Posts Tagged ‘#cre’

Influential Women in CRE

CREWBaltimore hosted the “Women of Influence” Luncheon at the Center Club on January 9, 2018. We welcomed back moderator Christine Espenshade, a CREWBaltimore member for six years, and a Managing Director at Jones Lang Lasalle. The panel included Lisa Goodwin, Sr. Vice President of MRP Industrial, Amy Bonitz, President & CEO of Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation, and Caroline Paff, Vice President of Sagamore Development. The women covered topics that are beneficial to all women in the industry and also discussed the results found in CREW Network’s White Paper on gender bias and other barriers for women in the CRE industry.

All three panelists noted that they did not originally plan on getting into the commercial real estate field, but that they were successful at the start of their careers due to the mentors they sought out.  Mentors are important at all stages of your career, and can help determine your career plan.  Knowing where you want to end up will help you seek out the opportunities and challenges that will positively impact your career and set you up for advancement. Goodwin revealed that taking advantage of “sink or swim” opportunities propelled her forward in her career path. Mentors would provide guidance, but she found that she learned more when she was in the depths of these challenges. Paff mentioned that while opportunities are important in gaining traction to move forward, so is the support system around you. Your mentor will give you the balance of both support and opportunity. Bonitz confirmed that you must set up your parameters and guard them, and she also noted that sometimes you must “hit the shark in the nose and take charge of an intimidating situation.  If you take responsibility for your own progress, stand up for your ideas or projects and exude confidence in your ability to get the job done, you will be more likely to earn the respect of your peers.

Growing your career over time does not come without diligence. Goodwin discussed how personal accountability and being responsible for your own growth will help you move up the ladder in your career. She also noted that when you love what you do, love who you are doing it with, and you feel that you are a valued team member, you are more likely to choose to continue in that particular career. Putting in the extra hours is sometimes inevitable in the commercial real estate field; however, “you have to challenge yourself to be resilient,” added Espenshade. “If you are feeling alone in your [work life balance] situation, then find women in similar life situations to [talk to]”, and get input about your own situation, shared Paff.

Do not let your failures isolate you; talking about them with others will allow you to grow from these experiences. “All business women have experienced failures of some sort in their career” said Paff. Bonitz added that a deal sometimes dies fifteen times before it lives, and the team she has put together at her firm always remains positive and looks at how they can learn from each situation. In order to have the team remain positive and motivated to move forward it is important to have a vision that everyone wants to see brought to fruition. Goodwin followed up with noting that most of the time mistakes are made when you are involved in the unknown, and you can learn and grow from them. The ability to get back on the field and resume play is how you will determine your success moving forward.

The panel also had a chance to discuss workplace diversity. Paff suggested providing a written pathway as a way to hold everyone accountable to deliver on the promises made when you are first hired. Goodwin shared that over the years she has never seen it as men vs. women, but one team working towards an end goal. She also added that women bring an emotional balance to their team and their successes. Women play an integral role in commercial real estate, and the panelists provided insightful commentary and real-life experiences when asked questions by the audience members at the end of the event. We appreciate their willingness to share their experiences with us at this event.

Please join us on April 11 for our next Center Club luncheon about the State of the State!

CREWBaltimore plays part in the CREW Network White Paper release

It is no secret that our Chapter is abundant with wise, talented members who are engaged in the overall mission of this organization, so it was no surprise to see two of our local women step up and join the CREW Network Industry Research Committee. Michelle Cohen, principal at Miles & Stockbridge P.C., and Karen Pecoraro, ATC Group Services LLC, volunteered on the committee in 2016 and relayed back to us some inside info on what really went into this year-long project.

Here’s what they have to say about the experience:

What support went into making this happen? This full year project was based on work done by CREW Network in 2015 as part of its industry survey – we used the results from that survey to create the topics for the white paper and as part of the basis of our research.  Committees of 20 members each, including representation from the CREWNetwork board and staff, divided into smaller teams for research (gathering information to support the thesis from our survey findings), editorial (writing and editing the paper) and outreach (generating internal and external publicity once the paper was distributed).

How can members get involved in a project of this magnitude? The industry research committee is one of several CREWNetwork committees. Any CREW member can apply for a position on this or another committee by providing information regarding their expertise and skills and how their experience makes them a good fit for a particular committee. For example, referencing specific research and/or writing skills if you are applying to participate on the industry research committee. CREW Network also looks for  participation in internal/external organizations (other than CREWBaltimore) where you have worked on related issues.

Did you learn anything throughout the process? Some of the research was fascinating, particularly as it related to self-bias. Learning what internal factors cause women to stop reaching for the executive suite and how much of this is tied to our own perceptions and needs (rather than external factors).

Following the release of the 2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network focused on digging deeper into issues that persist and stymie women’s advancement in commercial real estate. Closing the Gap: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network’s 10th annual white paper, details both statistical data and personal accounts previously unmeasured and unrecorded in our industry – and largely unaddressed.

To gather more detailed and anecdotal data on the commercial real estate workplace in 2016, CREW Network conducted an industry research survey and several interviews. A total of 1,019 industry professionals – both men and women – participated in the survey, which included questions about gender bias, compensation practices, mentoring and sponsorship, ageism and the aspiration gap. 

Read the 2016 CREW Network White Paper “CLOSING THE GAP: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate” here.

Key Messages of the White Paper:

  • Nearly 2,200 comments and open-ended responses detailed both positive (mentor success stories, supportive environments and workplace practices) and negative (blatant gender bias, unequal benefits and exclusion) experiences in commercial real estate. 
  • While women are gaining ground in the male-dominated commercial real estate profession (as evidenced in the 2015 Benchmark Study Report), the majority are experiencing advancement barriers including gender bias.
  • Of 1,019 commercial real estate professionals surveyed, 65% have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women in their workplace in the last five years.
  • 55% have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women outside of the formal workplace in the last five years (i.e. women excluded from colleague sporting events, hunting or golf trips).
  • 91% of respondents said they have not displayed gender bias against a woman as a hirer or manager in commercial real estate.
  • 32% of respondents believe the lack of support for women in the C-Suite and/or at home is the #1 reason for the industry’s aspiration gap; the second most popular response (26%) was that women believe being in the C-Suite will adversely affect their commitments and responsibilities outside of work.

What We Need From Our Industry Leaders Going Forward

  • Be honest (with yourself) about bias in your hiring, promoting, assigning of challenging projects, compensation practices and inclusion in high-profile client relationship development. Utilize an assessment tool and engage a diversity consultant to recognize bias, take action to overcome it, and put accountability measures in place.
  • Support women in your workplace and speak up when you see biases or unfair treatment. Seemingly small and consistent actions can have a huge impact.
  • Make mentoring and sponsorship of women a priority. Encourage women to strengthen and expand both their internal and external networks, and ensure that mentoring and sponsorship activities include building relationships with high-profile/high-value clients. Mentors and sponsors should also help women become more comfortable with taking the risk of moving to new companies and accepting commission-based compensation in order to advance in their careers.

Donations made to the CREW Network Foundation make it possible to fund industry research and allow CREW Network to remain the leading publisher of research on women in commercial real estate- research that is helping to close the compensation and advancement gap for women. In non-benchmark years the organization budgets approximately $25,000 for industry research expenses and in benchmark years that figure is closer to $67,500. Join us in completing the Chapter Challenge by donating today through this link, CREWbiz or when you check out for your next event registration. For more information regarding the use of Foundation funds, you may contact CREWBaltimore Outreach Committee Liaison, Kim Hogan, Cushman & Wakefield.

Member Spotlight: John Hutch, JP2 Architects

Johns Pic

John Hutch III
Principal, JP2 Architects, LLC
I manage many of the business aspects of the firm, guide and promote sustainability along with the more technical issues of our projects.

How long have you been a CREW Member?
Member since July 2015

Was there someone who influenced you to join?
From my youth, I have been surrounded by strong women who own their own businesses.  The most influential is my mother, who started her own Interior Design firm and has made many real estate investments.  She has always been an incredible example for me and fostered a love for real estate and design.  When I found out about CREWBaltimore I realized it was the perfect extension of my passion and supporting women in Commercial Real Estate.

List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of.
Programs Committee Member and Moderator of the IGCC program

Have you done business with another CREW member, locally or nationally?
It hasn’t even been a year since joining CREWBaltimore and I have already had the opportunity to hire the services of several members for the construction of JP2s new office. The experience has been great and has truly encouraged me to know more about each member and their companies.

Has CREW Baltimore contributed to your leadership skills and experience?
Yes!  I simply love the diverse skill sets and backgrounds of the membership. I have learned so much from individuals who have a completely different approach to management, marketing and business development than my own.  It has helped me to develop and lead new initiatives at JP2.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.
I have lived an amazing life and am no stranger to natural disasters. At the age of 14 my family was vacationing on St. Lucia when Hurricane David (Category 5) passed through and stranded us for 5 days. The other similar experience for me was during college when I was working in Hollister, CA and experienced the famed 6.9 magnitude earthquake that stopped the World Series.

What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is wine.  I love sharing good wine and appetizers with friends as well as the constant search for new wines to try.

What are you passionate about?
I have a strong passion for coaching and love the life lessons that kids can learn from team sports.  With four kids, I have had the opportunity to coach each one of them in Basketball and even extended that into soccer.  I have been at it for about 12 years and continue to learn myself.                 

What is your dream vacation spot?
I am fortunate to have traveled quite a bit and love the adventures I have been on. My answer is less of a dream and more of a favorite.  I married into a Southern Italian family and love spending a couple weeks during the summer on the Amalfi Coast with my family.  The culture, food, hospitality and wine is just incredible.

Launch Workplaces: New Endeavor for 124-Yr-Old Real Estate Company

launch-workplaces

For the average real estate company, leasing hundreds of 120 s/f workspaces is a huge accomplishment.

For a 124-year-old real estate company whose core business model is leasing spaces 125 times that large? That’s truly remarkable.

Against all odds, The Brick Companies’ new enterprise Launch Workplaces is changing the way the company does business—and the way thousands of workers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia achieve success.

“A few years ago, we noticed a change in commercial real estate—there just weren’t as many clients looking for 15,000-square-foot spaces,” said Mike Kriel, Vice President of Operational Efficiency at The Brick Companies.

“We wanted to find out what smaller companies really needed. And that’s why we made the transition to leasing smaller spaces this past year.”

What is Launch Workplaces?

Launch Workplaces (Launch) is The Brick Companies’ newest effort to lease workspace the way small business owners, contractors, and independent workers want it today. Clients can choose between offices or co-work space in a Class A properties replete with lounge areas, complimentary refreshments, and other amenities.

“Even smaller commercial spaces are prohibitively expensive for entrepreneurs today,” said Kriel. “With Launch, we’re giving them access to affordable Class A office space so they can achieve their goals even faster.”

This year, The Brick Companies dedicated 5% of its portfolio to Launch . Its first building, the Lakefront at Washingtonian in Gaithersburg, Md., has 8,000 s/f of dedicated office space and 7,000 s/f of co-working space. Additional Launch locations include Edgewater, Md.; Rockville, Md.; Towson, Md.; and Tysons Corner, Va.

Cultivating Success

The Brick Companies is hardly the first real estate company to lease small offices and co-working spaces. But Launch is the DMV’s first small workspace initiative to provide ongoing professional support to its clients.

“Before we started Launch, we spent a lot of time talking with local community and business leaders to find out what workers really needed,” said Kriel. “How could we provide value beyond giving clients a chair and a desk?”

The answer to that question has led to a massive labor of love for Launch: cultivating their clients’ success through ongoing educational seminars. Since starting Launch in January 2015, The Brick Companies has helped its clients get a leg up on various 21st-century business topics, from choosing a company health insurance plan to using LinkedIn.

“We’ve found massive success with our ongoing seminars,” said Kriel.” “It’s about giving business owners the chance to learn, network, and collaborate in a friendly, non-competitive environment.”

Changing the Landscape

Say “entrepreneur,” and most people today will picture a 20-something, billionaire tech start-up owner. But that’s not what you’ll find inside the Lakefront at Washingtonian in Gaithersburg.

“So far, Launch’s core client base comprises mostly seasoned entrepreneurs who are on their second, third, or even fourth businesses,” said Kriel.

Clearly, that group is growing. Since activating Launch in January 2015, The Brick Companies has filled all of its Gaithersburg offices, and its co-work space there is already half-full.

“It’s almost unthinkable for a 124-year-old real estate company to change its core business model the way we have,” said Kriel. “Everyone is thrilled with how the model has done in 2015. But what’s most exciting is how we’ve set up a real community to support our clients. It’s a true alignment of interests and a win-win for everyone.”

The Brick Companies’ CFO Joan Renner is a longtime member and past president of CREWBaltimore. Ask her about Launch at our next event, CREW Connect: IgCC – Game Changer, on Tues., Nov. 17, 2015.

To learn more about Launch, visit http://www.launchworkplaces.com/.

To learn more about The Brick Companies, visit http://www.thebrickcompanies.com/.

Event Recap, Part II – 2015: The Road Ahead

Event Recap, Part II

2015: The Road Ahead

Speakers for 2015 luncheon "2015: The Road Ahead"

l-r: Karen Pecoraro, Director, Client Services, Cardno ATC and CREWBaltimore 2015 President; Nancy Ferrell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NorthMarq Capital; Jerry Wit, Principal, Springhill Equities, LLC; Mary Ann Scully, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Howard Bank; Roger Staiger, Managing Director, Stage Capital Group (SCG), LLC; Kimberly A. “Kim” Clark, Executive Vice President, The City of Baltimore Development Corporation

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.

Kimberly A. “Kim” Clark

Executive Vice President, The City of Baltimore Development Corporation

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 Scully

Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer, Howard Bank

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 Staiger, FRICS

Managing Director, Stage Capital Group (SCG), LLC

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 Wit

Principal, Springhill Equities, LLC

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.

Q & A Session

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.

2015 Outlook

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.

Don’t miss our next event! Check out the 2015 events calendar.

Event Recap, PART 1 – The Road Ahead 2015

CREWBaltimore:

In the Fast Lane for 2015

baltimore commercial real estate outlook

l-r: Karen Pecoraro, Director, Client Services, Cardno ATC and CREWBaltimore 2015 President; Nancy Ferrell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NorthMarq Capital; Jerry Wit, Principal, Springhill Equities, LLC; Mary Ann Scully, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Howard Bank; Roger Staiger, Managing Director, Stage Capital Group (SCG), LLC; Kimberly A. “Kim” Clark, Executive Vice President, The City of Baltimore Development Corporation

2015: The Road Ahead: New Year, New Realities, New Paths

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:

Understanding the Baltimore Commercial Real Estate Outlook

Moderator:

Nancy Ferrell

Senior Vice President – Managing Director

NorthMarq

Speakers:

Kimberly A. “Kim” Clark

Executive Vice President

The City of Baltimore Development Corporation

Mary Ann Scully

Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer

Howard Bank

Roger Staiger, FRICS

Managing Director

Stage Capital Group (SCG), LLC

Jerry Wit

Principal

Springhill Equities, LLC

What have you heard about the 2015 Baltimore commercial real estate outlook?

Visit us on Twitter and Facebook during the next few days to learn even more.

And come back next week for our full event recap!

How Low Will the Cap Rate Go?

DTZ, an international brokerage with offices in Baltimore among other places has just listed 100 Light Street for sale on January 28, 2015.  That building is commonly known now as the Transamerica building.  For a long time,it was known as the Legg Mason building. How low will the cap rate go?

The building is 549,000 square feet and 35 stories.  Having signed up Transamerica, Ober Kaler and Miles and Stockbridge to backfill the departure of Legg Mason, it is expected that significant international interest that will drive the price up and the cap rates lower.

100lightstreet trans1

The teaser from DTZ states the following about the property:

Offering Materials are now available for the Transamerica Tower, a 35-story, 549,273-square-foot, 92% leased, Class-A trophy office tower in Baltimore’s central business district (CBD). The building is themost preeminent and recognizable building in the Baltimore City skyline; it boasts a premier “Main & Main” location at Pratt and Light Streets; it is just steps from the gateway to the Inner Harbor, the number one tourist attraction in the state of Maryland and the most amenity-rich area in the city; and the property is the tallest building in the state of Maryland at 35 stories. Originally constructed in 1973, current ownership has invested more than $46 million in capital improvements over the last five years, yielding a property with its own separate 550-space parking garage as well as ground level retail, a pre-eminent location and tremendous on-site amenities that include a new plaza with water views, a two-story glass lobby, a private restaurant, meeting space, an employee dining room, and fitness center.

The Transamerica Tower boasts a rent roll of tremendous credit and term that includes Transamerica Life Insurance Company (a subsidiary of Aegon (NYSE: AEG) – public market value of $18 billion), as well as national law firms Miles & Stockbridge and Ober | Kaler. The property serves as the headquarters for each of these three tenants, with the three combining to represent nearly 70% of the rentable square feet in the building. The Tower has the best vehicular access of any building in the city to points north, south, east and west, and allows for parking both under the building as well as across Lombard Street in the 30 Light Street parking garage that will convey with the building.

This offering represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the most recognized, trophy office building in Baltimore, with durable credit and lease term at a price per square foot basis below replacement cost on the coveted Pratt Street corridor.

Rare Opportunity to Acquire Dominant Regional Property

  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – the property has never been sold on the open market
  • Most iconic building in Baltimore and the tallest structure in the state of Maryland

Strong In-Place Tenancy with Tremendous Term & Credit

  • Weighted average lease term of nearly 8.5 years
  • Portfolio of 30 & 100 Light Street is more than 91% leased
  • Three largest tenants account for 70% of the building with average term of nearly 11 years

Prime Location within Steps of Baltimore Inner Harbor

  • Located at the core of Baltimore’s Pratt Street Corridor (Intersection of Pratt & Light Streets)
  • “Main & Main” location and immediate proximity to the Inner Harbor
  • Wealth of amenities both on-site and within steps of the property

Tremendous Capital Investment Has Created Dominant, Amenity-Rich Property

  • $46 million in capital investment over the last five years
  • New plaza with water views, a two-story enlarged glass lobby and atria
  • Private restaurant and meeting space, employee dining room, fitness center and barber shop

Prominent Space on Baltimore Skyline Provides 360-Degree Views of the City

  • 35-story building is the tallest building in the state of Maryland
  • Panoramic views of the city and the host of amenities surrounding the building, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium, and most notably the Inner Harbor

Convenient Access to Major Commuter Arteries

  • Transit-oriented location with tremendous access to public transportation (Amtrak, MARC, Light Rail, Metro, bus & water taxi)
  • Located just minutes from the region’s principal thoroughfares, I-95, I-295, I-83 and I-695

Explosive Growth in Downtown Residential Investment

  • Surging residential development (8,400 new residential units completed in Baltimore since 2010, 3,200 currently under construction)
  • Boom in millennial residents is driving enormous expansion of amenity base
  • 100 Light is surrounded on all sides by current and near term multi-family development projects

Parking Garage in Adjacent 30 Light Street Provides Diversity of Income

  • Adjacent 30 Light Street includes both 11,678 SF of ground-floor retail space and a 550-space parking garage
  • Contributes significant income & adds to 100 Light Street’s dominant position

To keep up on details please visit http://www.crewbaltimore.org and follow @crewbaltimore on twitter.  Watch for more details as articles are bound to appear in the coming months on what may be one of the top local deals in the Baltimore Commercial Real Estate investment world and see how low cap rates will go.

Howard Sobkov

CRE News: 2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

Kathleen Bands Schindler comments on the 2015 commercial real estate outlook.

Kathleen Bands Schindler, Vice President, My Cleaning Service and CREWBaltimore PR Committee Director

By Kathleen Bands Schindler

Every January, all of the programs I attend relate to what will happen during the coming year. With CREWBaltimore’s annual State of the State luncheon approaching on January 22, I want to share what some speakers have already said about the 2015 commercial real estate outlook for Baltimore.

The good news is the theme overall is a good outlook for 2015. Spencer Levy, Americas Head of Research for CBRE, spoke at the Center Club Real Estate Connections on Tuesday, January 13, while former Governor Robert Ehrlich spoke to the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Baltimore group on Wednesday, January 14.

Spencer Levy’s Take: 2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

Mr. Levy explained that because the price of oil has dropped, we will see various effects on the US economy. Average middle class shoppers will have more disposable income but will spend the money they save at the pump at the “darling of retail”: super centers or grocery-anchored shopping centers. Levy did not predict a change in luxury retail, however, saying that the luxury retailers have done a great job with their marketing and pull in a different type of shopper.

Levy went on to inform us that the price of commodities has dropped, which we will see affecting the cost of construction materials. Labor will also be cheaper as people return to the construction workforce. Additionally, we will see a rise in foreign capital as foreign policies change to allow companies to invest in US real estate.

With regard to the local outlook, the shortage in trucking labor has caused big-box retailers like Amazon to come closer to cities. This is changing our local economy because of the ability to now tax items shipped by Amazon within the state.

Robert Ehrlich’s Take: 2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

Former Gov. Ehrlich focused on the local level during his address. He explained that the Republican Party is beginning to take power again without needing an agenda because Marylanders have been so over-taxed that they voted for Larry Hogan despite their party preference.

He also shed light on the flight of wealth we have been experiencing, where Marylanders who still work in Baltimore and Harford Counties are moving just over state lines into PA and DE. Ehrlich posed this question to the audience: “How can we bring people back to Maryland?” The answer is complicated. First, the school system in Baltimore City isn’t strong enough to hold its residents. High property taxes, the rain tax, etc. are also driving people out of our state.

Ehrlich personally assured me we can look forward to lower corporate taxes by 20-25%. I asked him about Mr. Levy’s prediction that the government will use the 1031 Exchange as a means to make up for revenue lost by the reduction in taxes, and Ehrlich agreed that it may happen, but if so, that it is a long way off

Overall 2015 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

Overall, I think we can expect good things in 2015. I cannot wait to hear what the CREWBaltimore panelists predict at our annual State of the State luncheon.