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January 12, 2021

D.C.'s Record Vacancy Could Spur More Office-To-Apartment Conversions

[Digital Summit] JP Morgan, Foulger-Pratt, Kettler & More Discuss Multifamily Development & Investment Trends In The Mid-Atlantic During BMAC East Jan. 28

The strategy of converting office buildings to residential has taken off in the suburbs and in some of D.C.'s emerging submarkets, but it has been difficult for developers to make conversion projects work in the city's central business district. 

That dynamic appears to be changing, some developers and experts say, as the elevated office vacancy in the downtown market makes conversion projects more appealing. 

D.C.'s Record Vacancy Could Push Developers To Convert Downtown Offices To Apartments

"We've been asked to look at conversions in downtown more than we ever have," said Hickok Cole principal Laurence Caudle, an architect.He said the shift has occurred over the last year. The District's office market last quarter reached a record-high 15.9% vacancy rate, according to

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Wardman Park Hotel Owner Files For Bankruptcy, Plans To Sell Shuttered Property

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The owner of the historic Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel has closed the hotel permanently, filed for bankruptcy and is looking to sell the asset.Wardman Hotel Owner LLC, an affiliate of Pacific Life Insurance Co., filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition…

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Ballston’s Former Science Haven Is Becoming Community-Driven Workspace

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Ballston’s Former Science Haven Is Becoming Community-Driven Workspace  

The Ballston headquarters of the National Science Foundation is a place where researchers studied the most pressing issues of the day, from artificial intelligence and human behavior to environmental science. When the NSF decided to move its headquarters to Alexandria in 2017, the company that took over the building, Atlanta-based…

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At The Epicenter: How Property Managers Are Weathering COVID’s Many Challenges

In the past year, everyone has become fluent in debates around wearing a mask, indoor exposure, ventilation and the infection risks of the coronavirus. But unlike many of their commercial real estate peers, property managers, especially those working residential properties, have found themselves on the front lines of this dangerous pandemic, which has radically changed their workplace, workloads, and health and financial prospects.

“People are working from home, and that means people are noticing more issues, there’s more wear and tear, and you notice the tenant above you making noise,” said Ari Chazanas, CEO of Lotus West Properties, a property management firm that oversees roughly 500 units in west Los Angeles, near Brentwood. His team has been “running nonstop” since March. “There’s tenants who are lonely and want to see people. And there’s tenants who, due to COVID fears, don’t want anybody in the building, but their neighbors are making more service calls. And we’re just caught in the middle.”  

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How The World’s Most Expensive Apartment Building Became A Lightning Rod For How We Feel About The Super Rich

 

Next week marks 10 years since London’s One Hyde Park was completed and the keys to its luxury apartments were handed over to residents who came from all corners of the globe, but who now shared at least two things: They were incredibly rich, and they had bought one of the most expensive homes on the planet.

One Hyde Park’s story is a classic real estate development tale of ambition, vision, nerve, a bit of cheek and a hefty slice of luck. It made a lot of people in London property who had nothing to do with it a lot of money simply through the gravitational pull that it exerted.

But One Hyde Park has a meaning and resonance that go beyond the property sector, in a way that very few buildings do. It says something about London in the 21st century, its place in the UK and in the world, the global distribution of wealth and how we feel about the very rich in our society. So it is also a story about elites, inequality, snobbery and international politics. Few buildings in recent years have created a reaction so visceral — to the point where its architect didn’t want to work in the UK in the wake of its completion. 

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