Lex Lefebvre, Director of Development, Rooney Properties
Power Lunch Spot? Liberty Tavern
Favorite Vacation Spot? Any place with a beach and a golf course
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? Reston
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Construction costs have to start coming down now, right?
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? JBG just sold everything again.
Ikenna (Ike) Nwadibia, Associate, Avison Young
Hometown: San Francisco (The City!)
Power Lunch Spot? The Palm – West End
Favorite Vacation Spot? Hawaii
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? NE Washington DC – Brookland & NW DC - Petworth area.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Washington DC continues to outpace the United States and other major markets in its unemployment and job growth. From this, I am optimistic for continued steady demand for office space, an uptick in demand for multifamily, and persistent industrial and database performances. Lastly, the new tax legislation passed into law in the fourth quarter of 2017 has boosted both investor and company confidence, which will result in an increase in acquisitions and company growth and expansion over the next 12 months.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? Record high asset valuations, increased competition for new trophy assets, substantial development pipeline – 3,000,000 + square feet to be delivered by 2019.
Todd Pearson, SVP, of Acquisitions and Development, B. F. Saul Company
Hometown: Born in Ashburn, VA, currently reside in Washington D.C.
Power Lunch Spot? My favorite spot is Peter’s in Bethesda; however, if it is a more formal meeting, Woodmont Grill. Both are close to our office.
Favorite Vacation Spot? We spend summers in Mystic, CT and winters skiing at Okemo Resort in VT.
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? There has been a lot built in the last few years which has produced some short term softness in the market. The good news is this has forced developers and retailers to be more innovative with the products they are bringing to the market. I believe affordability and schools will push millennials toward the suburbs as they pair up and have kids; however, I still think they will have a preference for urban conveniences. Urban product will continue to be strong but I like suburban metro locations that are transforming to a more urban existence such as our project Twinbrook Quarter in Rockville, MD.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? The region has grown and become more hip, shedding its historic conservative reputation. In addition, it is known for offering a strong quality of life to its residents. We still have substantial residential absorption despite a bit of softness in rents from all the deliveries in the last few years. This has resulted in a robust offering of talented workers which has attracted interest from major office relocations, as illustrated by the region having 3 of the final 20 locations for Amazon HQ2. I believe this change in perception, along with some innovative projects slated for development, will drive the region’s future success.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? A continued rise in interest rates that isn’t accompanied by wage inflation would be a reason for concern.
Lauren Rizzo, Senior advisor, Cresa
Hometown: Vienna, Va
Power Lunch Spot? Nooshi.
Favorite Vacation Spot? Ischia. A beautiful volcanic island off the coast of Naples, Italy. Sister island to Capri.
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? The Waterfront in Alexandria.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Still a Tenant favorable market.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? The disappearing Class B product.