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Is 2015 the Year for DC Retail?

With deal volume approaching 2006 levels, 2015 could be all about retail in DC. (And not just for Hillary yard signs.)

Big opportunities abound for investors in this market, says Cohn Reznick national director David Kessler (here, at this year's Leukemia Ball flanked by CohnReznick's Jerry Distefano and SeaSpray Realty Holdings' Ric Girouard). Developers are looking for infill either in "urban, 24/7 environments or the 18-hour community," he tells us. Core assets are trading at cap rates that are “as low as ever,” and retail has seen a rise in DC because the market is getting over the sequestration downer and economic confidence is improving. The downside: it's still harder to find opportunistic investments.

Eight years in business and Renaud Consulting has seen significant growth in MD, VA, DC, PA and DE, its leases focusing on neighborhood shopping centers and mixed-use retail, president Henry Renaud tells us (pictured on a fishing trip). Wallets are bigger too. “Tenants are less fearful of the market conditions,” he says. “Financing for these live/work/play environments is more available, and we're definitely seeing increased activity in the retail sector.

On the grocery side, TEEL Construction brought the big, European-chic discount grocer Aldi (pictured) to Fairfax—with several more under construction. (Over there, the shopping carts drive on the left.) It's the first Aldi in the county, but not the first for TEEL. A vacant office supply store was converted into the German grocer, which spans 22k SF.

Continental Title Group CEO Billy Yerman (here with his daughter at a Ravens’ playoff game) tells us while his firm has been focused on large-scale developments around Baltimore for years, recent collaborations focus on even bigger developments. His team recently worked with Greenberg Gibbons on The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, MD, set to undergo a $20M renovation to make it more community oriented: 20k SF will become a “marketplace” with restaurants, a wine bar, dining and rooftop area.

We're thrilled that Renaud Consulting, Continental Title Group, TEEL Construction and CohnReznick are joining us as our Founding Sponsors of the Bisnow Beltway Bash on May 18 at 5:30pm at the Wynn’s Tryst Nightclub during ICSC RECon. Please register here!