Development in DC metro area?

mIRRacle's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Wondering if anyone on here has experience developing in the DC metro area, specifically in multifamily and retail. Interned for a developer in the area and will probably land a full time offer, so will most likely be working here. My company is bullish on the DMV, but I'm curious to hear other perspectives. How does the DMV compare to other markets? Short term outlook? Long term outlook? Is the entitlement process easier or more difficult than other metro areas?

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Most Helpful
Aug 12, 2019

The DMV is very resilient relative to a lot of other markets. The presence of the federal government creates an entire micro-economy of federal government workers and infrastructure, plus the thousands of contractors that employ tons of people and rely on the federal government for funding. To put it in perspective, 30% plus of office leasing activity in the DC market is usually GSA (federal government).

I would say that the long-term outlook is excellent, but the multi market is a bit saturated by new development, especially in emerging markets like NOMA/Navy Yard. I haven't worked in DC for a few years, but last I heard absorption was still keeping pretty good pace with unprecedented supply/new deliveries for apartment units, which is a strong sign for short-term prospects.

Entitlements are pretty standard, provided you are not dealing with a property subject to Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) approval or Historic Preservation (HPRB). Those two entities can make entitlements a real pain.

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Aug 12, 2019
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