV will raze the office at 2550 Huntington Ave to make room for the apartments (above), a new, 260k SF office, and a 110k SF hotel. The market will dictate the office and hotel groundbreakings. Matt says the location’s infrastructure and accessibility to employment hubs in Alexandria, the Pentagon, and Fort Belvoir were also attractive.

2) Shady Grove
Willy Walker, Shaun Donovan, Doug Carter, Jim Davis, and Chris Clemente at Loudoun Station, April 2011
Comstock Partners will break ground on a residential project near the Shady Grove Metro this spring. The firm's Chris Clemente (right) says people will put a stop to long commutes any way they can, so putting development sites with easy Metro access are at a huge advantage. Above, he's with Waker & Dunlop CEO Willy Walker, HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan, Davis Carter Scott's Doug Carter, and Davis Construction's Jim Davis at the groundbreaking of its Loudoun Station development in 2011.
The Townes at Shady Grove Metro
Chris tells us 36 luxury townhomes called The Townes at Shady Grove Metro (rendered above) will deliver by the end of the year and 117 apartments that will begin leasing next year will be branded The BLVD | Shady Grove Metro. Comstock bought the land Dec. 27 and received acquisition, construction, and development financing from Eagle Bank. The developer has been on the TOD bandwagon for years with Loudoun Station and Reston Station mixed-use projects, both under construction near coming Silver Line stations.

DC's Defense Reliance = :(
Robert Behrmann, Ray Cirz, Matthew Krauser, Sam Kuckley, and John Monaco at the Harvard Club, NYC, on Jan. 9, 2013

Yesterday, at Integra Realty Resources annual forecast in NYC, chairman and NYC head Ray Cirz (second from left) said REITs have outperformed other equities since 2010, but that’s because REITs took such a dive two years earlier. Last year turned in less deal volume than IRR anticipated, but stable cap rates across asset classes (and a 50/50 chance of decreasing ones in multifamily) portend something better. Surprisingly, regional malls jumped from fifth to third among asset classes’ cap rates. Some office markets dependent on singular industries are faring better than others, Ray says. San Fran’s tech focus is treating it well, while DC’s defense contractor concentration makes for a flailing market. Above, he's with Guardian Life Insurance Co’s Robert Behrmann, IRR’s Matthew Krauser, TIAA-CREF’s Sam Kuckley (who taught Ray’s first appraisal class at NYU, in 1974), and IRR’s John Monaco.

Pat Kerr at the Harvard Club, NYC, on Jan. 9, 2013

We also snapped IRR DC head Pat Kerr, who says apartments are expected to maintain 4% vacancy through 2016, even as more and more supply delivers. That stands even in DC, where the nation’s budget woes are hitting close to home; people are still moving there in droves, he says. The trend of converting Class-C and even some B office to apartments is big in NYC and other urban centers, but it’ll happen in close-in suburban submarkets, too. All that’s needed is enough parking and high-enough apartment rents to justify the expense.

Stout and Teague Maps Out Success
Richard Stout and Neel Teague
Stout and Teague partners Richard Stout and Neel Teague started at Gladstone Associates and Quadrangle Development with the goal of making the world a better place. (They built HQs for National Wildlife Federation, American Geophysical Union, and The Nature Conservancy.) Now, their firm, celebrating its 30th anniversary in April, is a full-service development company, active around the Huntington Metro stop and along the Silver Line east of Dulles, among other areas. The company focuses on both environmental and energy concerns (it's a devoted Energy Star partner). Having worked in the hostile days of environmentalists vs developers, Neel says, watching smart growth gain prominence has been gratifying. For more info on our sponsor, click here.

America's Next Top Property Managers
Bill Grillo and Ben Comm on Jan. 9, 2013

Property management isn't the profession of choice for many first-time job seekers, but Cassidy Turley’s Bill Grillo and Ben Comm (whom we snapped in their office yesterday) tell us many will soon see the light. The duo oversee the 42M SF from Baltimore to the Carolinas that Cassidy manages as a third party and tell us property managers are no longer the fifth wheel of real estate. That means a need for top talent acquisition, and colleges are taking notice. Bill sees good signs in Virginia Tech’s undergrad residential property management degree and the focus on property management in American U’s Master of Real Estate degree.


Ben adds that property managers are at the forefront of promoting sustainability and LEED, another pull for young, educated talent.

1445 New York Ave

Of course, who doesn't love a challenge? In this field, those include adapting to client needs, matching the right engineer or manager to each owner, and emergency preparedness—especially as Inauguration Day approaches. Cassidy manages properties on the prez’s parade route like 1701 Penn, 1445 New York Ave (above), and Market Square. Bill says building closures along the route that day are the norm. Ben would love be there to oversee things, but he’ll be in the POTUS’ homeland, Hawaii, for a BOMA conference, as the org's chairman of International Emergency Preparedness Committee.

GSA Deals Still Out There
717 14th St on Jan. 10, 2013
Yes there's uncertainty about the government's leasing intentions in the District, but some owners are getting deals done. Washington Capitol Partners has inked a GSA tenant for 62k SF at 717 14th St, which we snapped this morning. (It also renewed the DC government, which has been there for 13 years, for 45k SF). Washington Capitol managing partner Peter Minshall tells us the highest-priced buildings will suffer as the GSA emphasizes smaller footprints, allowing properties “with an A-plus location at B-plus rents” like 717 14th to benefit.
The Oscar noms came out this morning. What do you think are the biggest snubs? Our submission: Bisnow the Movie garnered no attention. E-mail chris.baird@bisnow.com.
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