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Lincoln Property Co's Paul Danko says the economic engine is finally running after three or four lawn mower-esque jumpstarts, and space users once again are kicking the tires on available space.
Paul Danko at Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
At Bisnow's second annual Baltimore Real Estate Summi t last week, Paul said accelerating industrial activity is due to the 2.7 million people who will be added to the US population this year, as retailers stock up their warehouses. (With goods... not the people.) In addition, industrial is enjoying boosts from government uses and environmental users like recyclers. It's still a lot of work to get a deal done, he says, as tenants expect TIs and discounts up to 30%—and they're getting them. And while location used to drive all decisions, now it's economics; users will go 45 minutes away to get deals their ledgers are comfy with.

Mary Beth Norwood and Doug Schmidt at the Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
Chesapeake Real Estate Group principal Doug Schmidt (with our moderator, Reznick Group's Mary Beth Norwood) says capital is available, but the return requirements are so stringent it's difficult to make deals work out. Not only do the deals have to work better, but you have to prove it better, he says. (It's like high school math: you can't just have the answer, you have to show all your work.) He says the market is banking on young people to shore up Downtown, citing a young environmental engineer in his office whose University of Maryland friends all moved to Baltimore City, job or not.

Donald Manekin at the Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
Seawall Development's Donald Manekin says he couldn't do the workforce housing-mixed-with-nonprofit office space developments he's done without tons of helps from New Markets Tax Credits and historical tax credits, considering all the unexpected issues that can arise with adaptive re-use. So far, his projects have focused on housing for teachers (he says the population exodus from the city will continue unless public education is fixed), but maybe similar mixed-use housing using obsolete urban buildings could work for nurses and lab technicians employed by the city's vibrant healthcare institutions. (A housing development full of nurses and lab technicians? Sounds like a fantastic idea for a soap opera.)
Halry Smith, Dave Convis, Amir Aliabadi, and Bill Bedri at the Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
Balfour Beatty Construction's Haley Smith, Dave Convis, Amir Aliabadi, and Bill Bedri tell us the firm opened a Baltimore office(100 S Charles St) six months ago.
Debbie Chen at the Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
And here's their colleague Debbie Chen showing off the crab mallet favors Balfour Beatty brought our attendees to mark its entrance to our crab happy 'hood.
Kasey Hughes, Mark Thompson, Mike Kalinock, Debra Adler, and Scott Nicholson at the Baltimore Hilton on April 24, 2012
Transwestern's Kasey Hughes (with Howard County director of redevelopment Mark Thompson, JPB Partners' Mike Kalinock, The Sopher Group's Debra Adler, and The Columbia Bank's Scott Nicholson) tells us he's helping the federal Department of Labor move into 2 Hopkins Plaza. He says there are quite a few others looking for requirements Downtown, one of them coming from the suburbs. That includes, we hear, US Citizen and Immigration Services, for which Nicole Wilhelm (pictured last week) tells us her company, Heath Design Group, is working.
US Appraisers Stores Building
Kasey tells us most of the rest of the government requirements are US Appraisers' Stores building tenants being relocated so the GSA can auction that one off. In other news, did we mention that Kasey just got married? We'd like to claim he was honeymooning at our event, but the happy couple headed to St. Lucia.
Tom Barbuti, Erin Millar, Brian Southard, and Trish Palumbo at the Hilton Baltimore on April 24, 2012
Whiteford Taylor Preston's Tom Barbuti and Erin Millar, Kramon & Graham's Brian Southard, and Metropolitan Management's Trish Palumbo. Erin and Tom are seeing a slow return of transaction volume to pre-recession levels, while sales prices, rents, and LTVs remain lower. And Trish wrote us a little ditty: "Lawyers and brokers and shares, oh my! Bankers and Bisnow means chairs, oh my! 400+ to be precise!"