Kristi Smith, Executive Vice President, Development, JBG SMITH
Hometown: Plano, TX & Harrisonburg, VA (moved midway through high school)
Power Lunch Spot? Lia’s (downstairs from our office - the convenience can’t be beat)
Favorite Vacation Spot? Maldives – definitely worth the 30 hours of travel. Although these days I spend far more time in Bethany Beach than I do on exotic beaches.
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? At JBG SMITH, I’m personally very active in both Shaw and Bethesda right now, and I’m a true believer in those markets. Obviously they are both very different in terms of demographics and style, but both are bright spots within the DC area.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Fingers crossed for Amazon somewhere in the region!
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? Well I’m going to be out of pocket for 3 months starting in April with the birth of my second son. Is it too much to think that will clearly have an impact on the overall DC real estate market in 2018?? (editor’s note: yes, clearly this will have an impact)
Bobby Blair, SVP, JLL
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Power Lunch Spot? Mackey’s, JLL’s new in-house cafeteria
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? A short term Airbnb rental building on Capitol Hill.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Representing tenants. I’m optimistic about the deals we’re structuring and record high concessions. Not so good for owners.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? DC is facing limited near term tenant demand with longer term absorption problems. This is why owners are more aggressive than ever to restructure leases early and offer record concession packages. It’s unclear to me where any growth will come from over the next 4-5 years to shift the status quo.
Matt Levin, Principal, West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors
Hometown: Washington, DC
Power Lunch Spot? Nooshi
Favorite Vacation Spot? Martha’s Vineyard
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in?Silver Spring
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? As a tenant rep, there are numerous opportunities in various submarkets for creative transactions. Gross leasing activity is down significantly over the last few years and supply continues to outpace demand. A loaded pipeline and federal workforce contraction are the major contributors. We expect vacancy rates to rise slightly in the District with concessions still at historically high levels – this means it will remain a tenant’s market for the foreseeable future!
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? Affordability in the District is disappearing. As Class B options are either repositioned or redeveloped, value conscience tenants will face dwindling options in core DC submarkets. The status quo of historically “well priced” Class B options is slowly disappearing. This could cause potential displacement of DC core tenants who will need to consider other alternative / affordable submarkets ie. Silver Spring, RB corridor, Capitol Riverfront and other emerging DC markets.
Kassi Saridakis, Vice President, Newmark Knight Frank Capital Markets
Hometown: Olney, Maryland. Currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia.
Power Lunch Spot? Kellari Taverna
Favorite Vacation Spot? Kauai, Hawaii
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? Overweight modern industrial distribution along 1-95 corridor, targeting last-mile fulfillment.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Sustained job growth in office using sectors, such as professional/business services, which spurs demand in Class A office, neighborhood retail and multifamily product.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? Possibility of foreign / sovereign investors decreasing appetite for core and trophy assets; second, continued interest rate increases adversely impacting values for both commercial and residential for-sale product (especially with new tax law impact limiting deductions in high-cost living areas).
Reid Fetters, Chief Real Estate Development Officer, MakeOffices
Hometown: Frankfort, IN
Power Lunch Spot? Mastro's
Favorite Vacation Spot? Virgin Islands
If you had to invest $10m in a DC area neighborhood/submarket it would be in? Glover Park due to the location between Georgetown and Bethesda on the Wisconsin Ave corridor. There is a high amount of residential with a growing developments including commercial, residential, and retail.
Reason for optimism about DC real estate in 2018? Economy and jobs are up and expected to grow significantly this year. Working in the coworking industry we're seeing both new and established businesses continuing to grow and need more space.
Reason for caution about DC real estate in 2018? I believe real estate is changing rapidly and moving away from the way its been done in the past. The caution I would have is not recognizing and adapting to it.