Real People at Real Share
So who were all those 650 real estate networkers who crowded into the Mayflower Wednesday for the 5th annual Real Share confab?
Conference director Rich Kelley, above right, tells me they were 20% brokers; 30% owners, investors, and developers; 25% lenders and financiers; and the rest attorneys, consultants, contractors and others. More unusual this year, he said, were a number of attendees from Boston and New York. Why would they schlep down here? Well, Rich organizes 26 such conferences a year in 16 cities for event owner Real Estate Media and says our market still seems the hottest. Maybe those outsiders have to see it to believe it?
Meanwhile, Vornado Charles E. Smith president Mitchell Schear, above left, was one of a slew of top speakers on several panels throughout the morning. On the question of whether 2007 would be the year a major law firm tenant announces a move to NOMA, Rosslyn, Ballston, or Crystal City, he acknowledged that no firm yet seems willing to move its main office out of a DC address, but said he expects they might start moving their litigation centers or back office functions.
LandAmerica's regional 1031 honcho Bill Gessner with Reznick marketing chief Suzanne Bouhia. Gessner, a lawyer, returned to DC two weeks ago from 80 degree days at an ABA tax section meeting in Florida just in time for the ice storms here. As of Wednesday, he was still shivering.
Now, this is a distinguished looking crowd—they must have taken a wrong turn to a banking convention. From left, Cushman & Wakefield's Chip Ryan, America's Capital Partners' Doug Fleit, and Transwestern's Ken Marks and Gerry Trainor. Actually, this old guard is alive and kicking. Trivia question: Do you know that Chip’s first real estate interview, in the early 80’s, was with Ken, then at Carey Winston? Turned out to be a practice interview; Chip went to CB for his first seven years.