Contact Us

More from the Washington Real Estate Summit

Developers can't skimp on quality design and amenities, as we heard at our big DC Real Estate Summit yesterday. Douglas Development's Norman Jemal (right, with construction king Johnny Moseley, CohnReznick's Russ Phillips, and Cityline's Donna Shafer), whose firm is underway on its Hecht's Warehouse District redevelopment on New York Avenue, says if one builds to the top of the market, "you can always come down on price, but not on quality." But knowing your audience is important, too, Donna says, and Cityline does that at its Scotts Run and Arbor Row projects: "Tysons isn't the U Street Corridor," so no micro units are planned, though smaller-than-average units are. 

Our money panel: (from left) First Potomac's Doug Donatelli, Bank of Georgetown's Tim Veith, MetLife's Anthony Balestrieri, Fundrise's Ben Miller, Cassidy Turley's Bill Collins, and Meridian Group's Gary Block. Doug says First Potomac's strategy is to hold long term, while Gary says Meridian is "all about NOI growth," with its recent SAIC campus and Techworld buys. Anthony says MetLife—which bought 555 12th earlier this year with the state bank of Norway—sees that asset as a long-term hold, too, once it's fully stabilized.

GSA leasing is in a much different place than when Gensler's Bob Peck and Easterly Partners' Joe Moravec each served as US Public Buildings commissioner. (Having them both on stage must be what the Vatican feels like every day.) Bob says that an uptick could be on the way, since Congress finally has a budget in place and leasing negotiations are underway. But Joe says not to get your hopes up for a major GSA surge, since the agency tends to act at a glacial pace—as seen in projects like the FBI procurement and the Federal Triangle South redevelopment.

Over the years, Gary Rappaport (right, with Willis' Harry Johnson) has put almost every grocer into his shopping centers. And he says in a market as diverse as the DC region, there's room for everyone in one segment or another, "from Wegmans all the way down to Aldi," since grocery concepts rarely go bankrupt. Stay tuned for more Summit coverage tomorrow.