August 2016 Developments

Get Back to Business Overlooking West End
Another September means another chance to reunite with Members and friends enjoying fantastic rooftop views at Back to Business, the Chapter’s late summer mixer.  Brookfield Office Properties play host on Thursday, September 8 at their ten-story trophy property 2001 M Street, featuring an expansive rooftop terrace ringed by green roof.  Registration is now open; we look forward to seeing you there.

Making a Neighborhood One Cup at a Time
Our panel discussion tackled the concept of ‘placemaking,’ centered around the experiences of Compass Coffee, a Washington-based coffee shop and roaster.  The Making of a Neighborhood – Trends That Define Retail kicked off with an introduction from Andrea Hidalgo (JBG), who introduced the new leadership of the Chapter’s Sustainability Development Committee (SDC) and opening remarks from Herb Heiserman, Managing Principal at Streetsense.  After introducing the panel, Mr Heiserman challenged them to define exactly what ‘placemaking’ meant to them.

Herb Heiserman, Managing Principal, Streetsense
Andrew Griffin, VP Design + Construction, The JBG Companies
Chris Brown, Sustainability Manager, Federal Realty Investment Trust
Chuck Wallach, VP Leasing, The Tower Companies
Michael Haft, co-owner Compass Coffee
Harrison Suarez, co-owner Compass Coffee

Chris Brown (Federal Realty Investment Trust) provided perhaps the most succinct answer: “The placemaking aspects are where you marry art and science, and art is the design and science is the demographics and anthropology to create a place people just want to use.”  The landlords and tenants assembling the panel, while perhaps coming from slightly different angles, seemed to agree that at its core, placemaking is about creating a place people want to stay.

“Food!” proclaimed Chuck Wallach (The Tower Companies).  “We realize that food and cafes and restaurants … we want people to stay where they are; we don’t want them to leave.  Right now they go to Giant, they come, they buy their groceries and they’re out of there.  So we’re going to create a sense of place, a placemaking venue actually, by providing new restaurants, bars, cafes.”

Mr. Heiserman asked the panel to identity what effects, if any, generational shifts have had on placemaking, particularly citing the rise of millennials as a major factor over the past five years.  Andrew Griffin (JBG) noted that, “I think if you look at our Shay project, I think a lot of the [retail] tenants that we found were previously internet-based stores - Warby-Parker, Bonobos – these are retailers that really wanted to come to the neighborhoods where they found their customers lived.”  He continued, “This was really more about serving a neighborhood, but then it became a destination, which was an additional benefit.”  

But Mr. Brown urged the panel to think past just millennials – pointing out that the demographics driving placemaking and sustainability were coming more from baby-boomers, the wealthy, urbanites and women over 65; surprisingly it’s not the millennials who are pushing for more sustainable attributes in placemaking.

“You have to understand the routines of every section of people,” noted Mr. Wallach.  “It’s not just about young people.  You have people who are retiring and they don’t want the big house.  They want the walkable environment.  They want places to sit down and hang out.”

Among The Shay tenants is a 1,400 SF installation of Compass Coffee.  Co-founder Harrison Suarez estimates that most people who come to their café live within two or three blocks.  “On the weekends, when they’re shopping and looking for other things to do, we want to accommodate those people, whether it’s with WiFi, more seating, bike racks, whatever – it’s listening to what our customers want every day.”  

A challenge to the placemaking being touted by the panel of course is the issue of space.  Michael Haft, the other half of the Compass Coffee team, noted that “you want people to hang out, but for a coffee shop that literally means more space.  Having somebody like JBG and Central Place understand we need 2,200 feet, rent can’t be crazy – this is an essential real estate consideration.  We’ve been grateful to have that kind of partnership.”  

Moderator Heiserman summed up the comments of the panel by commenting “in conclusion, placemaking is about creating an experience.  My family and I went to Shaw – went to Warby-Parker and got our glasses tightened up, got a bite to eat.  It was a place as a family we could get out of our neighborhood and have an experience together.  And to me, that will resonate.”

From left, Andrew Griffin (JBG), Harrison Suarez and Michael Haft (Compass Coffee), Chris Brown (Federal Realty Investment Trust), Chuck Wallach (Tower Companies) and moderator Herb Heiserman (Streetsense)

Enroll Now for Summer School!
This year’s NAIOP Summer School program will focus on construction risk for real estate pros: we are fortunate to welcome Bill Magruder (Clark Construction Group) as facilitator for Managing Construction Risk for CRE Development Professionals.  Our panel also includes Spencer Brott, Managing Director at Trammell-Crow Company; Dwight Core, Partner at McFarlin Insurance Agency; and Matt O’Malley, Vice President at Clark.  The event will be hosted by Chapter sponsor Cohn | Reznik, located at 7501 Wisconsin Avenue, fourth floor, in Bethesda. The course runs from 8:30a until 3:00p and includes breakfast and lunch. Register Now!

Olympic Spirit on Connecticut Avenue
Over 75 NAIOP DC|MD Real Estate Emerging Leaders (REEL) members and guests gathered on the twelfth floor of 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW Wednesday night for networking across nine holes of mini-golf. REEL sponsor Washington REIT offered to host the impromptu course and guests enjoyed BBQ fare and drinks while moving from hole to hole. The fierce competition finally ended with prizes following some tense scorecard-counting moments.

Thank you so much to our event hole sponsors: Brandywine Realty Trust, DC Improv, Cushman & Wakefield, Fillat + Architecture, Landsdowne Construction, rand Construction, and WB Engineers + Consultants.

NAIOP DC|MD Student Member Inaugural Recipient of NAIOP Diversity Scholarship
Emilie Rottman, a graduate student in the Master of Real Estate Development program at the University of Maryland and a student member of NAIOP DC|MD, has been selected as one of five recipients of the inaugural 2016 Diversity Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Scholarship.  Ms. Rottman, in addition to being a student in the Real Estate Development program, holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland and was on the school’s 2016 Capital Challenge Team.  Congratulations Emilie!

Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate
Election years often give us pause to step back and consider the American economic machine and wonder about the place and contribution of our industry.  The NAIOP Research Foundation has sought to shed light on that question for those of us in Real Estate, and indeed the impacts of the Real Estate market reverberate through both the Gross Domestic Product and the employment rate.

“With the direct and indirect impact of construction spending on the U.S. economy (GDP) in 2015 totaling $3.2 trillion and accounting for 17.8 percent of GDP, the continuing growth of construction spending that began in 2011 will provide continuing support to the economy’s growth rate during the next several years,” noted Stephen S. Fuller, PhD.  “That is, the growth rate for construction spending will exceed the GDP growth rate annually for at least the next five years.”

Read the report in greater detail, including data distilled for the District of Columbia and Maryland at

Dates to Save
September 22 – 2016 DC | MD Real Estate Expo
September 26-28 – NAIOP National Commercial Real Estate Conference (Scottsdale, AZ)
October 5 – Gear Up for Year Up
October 13 – 14th Annual Awards of Excellence Gala
December 16 – Member -Guest Holiday Breakfast and Annual Meeting
Platinum Sponsors Logos

Gold Sponsors

Altus Group

The Bernstein Companies
Bohler Engineering
Brandywine Realty Trust
Brookfield Property Partners
Chevy Chase Land Company
Chicago Title - National Commercial Services
Costello Construction
Cushman & Wakefield
First Potomac Realty Trust
Grunley Construction
The JBG Companies
National Building Museum
Powers Brown Architecture
Ruppert Companies
SIGAL Construction
US Bank

Washington Gas
Washington Property Company

Silver Sponsors

Balfour Beatty Construction
B.F. Saul Company
Boston Properties
City of Bowie
Cooper Carry Inc.
EDGE Commercial Real Estate
Macris, Hendricks & Glascock, PA
PNC Real Estate
Rodgers Consulting
Therrien Waddell
VIKA Companies, LLC


Bronze Sponsors

Apex Companies, LLC
DAVIS Construction
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
Federal Realty
Fidelity National Title - National Commercial Services
KGD Architecture
Lerch Early & Brewer
University of Maryland/Colvin Institute
WFT Engineering
Wilkes Artis, Chartered

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