Oh, good, Steve Fuller’s smiling; must mean the economy’s okay. And, in fact, that’s what he told CREW’s crowd of 150 that we joined last night at the McLean Crowne Plaza. The George Mason prognosticator (and now also Cardinal Bank chief economist) says recession around here is “a lot of uninformed talk,” and that the “R Word” should really stand for “resilience.” He puts the chance of a national recession this year at 40%, but the chance of one in this region at zero. (Let us savor that word again: “Zero.” ) He points out that of the last three national recessions-’82-83, ’91, and ’01-we experienced only the one in the middle. In real estate, he does see a construction slowdown coming at the end of this year through ’09 and into 2010 due to past overbuilding and low absorption, but he thinks residential will pick up the second half of this year. With Steve above, Studley’s Wendy Feldman Block, CBRE’s Cathy Delcoco, and CBRE’s Kathy Keller.
If you’re on the Southwest waterfront any time soon, don’t go looking for a Starbucks. But if all goes as planned, in 2014 you should be able to find a mocha latte (well, if they haven’t lost the premium coffee wars breaking out with McDonald’s). That’s when the first phase of the $1.1B Southwest waterfront redevelopment should be complete: 767 condos and apartments (30% affordable), 400k SF office, 280k SF retail, 476k SF hotel, and nine LEED-Silver buildings. We went on board the Odyssey yesterday to hear DC Mayor Adrian Fenty (you won’t believe it, but we’re not going to run a picture of him), Council member Tommy Wells, and PN Hoffman’s Monty Hoffman, above. DC’s proposing $200M in TIFs.
No, Stacey is not stalking Steve Fuller-at least that’s what she claims. But here’s another picture she took of him, this one from Friday’s packed Cardinal Bank conference at the McLean Hilton entitled “Will Housing Recovery Drive Growth?” We believe Steve’s answer was “yes,” although you might have to wait to start seeing evidence. His says housing represents about 6% of the economy, has been cut in half, but appears inching back up. If it becomes 4% again, he says you’ll start noticing the increase since it’ll be 33%. Aren’t these economists smart? With Steve, several of our other friends: George Mason president Alan Merten, Cardinal Bank CEO Bernard Clineburg and president Kevin Reynolds. Those are genuine smiles for Steve’s forecast.
On Saturday night, industry partygoers celebrated the upcoming nuptials of JLL’s KateKolb and Lehman Smith McLeish’s Tom Brennan next month in Newburyport, MA. After separate girl/boy parties Opus East’s Lynne Goldberg, Gensler’s Gigi Webb, JLL’s Kate Kolb, MRP’s Bob Murphy and Jen DeMeo, LSM’s Tom Brennan, Lowe’s Sarah Hubbard, WDG’s Beth Ring, DC’s Samantha Buckingham, and Peterson Companies’ Jeff Resetco met up late night for a coed celebration at Nathan’s in Georgetown. We knew real estate brings people together!
CBRE Associates Bobby Blair, Chau Leung, Molly Murphy and Troudy Vaughan hang Saturday night at Posh nightclub for a Children’s National Medical Center fundraising party their firm gallantly sponsored. 400 guests endeavored to honor the theme “Dancing after Dark,” in the process raising $75k to benefit the Kids Care Fund, financing programs patients can’t otherwise afford. For that great cause, feel free to keep dancing until morning!