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Brainiacs of Bethesda

Washington DC Office

The Reznick Group was already a household name in accounting circles before merging with JH Cohn in 2012. Now, Bethesda-based CohnReznick is the 10th biggest accounting firm in the country, and its local office is a growing powerhouse in real estate circles.

The national real estate practice is led by national CRE head David Kessler and office managing partner Jim Martinko (both pictured) as well as construction guru Russ Phillips. Jim tells us the merger gave the firm a "deeper bench" in the hospitality, non-profit, and higher ed fields, while leveraging Reznick's longtime strength in real estate and construction. Adding new markets from JH Cohn where Reznick didn't have a presence didn't hurt either, Jim says. But further acquisitions could be on the way, too. "M&A continues to play a key role" in the firm's plan going forward, he says.

As for their views on the market, Russ (second from left, with Moseley Construction's Johnny Moseley, Cityline's Donna Shafer, and Douglas Development's Norman Jemal at last week's Bisnow DC Real Estate Summit) tells us transit-oriented mixed-use is the "present and future" of DC real estate, and the closer a project is to downtown DC or Metro likely means success. David says though DC may have fallen in favor among foreign investors (according to AFIRE's recent survey), there's an abundance of capital interested in value-add and opportunistic deals locally. But with cap rates remaining low in the region, investors may not get the returns that secondary markets might offer. "You would never know DC isn't among the hottest investor markets with all the development activity and institutional capital flowing into the region."