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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Stalled CRE Projects in D.C.

by Calculated Risk on 4/12/2009 10:19:00 AM

"Everybody is building these big buildings, and they're empty. It is sad. I live in a ghost town."
Robert Siegel, an advisory neighborhood commissioner
From the WaPo article on the stalled commercial construction projects at the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District: At Nationals Park, District of Dreams Hits a Slump (ht mort_fin)

A few excerpts:
At [Nationals owner Theodore N. Lerner]'s 10-story office building at 20 M St., the lobby doors are sometimes locked much of the afternoon. The only tenant is a bank.

A few blocks away, at 2nd and M streets SE, sits a parking lot where developer Chris Smith had planned to build a 10-story office building without a tenant signed in advance. Now he says he needs to have the building about 70 percent leased to even try for financing.

Closer to the Anacostia River, Florida Rock owns land where a cement plant still operates. It hopes to begin construction on office, retail, hotel and residential buildings in the fall of 2010 -- if it can get financing and find a major office tenant.

Nearby, Cleveland-based Forest City stopped construction on a loft building at its project, the Yards, because it couldn't get a loan. It is trying to get financing through a city housing program to restart construction. In the meantime, brown paper and plywood cover the windows.

At developer JPI's apartment project, called Capitol Yards, about half of the nearly 700 apartments are leased. For the past four months, the developer offered two to three months of free rent on the units, which start at roughly $1,600 for a one-bedroom.
Here is a map of the D.C. neighborhood. And a Google map of the area:

View Larger Map

And I had heard that D.C. was immune ...