Horseshoe “Thank a Sponsor” Real Estate Happy Hour Photos
See how much fun CREWBaltimore members had on May 28 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore!
Don’t miss our next event, The Retail Detail, on Thursday, June 4 at the Center Club in Baltimore.
UCREW Commercial Real Estate Event was a huge success!!
By: Candace Zang, Portfolio Manager, Susquehanna Bank
On April 2, 2015, more than 20 students from local area colleges joined at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School for the UCREW event hosted by CREWBaltimore. The program was offered as part of CREWBaltimore’s university outreach developed specifically for students interested in obtaining more information about careers in commercial real estate. The event allowed students the opportunity to network with current CREW members about various fields within the industry, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Chuck Schilke, JD, CRE, senior lecturer, The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. Esteemed panelists included Robert Shovan, CPM, RPS, LEED AP, senior vice president, DTZ, Laurie Marino, senior vice president, portfolio manager, Colliers Baltimore, Katherine Pinkard Bowers, president, Pinkard Properties and Kristen Ernst, LEED AP BD+C, VCD manager, The Whiting Turner Contracting Company. Panelists advised future graduates that analytical skills, articulate communication skills, a financial background and demonstrating leadership in industry organizations are good qualifiers for job opportunities in the field. It was recognized that there is currently a gap in skill sets with the elder generation coming up performing every task manually and the younger generation only knowing a technological world–both must learn from each other in the workplace. The panelists agreed that taking internships with multi-faceted companies is beneficial to expose yourself to multiple areas of the industry. A recurring theme was to “leverage your network” and take advantage of willing mentors. Students in attendance were engaged in asking thought provoking questions to provide them a better understanding of regional trends which may lead to innovative opportunities in the future job markets.
CREWBaltimore also has scholarships available in an effort to further the mission of CREW Network and CREWBaltimore in the advancement of women within the commercial real estate industry. If you know of a student who may qualify, please pass this information along.
Specific details relating to the scholarships:
Held January 22, 2015 at the Center Club in Baltimore
CREWBaltimore’s “State of the State” luncheon is an annual event – yet this year’s seemed even more salient because of the sea change in Maryland’s political leadership. All four panelists professed a positive outlook toward both the new administration and our local industry.
Kim told us that she is thrilled at Baltimore’s newly vibrant night life, caused mainly by an influx of millennials who are choosing to raise their families in the city, especially as local schools improve.
Of course, not everyone is sticking around. Many retirees and high-net-worth individuals are moving from Maryland to Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to escape high retirement income taxes. Kim believes that Maryland’s new pro-business administration could help stall or reverse the “flight of wealth.” Also on the horizon? Additional tax credits for various kinds of properties and new sources of money for development.
Mary Ann impressed everyone with myriad statistics regarding interest rates and their effects on banking for the commercial real estate industry. The takeaway? Low interest rates could cause the banking system to become more stable, creating a more level playing field between banks in the U.S. and abroad.
Mary Ann was also pleased that Maryland is finally recognizing its status as an unfriendly state for businesses. She thinks that Governor Hogan’s business-owner background could help stanch the tide of employers leaving the state and possibly reduce unemployment.
Roger regaled the room with his expert knowledge of U.S. long-term interest rates – which he predicted will remain low. To elaborate, he discussed the ideological differences between current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and predecessors Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan. If Yellen does plan to raise interest rates, Roger predicts that it won’t be until 2016.
Roger said that he was hopeful about Maryland’s new administration contributing to a better commercial real estate climate. But he also believes that the key to success is educating students earlier and more earnestly about topics and skills related to commercial real estate.
Jerry told us that he is optimistic about commercial real estate for the first time in a long time. Why? The local industry has experienced growth in all areas. Thanks in part to immigration and millennial interest, Baltimore is gaining 220,000 apartment units per year, not to mention more public-private partnerships.
Maryland’s changing political landscape could be a boon for CRE; Jerry cited Maryland’s new pro-business governor and many new faces in the House of Delegates as a solid new foundation and a major reason to get serious about infrastructure in Maryland.
During a brief but informative Q & A session, the panelists answered several questions related to Maryland’s dreaded “flight of wealth” and the online real estate market, which is helping to connect landlords with business owners who need small or satellite offices.
All four panelists agreed that the new administration, low interest rates, and changing demographics could do great things for Maryland’s commercial real estate industry in 2015.
by Chrissy Hoffmaster, Copywriter/Project Manager at IMPACT Marketing & PR
CREWBaltimore members and guests gathered at the Center Club on January 22 to learn about the Baltimore commercial real estate outlook for 2015. The popular event featured contributions from a dynamic moderator and several expert panelists, listed below:
Senior Vice President – Managing Director
Executive Vice President
Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer
Springhill Equities, LLC
What have you heard about the 2015 Baltimore commercial real estate outlook?
And come back next week for our full event recap!
See how you did on the quiz:
Q: Can you name 3 local areas where industrial is predicted to boom in 2015?
A: Pennsylvania’s I-81 corridor, Maryland’s Prince George’s County, and Southeast Baltimore City
Q: Can you name the area recently nicknamed “Liberty Town” for its industrial market?
A: Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley
Q: Can you name 2 ways industrial is adopting “greener” standards?
A: LED lighting and solar energy
Q: Can you name the MD county poised to become the “next great place” for industrial?
A: Prince George’s
Q: Can you name the local company that built the first sustainable warehouse in the U.S.?
A: Liberty Property Trust
Q: Can you name the 2 huge markets industrial is outperforming?
A: Office and Retail
Q: Can you name 1 piece of legislation that has been especially challenging for industrial?
A: the Stormwater Management Act
Kate Nolan Bryden says legislators need to start recognizing industrial as the “monster asset class” that it really is. And not just because it’s almost Halloween.
So far, lawmakers have failed to understand the industrial product type, leading to logistical nightmares for developers. (We’re looking at you, Stormwater Management Act.)
Kate also tipped us off to the role of LEED. The trend in many commercial real estate markets is toward sustainability. But going green costs green, and tenants don’t always see the value of higher rent. Conveying the energy-saving benefits will be one of the major challenges going forward.
Lisa Goodwin says that the amount of capital chasing industrial is so “frothy” that you can almost bet you will get a return.
The GDP is slowly improving, and industrial is outperforming two all-stars: office and retail. All that despite regulations that have made it nearly impossible to maintain a large warehouse. (Water treatment per square foot is just one culprit.)
Lisa also told us that transportation is quickly moving up the list of industrial market challenges. Developers are facing higher operational costs not only because of transportation, but also because they’ve struggled to find high-quality land. Recent port labor strikes haven’t helped much, either.
Matt Laraway wants you to imagine what you’d do if you saw a tractor trailer coming toward you – with no driver!
Driverless commercial trucks are on the horizon, but the current threat is toll increases, which have contributed to the mass movement of tenants to Southeast Baltimore City. Combined with the availability and cost of land – and rent rates – tolls will be a major decision-making factor for developers looking in the Baltimore area.
Matt also identified two of the next great places for industrial development: functionally obsolete infill sites/buildings that are being redeveloped in Baltimore and Prince George’s counties.
Peter Scholz wants to help you keep warm this winter by sharing the hottest areas for industrial nationwide.
Some of those places are the hottest weatherwise, especially Southern California and Houston, Texas. But industrial is also predicted to grow in the Windy City, proving that palm trees are no requirement for industrial growth.
Locally, Peter predicts we could see more large deals along the lines of the Amazon warehouse in Baltimore (for which his company serves as landlord). Nationally, sales are forecasted to increase as well – although tenants’ willingness to pay extra for sustainability will determine where industrial grows most.
Kate Nolan Bryden is Principal & Project Manager at AMK Partners, a commercial construction and development management firm that built 2.1M s/f in 3 Class A buildings in Harford County.
Lisa Goodwin is Vice President & City Manager at Liberty Property Trust, which has more than 80M s/f of industrial space, including 4 M s/f in Baltimore.
Matt Laraway is Executive Vice President of Chesapeake Real Estate Group, which is building its industrial platform in the Baltimore region. Current projects include spec warehouses in Harford and Baltimore counties.
Peter Scholz is Senior Vice President at Duke Realty, which focuses on office space, medical office space, and industrial space, including the 1M s/f Amazon warehouse in Baltimore.
Conversation Over Coffee Tech Toolbox: The Art of Networking and Social Media.
Wed., Nov. 12 from 8-10 a.m.
Nearly 70 CREWBaltimore members and guests gathered at the Hotel Monaco on October 9 to learn a lot about the local industrial real estate market.
Our 5th networking and panel luncheon featured 4 savvy speakers and 1 dynamic moderator. Check out their qualifications!
Regional Account Manager, The Brickman Group
Principal & Project Manager, AMK Partners
Vice President & City Manager, Liberty Property Trust
Executive Vice President, Chesapeake Real Estate Group
Senior Vice President, Duke Realty
Are you in the know?
And look for our full event recap to follow next week!
While the Blue Angels roared through the sky above Baltimore’s Hotel Monaco, three commercial real estate experts treated CREWBaltimore members and guests to an electrifying virtual tour of the area’s most important upcoming projects.
With Central Maryland already home to numerous cutting-edge commercial properties, improving the local landscape is a tall order – even taller than the ships anchored for the Battle of Baltimore bicentennial. Must be why two of the featured projects will offer some of the best views of the Key Bridge and Inner Harbor!
All three projects are also raising the standards for efficiency, sustainability, and quality of life in commercial real estate. Let’s learn more…
A major renovation to the well-known local shopping center once managed by 2014 CREWBaltimore President Kim Hogan, The Rotunda project is designed to revitalize Hampden through a sustainable commercial property where people line up to live, dine, and shop. The design plans, which include hundreds of apartments, have taken every detail into consideration. Apartment residents will gain Harbor views, but The Rotunda itself will hardly tower over the area. Additional trees and convenient parking will make the renovated commercial property a welcome part of the tight-knit community.
The Rotunda has been a popular destination for Hampden, Roland Park, and Medfield residents for decades. Those loyal shoppers weren’t about to let their beloved mall morph into something that could upset their way of life. Hats off to Hekemian for satisfying all 14 of the 21 area neighborhoods that contributed input on the design. The amazing line-up of retailers probably didn’t hurt, either – mouths are already watering for MOM’s Organic Market and Starbucks.
Located at York Road and Towsontown Boulevard, Towson Row is a multi-million dollar vertical mixed-use development. Designed partly to ease the burden of Towson University’s growing population through the addition of hundreds of student beds, it’s likely to also lighten a few wallets with its amazing retail offerings, to include a high-end grocery concept.
Towson Row has ambitious aims to elevate the area’s dining options, already quite high thanks to The Melting Pot Restaurant. Though most of the new eateries will located at ground level, they’ll no doubt offer some of the best surf ‘n’ turf in the area. And for residents and students who prefer dinner and a movie, there will be no better place than the new Cobb Theatre in Towson– one of the world’s highest-end dine-in movie chains.
As Columbia approaches its 50th anniversary, residents should prepare for some major changes to the Mall Area, Lakefront, and Crescent Property. The Downtown Redevelopment Office is picking up where the Rouse Company left off – starting with the conversion of its world-renowned, Frank Gehry-designed headquarters into a long-awaited Whole Foods store. Look for the 30-year redevelopment plan to go hand-in-hand with HoCo’s motto, “Choose Civility,” and its focus on sustainability.
“Our measure of success is when people pay to park in Columbia.” A lofty goal indeed, but Mark and his team have their work cut out for them. Not only does Columbia plan to reduce residents’ dependence on personal vehicles, but it also aims to add public transportation, including a circulator that would unite the Crescent’s key institutions: Howard General Hospital and Howard Community College. Also in the works: 94 miles of additional bicycle and pedestrian pathways, along with a new recreational park.
Join us at our next luncheon, Industrial “In the Know,” at the Hotel Monaco on October 9. Sign up here!
Forty-five CREW members and guests gathered at the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore on Thursday, April 10 for CREWBaltimore‘s “Trailblazers in the Industry” event.
Panelists included Brandi Hanback, Executive Vice President at The Rockefeller Group, Krista Di Iaconi, Principal at JBGR Retail, and Peggy White, Principal at Axiom Engineering Design LLC, with Joan Renner, Chief Financial Officer at The Brick Companies, as moderator of the discussion.
Joan Renner, CFO of The Brick Companies, a privately held company which owns, develops, and manages commercial, residential, and recreational properties in and around the DC, MD, and VA, footprint, was the moderator of the event.
Was the path you embarked to get where you are today more like climbing a ladder (straight and narrow) or climbing a jungle gym (winding and complex)?
What lessons have you learned throughout your career? Does Work – Life balance exist?
How important is the role of sponsorship/mentorship in developing your career?
How has CREW or another organization helped you?
Joan also provided great insight from her own experiences throughout the discussion, adding that CREW helped build her network in Baltimore and has given her a foundation, friendship, and confidence.
She reminded that audience that “we are 1 of 8,000 members — utilize it!”Joan’s lesson to everyone was to speak up for what you want and not be afraid to tell your peers or your superiors where you want your career to go.
Brandi Hanback, a new CREW member, took the “jungle gym” approach in career advancement from working for the state department, to trade associations, to a public accounting firm and various other positions before settling into her current role as EVP of Industrial Development and Head of FTZ, Trade & Logistics for The Rockefeller Group.
Brandi is responsible for The Rockefeller Group’s port strategy and works directly with tenants and clients on FTZ, customs, and supply chain requirements. She was interested in the concept of combining trade and business. Her hardest lessons learned in business surrounded patience and timing. She stressed that we are not always turned down due to being wrong, but that sometimes poor timing is the issue. She advised the crowd to keep challenging ourselves.
In response to the moderator’s question about successful ways to juggle tasks and maintain work/life balance, Brandi stressed the importance of being able to multitask and prioritize what is the most important at that particular time. She strongly advised everyone to utilize their allotted vacation time, stating no one will remember years from now if you were dedicated enough not to take it — but on the other hand, you will remember the vacation memories years down the road.
She did not feel that having mentors was as formal of a concept when she was coming up, but she “formed alliances” that proved valuable in bouncing ideas off of. Her advice of how to know when to move on to the next job was simply to avoid having tunnel vision and always being open to opportunities.
Krista Di Iaconi of JBGR Retail is a friend and former colleague of Joan Renner. She started as an accountant and worked her way up at Beers & Cutler. As an introvert, she planned to stay as an accountant. JBG was a client of the firm and she ended up joining JBG in 1994. Soon after, the firm merged with Rosenfeld Realty, thus creating JBGR Retail.
In the early dot-com days, Krista worked at a real estate dot-com that failed after two years. She rejoined JBGR and built on learning the development/investment business. When the new retail group started, she offered to start back at the bottom as an analyst in order to learn the business. With a 50% pay cut and more admin role, she took the job. She has since worked her way up in development/investment and is now a principal on the retail side.
Krista has had a number of informal mentors but no formal mentors. She has overcome her introverted tendencies to become a principal of her company. She claims that work-life balance does not really exist but in her new role she has more balance than ever before. Her organizational method is to look at all the tasks she has to do and figure out what she can delegate to allow her to focus on the big picture. She has learned to take on new assignments without full knowledge and still master the process.
Krista was less than clear on her next step but is sure to keep busy in her jobs as principal, wife/mother, and chief procurement officer.
Peggy White is the owner (Principal) of Axiom Engineering Design, LLC. She is a 9-year veteran on the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association Board of Directors (MNCBIA) and has chartered the Professional Women in Building Council under MNCBIA in 2013, currently serving as president.
She is on the Board of Directors of Lambda Alpha International (real estate association), and has served an impressive number of years as a member of various CRE professional groups to include HBAM, CREW, ULI, NAIOP, SAME, CASHE, MSS, and ASCE.
Peggy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. She is a Professional Engineer, licensed in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. She has been a design consultant for more than 29 years.
Peggy got where she is today by originally following a boyfriend to college and choosing a major in Engineering. Along the way she claimed, “It wasn’t easy. I had to keep telling myself I’m not a quitter. I’m going to make it.” She is a professional engineer, but with owning her own company, she has become a salesperson as well.
Her best advice to the audience was to have partners as “It’s lonely at the top!” She encouraged that as a trailblazer you can’t share the blame or be someone’s best friend — you have to lead. Peggy stressed that it is okay to hear “no” and not to let that deter you from your final goal; simply allow yourself to find an alternate route.
Additionally, when asked about lessons learned Peggy shared, “I like to talk a lot, and something I’ve learned is that you have to listen. Know when to be quiet…I’ve been accused of being brutally honest, and I’ve learned to not [be so blunt].”
Through her career, Peggy has had the opportunity to be on both the mentor and mentee side of the equation. Peggy encouraged everyone to use CREW to their advantage. She advised the audience to go to the convention and be active in the organization. She enjoys CREW because this is where her friends are but also recognizes that CREW members can relax, enjoy a safe harbor and still be working at the same time. Her opinion is that women need a place to network and be comfortable with one another.
This was another inspiring event with strong women in the commercial real estate industry reminding us that our success relies on our own efforts. If you are interested in the CREW mentorship program — either becoming a mentor or gaining a mentor — visit https://www.crewnetwork.org/c-suite.aspx.
On March 11, CREWBaltimore members and guests attended another in the series of Tech Toolbox- Conversations over Coffee.
The event was held at the COPT building in Columbia, MD with breakfast provided by Charm City Concierge. Panelists were Kathleen Schindler, Vice President of My Cleaning Service, Inc and Gina Ramsey, Director of Adventure Web Productions, both known social media gurus in the real estate industry.
After breakfast and networking, attendees split off into two groups; one with the intent of focusing on the basics of the social media outlets and the other looking for a more advanced session geared towards making their social media efforts help them become more successful in the commercial real estate market. Each panelist conducted their presentation tailored to the experience level of their group.
Gina worked with the first group and focused most of the discussion on building an effective LinkedIn profile and the importance of doing so to promote yourself and your business.
Gina stressed the need to have at least three recommendations and that “the best way to get recommendations is to give recommendations.” Always consider who is recommending you before you accept it.
When asked about whether or not to accept connection requests from people you don’t have a relationship with, Gina responded, “The more people you know, the more people you can potentially know.” She further advised that we should look to turn cold leads into warm leads by using a shared connection to introduce you.
Gina advised to try to set aside 15 minutes per day to focus on social media and either post frequently or at the ideal times of day so your posts don’t get sent to the bottom of the feed. By posting statuses or even links to interesting articles, you become a “Thought Leader.” We were reminded that our employees are our best advocates and that we will reach more people if they are encouraged to expand our posts to their followers as well.
Gina also gave some recommendations on how to deal with negative press on the Internet or other social media channels. It was advised that anyone with a specialty product should be promoting through posting products/project pictures on a visual site such as Pinterest or Instagram. Gina’s closing comment was, “Social media doesn’t replace face-to-face networking. Get your feet on the street.”
Kathleen took lead in the group looking to take their social media strategy to the next level. This group started the session by taking a tip from Ellen at the Oscars with a group “selfie” and encouraging followers on Twitter to retweet.
Kathleen discussed how social media is evolving and won’t be going away any time soon. She compares social media to email in the 1990s; it may take a while for everyone to join, but in a few years it will be unthinkable to not have it. We were reminded that “social media is powerful and can be used to influence behavior” — like challenging people to care more about sustainability, recycle more, etc.
You should have a social media strategy for both your company and personal brand. Many people who are not posting from the company-branded pages and are using their personal pages for business are known as “brand ambassadors.”
Kathleen stressed that when using social media, you need to determine who your audience is and tailor your posts to achieve your overall goal of positioning yourself as the expert in your industry. Building memorable campaigns, hosting competitions, frequent polling, and localizing posts are all ways to gain a following and distinguish your brand.
Kathleen also went over some common mistakes that are easily avoidable, such as taking the time to personally thank followers or mention colleagues in posts rather than sending a generic automatic reply. Also, “don’t forget to listen to your followers and retweet their content — remember, it’s a two way street.” These little things can make a big difference.
An amazing 37 tweets using the #TechToolbox or @CrewBaltimore circulated surrounding this event, making CREWBaltimore’s presence known to followers. Everyone was participating and receptive to the panelists’ suggestions and tips, which made this event a huge success!
Thanks to everyone who attended!