BALTIMORE OFFICE: NO QUICK FIX
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|It doesn't matter whether sequestration is fact or fiction. The threat has caused investors to pause and defense contractors to slow, and that means office leasing will be stagnant while tenants either shrink or avoid real estate decisions.|
|That's according to CBRE Baltimore head Chip Olsen, who adds that the uncertain budget and upcoming election mean 2013 activity will be flat at best. A Romney win, he says, doesn't automatically flip a switch and make things better, though the candidate's proposed tax cuts would have a quicker positive effect than the negative effects that would follow defense budget cuts (thought by most to be mythical). There are bright spots: multifamily, healthcare (Baltimore is less exposed than DC), and local corporations like Under Armour, which plans to double its workforce within five years (though there'll be no direct effect on the office market outside its campus).|