The cover story of this week's Washington Business Journal (online for subscribers only
) asks: "With Wall Street imploding, regional banks running for shelter and life insurance companies pulling up the ladders, if 1000 Connecticut couldn't get construction financing before the financial storm took on epic proportions, who can get it now?" It also quotes an expert as saying: "For any speculative project, both inside and outside the city -- even in core locations downtown -- it's basically impossible."
The article mentions two of Near Southeast's spec projects in the pipeline:
* "Others, like the William C. Smith Cos. project near Nationals Ballpark
at 250 M St. SE
, don't intend to pursue financing or break ground until they have a signed-and-sealed tenant."
* "James 'Jad' Donohoe IV, whose company plans a 200,000-square-foot office building at 1111 New Jersey Ave. SE
, said he has no choice but to broaden his financing net to include nontraditional sources of funding, such as syndication arrangements with multiple banks, sovereign wealth funds and equity from hotels that will be part of the development. " 'We're still in the early stages now, but we've already been searching those things out for this and for other projects we have out there,' he said."
I'd also note that another office spec project in the neighborhood, DRI/Transwestern's Plaza on K
on the northwest corner of First and K, had previously mentioned a Fall 2008 start date for its first phase, but there have been no recent announcements and no building permits filed.
And, there's also three spec office buildings currently under construction--55 M
, 100 M
, and 1015 Half
, with only 100 M having so far announced any tenants (Parsons is expected to occupy 30 percent of the building, in early 2009). But, according to WBJ, "industry experts say they are not too worried about the future of the 36 local buildings that are under construction but not under contract to a tenant."
Will the bailout deal change any of this? [insert "We shall see...." comment here.]