October 15, 2010

DCBIA'S "STATE OF THE LEASING MARKET" DRAWS BIG CROWD!

The mood was distinctly up-beat when, once again, DCBIA packed the National Press Club on Thursday, October 14, for its annual commercial real estate up-date. A distinguished panel of industry leaders presented its views on a District market poised for recovery and leading the nation out of the current downturn.

Andrew Florance of Co-Star, set the stage with an incisive rundown of recent trends describing the District market as having experienced "a sprained ankle while the rest of the country suffered a compound fracture." He convincingly showed that District vacancy and absorption rates are stabilizing in response to more positive local employment numbers - a story the popular media is missing by reporting only last year's news.

Susan A. Pepper of Grubb & Ellis served as moderator and seconded the recovery outlook with a forecast of one to two million square feet of District space absorption in 2011. She led a wide-ranging discussion of current market issues among the panelists - Victoria Hartke, Patrick Marr, Mindy Saffer, David Happ, Brian Raher and Dave Bevirt.

The inter-panel discussion featured an extensive and lively review of, among other things, pending GSA requirements, changing law firm space trends (including lower-cost second space for associates and support staff), increasing cost pressures on smaller tenants (up to 20,000 sf) and non-profits, emerging office submarket prospects, shrinking lease concessions and tenant build-out allowances, and evolving sub-let space options.

The session made one thing very clear. The downbeat mood exhibited in last year's leasing seminar is giving way to a more positive and forward looking view of the commercial real estate market - especially if one does the looking from the District. Click here >> for photo coverage.

DON'T MISS THE "STATE OF THE SALES MARKET" NEXT THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 7:30 AM, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB. JOIN THE OVER 200 DEVELOPERS, BROKERS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS SIGNED UP. REGISTER NOW!

BUILDING PERMITS GO PAPERLESS IN THE DISTRICT

DCRA issued the first online permit on Thursday, October 14, 2010 to VisionFoundry, a woman owned and operated software design firm located at 777 North Capitol Street, NE. Architect Darrel Rippeteau, designer of the space, applied for the permit online on September 24. The system allows government code officials to simultaneously check mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural systems along with architectural life-safety and sprinkler systems.

The system allows reviewers to annotate the permit documents electronically so that architects and engineers receive comments instantly. DCRA Director Linda Argo is leading the way with a paperless building permit filing and processing system built around the Project DOX electronic document management system.

From left to right: Kerry Putman, Project Manager, Rippeteau Architects; Darrel Rippeteau, President and CEO; Rippeteau Architects; Rabbiah Sabbakhan, Acting Division Chief, DC Permitting Services Division; Linda Argo, Director, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; Robyne Edley Kenton, Prinicpal, VisionFoundry.
David W. Briggs, Partner
Holland & Knight LLP
Chair, DCRA/DCBIA Leadership Group
ZONING COMMISSION TO CONSIDER BROADER IZ EXEMPTIONS FOR SUBSIDIZED HOUSING PROJECTS
On Thursday, October 21, 2010, the DC Zoning Commission will conduct a public hearing on proposed amendments to the Inclusionary Zoning ("IZ") regulations to exempt certain government subsidized affordable housing projects from the IZ requirements. DC's Department of Housing and Community Development in concert with the Office of Planning proposed the amendments after discovering that several subsidized projects were being delayed and their financing threatened due to conflicting requirements of the District's IZ program and federal and District subsidy requirements. DHCD and OP have recommended that allowing a uniform exemption for federally or District funded projects which meet or exceed IZ requirements is preferable to processing waivers on a case by case basis. This is a position that DCBIA has advocated throughout the promulgation of the IZ program.

DCBIA members are encouraged to support the proposed amendments at the public hearing.

Jeffrey H. Gelman, Partner
Saul Ewing LLP
Chair, DCBIA Housing Committee

CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR DC

The District recently released a draft climate action plan (CAP)-"Climate of Opportunity"

http://green.dc.gov/green/cwp/view,A,1231,Q,460764.asp.

To kick off the public process to develop a community-wide CAP, we would like your input. Please join us for an informal planning session with our Director, Christophe Tulou, Director of DDOE, District agency colleagues, and interested parties to share your recommendations for moving to a final CAP for our community. To accommodate busy schedules, you'll have two opportunities to join the conversation at our offices at 1200 First St NE, 5th Floor, Washington, DC, 20002:

Wednesday, October 27, 12:00 - 1:30pm

Monday, November 1, 12:00 - 1:30pm

These are open sessions (feel free to bring a brown bag), so please pass this information to others who may be interested.

Please RSVP to climate.plan@dc.gov by October 25 if you plan to attend.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact Dan Barry at daniel.barry@dc.gov or 596-4640.



October 21
Annual
State of the Sales Market

Morning Seminar
Register here


November 4
Annual Economic Development
Morning Seminar
Register here
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