BISNOW EVENT OF THE YEAR
|A Bisnow record 1,300 showed up at the Tysons Ritz (in Tysons Corner, VA near DC) on Tuesday to hear 26 national and regional panelists, though the talk ranged even broader, from international investors (Korea and Canada are big retail players in NY, Queen of Retail Faith Hope Consolo says) to micromarkets like Petworth, Manhattan's 5th Ave., and northern Chicago. Some highlights: Piedmont REIT CEO Don Miller says it's hard for people in DC, in a period of "suspended disbelief," to understand what's going on in the rest of the country. Peterson Cos' Jon Peterson advises that if a deal doesn't work on the back of a napkin, you probably shouldn't do it. (And no, getting a bigger napkin doesn't count.)|
Piedmont CEO Don Miller, whose REITS owns 3M SF in the DC metro, says valuations here paint a different picture than elsewhere in the US. Consider DC’s worst submarket, Dulles, multiply that by three or four, and that’s the rest of the country, he says. Compare that to 25% to 30% vacancy in places like Phoenix and Orange County, CA. International players who are investing only in gateway cities are getting frustrated with pricing and will head to the Midwest soon.