Does DC have a muffin top?

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JLL’s Elizabeth Cooper and DPR Construction’s Camilo Garcia at the 2017 DC State of the Market Photo courtesy of Bisnow

On June 27th, JLL International Director and CREBA Broker of the Year, Elizabeth Cooper, participated in Bisnow’s Annual State of the Market. Hosted at Terrell Place, the event drew a record crowd of 500+ attendees. Terrell Place, the iconic building currently going through an exceptional transformation, is leased by fellow JLL Agency Leasing International Director, Trip Howell, and his team including Tom Golsen, Amy Bowser and Kate Griffin.

To kick off the event, Trip delivered the opening remarks. Elizabeth’s panel focused on the DC office market and she gave her take on the current state of CRE, noting the large amount of Trophy assets recently delivered or set to deliver in the coming years and how there just are not enough tenants in the market to fill the high-end product. She explained what she refers to as the “Muffin Top Effect.” Law firms – her specialty – tend to scoop up Trophy top floors, but owners are still left with the rest of the building to fill which often remains vacant for much longer. She is seeing associations and tech firms start to fill those spaces, but the lag time can be painful.

Elizabeth also noted the extreme demand DC is feeling for Class B space which is getting eaten rapidly and that quality Class B space is scarce these days. The entire panel, including Ron Paul of EagleBank, Michael Darby of Monument Realty, Camilo Garcia of DPR and Steve Smith of Cooper Carry, lamented the lack of action on behalf of the GSA. Five months into the Trump administration and the GSA is still without leadership – keeping government tenants from doing deals, so there has been a slowdown on that end.

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