NAIOP's Crystal Ball
First, a big shout out to our newest sponsor, Perkins + Will, one of the nation's top planning and architectural firms, headed here by veteran Rusty Meadows, who spent 20 years building his own firmAi, which designed buildings for AOL, MITRE, and Capital One, and was acquired by Perkins in 2005. Not surprisingly, P+W, which employs the highest number of LEED professionals in North America, was called on to design the US Green Building Councilheadquarters here.
Second, from the rumor department: We hear Cassidy & Pinkardis in line to get the leasing and management of the Equity Officeportfolio, from Beacon Properties via Blackstone, in which case some of Equity's team like Marty Almquist and Jim Potocki may be headed to Cassidy… but perhaps not Equity regional head Greg Meyer.
Finally, actual news! 300 owners, developers, and brokers turned out to the Tysons Ritz last week for NoVa NAIOP's annual forecast. Heard in the halls: excitement over the fact that 2006 commercial sales in the area reached $5.8 billion compared to $4 billion the previous year.
What's the common denominator here between Gensler marketing maven Gigi Webb and CB Va. office head Brad Flickinger? Their kids went to pre-school together, of course. Brad did the first speech, presenting a top 10 list of trends that began with "slower government spending" and ended with the prediction of "growth in amenity-rich mixed use development" like Town Center, Towers Crescent and Tysons II, paradoxically bringing both higher rents and higher occupancy. Torto Wheaton research director Craig Thomas' gave the second speech, almost upstaged by the fact that his plane from Boston headquarters was cancelled and he walked in just as Brad was finishing.
Also at the Ritz,Studley's Randy Atkins, immediate past NoVa NAIOP chairman, with developer Mike Vardell, broker Joe Ritchey(known as the "Mayor of Town Center" because he's leased so much of it), and Cushman's Moe Hamilton. The NAIOP chairmanship passed this month to Eric Wells (his firm,WestDulles Properties, zones and repositions new development, and he's also owned construction and concrete companies). NAIOP is stepping up its legislative activities, this week urging theGeneral Assembly to okay $400 million for transportation infrastructure before adjourning Saturday. "You can't keep the good times rolling in traffic," said one wag.