Thursday, July 13, 2017

JBG finds anchor for new Bethesda office tower...itself

The JBG Companies of Chevy Chase found a clever solution to leasing up its future 4747 Bethesda Avenue office tower in Montgomery County's weak office market - the development giant will move its own headquarters into the trophy Class A building in 2019. By that time, the company will have merged with another real estate powerhouse, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, and be known as JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS).

JBG's decision generated a sigh of relief among panicked County officials yesterday. So moribund is MoCo's private sector economy, that attraction of new corporations has given way to a desperate effort to retain the few flagship firms the County has now. So, much like Marriott moving down Old Georgetown Road in a few years, JBG's move is essentially reshuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic; Montgomery County hasn't attracted a major corporate headquarters to relocate here in two decades and counting.

The new JBG SMITH HQ will add 55 new jobs over its existing workforce. But the need to fill such an impressive building in such a prime spot again painfully disproved the MoCo political cartel's claim that corporations demand Metro access over highway and airport access, and walkable retail and restaurants in a mixed-use environment over suburban office parks.

4747 will be on top of not one, but two, Metro stations - the Red Line and future Purple Line. It will be surrounded by the successful and highly popular mixed-use retail, restaurants and housing of the Bethesda Row and Lot 31 developments. It will even have the trendy Dean & DeLuca attached to the building, in an already-built retail structure adjacent to the tower site.

Yet, much like 4500 East-West Highway, the building had no takers to be the anchor office tenant. If you had bought the arguments of Planning Board Chair Casey "What ex parte rules?" Anderson, et al that the new urbanist environment was the key to attracting business...your mind must be officially blown by this turn of events. No, Virginia, mixed-use is not the sole answer to MoCo's economic woes.

JBG is taking a hit to the pocketbook long-term to stay here in Montgomery County, a sacrifice County officials should thank them for profusely (did you know, for example, that electricity is 44% more costly in Maryland than in Virginia for businesses?). JBG is also commendably endorsing the urban, walkable environment it espouses itself with this move. 

But County officials shouldn't dwell on their dodging of this latest bullet. They need to act, so that we can finally grow our economy, instead of sticking fingers into all the leaking holes that are increasing by the day. That includes reducing the County's massive taxes and exploding debt, building a new Potomac River crossing to Dulles International Airport, and completing our master plan highway system.

Rendering courtesy The JBG Companies

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

So you scream "plagiarism" when Betty Beat publishes their story about Anthropologie 56 minutes later than Biz Journals, but you give yourself an entire day to report on JBG's move?

Robert Dyer said...

5:25: We all got the same JBG press release at the same time, old sport. Not a scoop.

Anonymous said...

So when someone else gets the press release or email you still scream plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

What defines a scoop? Just curious, not saying your are wrong, I guess I just don't understand.

Anonymous said...

LOFL.

They are adding jobs in a new trophy office building but this is still a LOSS in basement dwelling Robert Dyer's eyes.

Anonymous said...

This thread has already become a journalism school master class.

Dyer educating his eager & naive students about press releases.

Anonymous said...

"Old sport" again.

Dyer is The Great Gasbag.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Dyer scooped Tastee Diner? Poppy remembers...

Anonymous said...

So Friendship Heights loses both JBG and Anthropologie to Bethesda Row in just one day, not long after losing Williams-Sonoma to Bethesda Row and the shops that used to be in The Collection, to CityCenter in the District.

Seems like Friendship Heights is the one that is "moribund".

Anonymous said...

Read his comments here on plagarism when something was posted 45 minutes after him from an email.
https://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2017/07/grapeseed-to-close-in-bethesda.html?m=1#comment-form

Anonymous said...

I doubt anyone is getting a local Edward R Murrow award for posting chain store press releases real fast. Let's get some perspective.
In Dyer We Trust.

Anonymous said...

Remember that "World's Oldest Man" themed article that Dyer posted on the demolition a few weeks ago?

Anonymous said...

"4747 will be on top of not one, but two, Metro stations - the Red Line and future Purple Line".

The future Purple Line station is not a "Metro station", and 4747 will be on top of neither.

Looks like our "lifelong Bethesda resident" doesn't know this area as well as he claims to.

Robert Dyer said...

6:26: The tracks of the Purple Line will come out of the tunnel behind this building and the small retail building next to it. There will also be the new south entrance to the Red Line at Wisconsin and Elm. The planned Carr Properties staircase behind 4747 and 7200 Wisconsin will be a pedestrian cut-through to that Red Line station entrance. Wake up!

Robert Dyer said...

5:59: The old JBG offices will become vacant space when they move. That building is also within Montgomery County. So we just moved the deck chairs on the Titanic again, old sport.

Anonymous said...

"The new JBG SMITH HQ will add 55 new jobs over its existing workforce."

Plus 138 jobs from out of state, thanks to the Vornado merger. It's a total of over 400 jobs - a far bigger deal than Virginia getting those Volkswagen admin jobs you've been citing for a decade. Plus VA spent over $6M to lure those jobs; it's almost as if MoCo realizes it's far cheaper to invest in smaller companies and have them organically grow within the county. Who would have thunk.

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention a critical element of the story. JBG, headquartered in Friendship Heights, and Vornado/Smith, local headquarter in NoVA, merged and had to make a decision as to where the new consolidated office would be. The decision was Bethesda and the Vornado employees will be relocating to MoCo. This is much more than a reshuffling of chairs this is MoCo beating out NoVa and taking a significant office tenant from a competing market.

Robert Dyer said...

7:03: Yeah, it's far cheaper, but all the big corporations go to Virginia. Pretty dumb.

Robert Dyer said...

7:09: Wrong. We already had JBG SMITH. They're just moving up the street to Bethesda. Vornado was not going to stay in another location after a merger. This is how bad it is now, where MoCo officials have to do an end zone celebration just because an employer we already have doesn't leave! Sad!

Anonymous said...

"Vornado was not going to stay in another location after a merger. This is how bad it is now..."

Lol, what a babbling fool you are, Dyer.

Robert Dyer said...

7:23: Perfectly clear English. It only sounds like babbling to you, with your IQ being equal to your belt size.

Anonymous said...

Where are the cries of plagarism when it's the other way an Dyer posts last?

Anonymous said...

"panicked County officials"
"moribund is MoCo's private sector economy"
"painfully disproved the MoCo political cartel's claim that corporations demand Metro access over highway"

So many blatant falsehoods in this story, but I'll just respond to these.

JBG moving to Virginia was extremely unlikely given their history here, and the fact that most of the region's developers (especially REITs) are headquartered in Maryland.

If you followed regional business happenings, you would see that Montgomery County's economy is very far from "moribund." There is absolutely no hard evidence available to support such a ludicrous claim. I will agree that the county office market is very weak, but that is the case region-wide, and mostly due to Obama's initiative to reduce the footprint of the federal government.

The last quote makes absolutely no sense, since you are reporting on an instance where "the corporation" chose Metro (and Purple Line) access over highway access, just like Marriott did. You should visit some of the office parks along I-270 and I-95 in MD or I-66 and Route 28 in Virginia to see how empty they are and the huge concessions being offered to fill them. Downtown Bethesda actually has one of the region's lowest vacancy rates.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, please quit cursing the darkness of Moribund MoCo, and light a candle and move to the Elysian Fields of NoVa.

Anonymous said...

MoCo had JBG not JBG Smith. Stop creating an alternate reality. There are 138 jobs moving from NoVa to Bethesda.

Robert Dyer said...

7:33: Montgomery County is indeed moribund - we were the only jurisdiction in the region to experience a net LOSS in jobs; all others

Robert Dyer said...

7:33: Montgomery County is indeed moribund - we were the only jurisdiction in the region to experience a net LOSS in jobs since 2000; all others gained. According to the Maryland Association of Retailers, we've lost over 2000 retail jobs since 2000. No major corporation has moved its headquarters here in two decades. Moribund!

Anonymous said...

And Bethesda is getting Marriott plus Starwood, not just Marriott alone.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 7:55 AM - There you go again - confusing one sector with the entire local economy. Retail is shrinking everywhere as surplus brick-and-mortar stores, defunct department stores and moribund malls close thanks to Amazon.

P.S.: Your Captcha really sucks.

Anonymous said...

Dyer, your article implies that JBG sought other tenants, but failed to find any, before deciding to move in themselves. Do you have any proof of this?

Anonymous said...

Robert thinks Bethesda should be like Tysons. No thanks. Tysons stinks and it has zero charm or sophistication. If you love it, go there. Please move to Virginia and leave MD alone. No one likes you in Maryland.

Anonymous said...

For the record I'm 7:33 am

"Montgomery County is indeed moribund - we were the only jurisdiction in the region to experience a net LOSS in jobs since 2000; all others gained. According to the Maryland Association of Retailers, we've lost over 2000 retail jobs since 2000. No major corporation has moved its headquarters here in two decades. Moribund!"

There's no point in arguing with you, since you clearly no very little about what you are talking about. I hope you don't say things like this out loud in public.

I suggest taking a college level business or economics class, and heading over to the BLS website for relevant and real statistics. Cheers

Anonymous said...

It is quite clear that you are talking out of your ass and have zero concept of how a profitable real estate company works. Regarding the current space that JBG will be vacating, that location in Friendship Heights is a top tier location, which will attract many new tenants either looking to expand or move into that area. As of right now, Microsoft and 4 Seasons (?) along with many medical, non profits and small law firms call that area home. It is also 1/2 block from the Metro Station. Their current headquarters building is in need of major updating. I am sure they are smart enough to figure out, that they will be making more money by moving to their new building,and renovating their existing building, who will be paying higher rents, than what their current building is now charging.

Anonymous said...

8:28am Bethesda is great, but could be even greater.
Standing still isn't a winning strategy.

As for Tysons, they're just getting started.

Anonymous said...

Dyer you should start paying attention and notes on that mag you think is failing they keep getting better and you keep getting more strange with this government cartel talk

Anonymous said...

This is HAns Reimer again Dyer you are a loser and i will crush you into dust again!!! You will never beat me Dyer!!!!

Anonymous said...

FWIW, it is typical for developers to lease space in their projects during lease-up. The only thing different about this situation is that the developer's space is being expanded due to its merger.

Anonymous said...

MoCo lost 2000 retail jobs in 17 years. Meanwhile department stores have laid of 100,000 people nationwide in the last 9 months.

The fact that the county has lost so few retail jobs since the year 2000 is a testament to the county's strength.

This is the third time I've posted this statistic, because the author keeps deleting the comment. Why is the author so afraid of factual statements?

Anonymous said...

The counties that experienced growth in retail jobs - e.g., Culpeper County, Virginia - are exurbs with new stores being built in greenfield development.

Robert Dyer said...

7:43: You are trying to compare national numbers, which in addition are weighted by big box stores of which there are few in MoCo, to the lost jobs in Montgomery County. There is no good way to spin the loss of over 2000 retail jobs. No testament to strength.

7:48: No, we lost jobs, we didn't just stay stagnant while others grew. And the numbers showing we had a net loss, while everyone else (from big Fairfax to growing Culpeper) had a net gain in jobs, are for all employment sectors, not just retail.

Robert Dyer said...

3:24: Is that why the DC Council is proposing legislation to crack down on Pay-to-Play? Are they "strange" too, or just smart like me in pointing out corruption?

Robert Dyer said...

9:50: In fact, I know so much about the moribund MoCo economy that even Hans Riemer's old chief of staff agrees with me.

Robert Dyer said...

8:05: Wrong. We had a net loss in ALL TOTAL jobs, not just in retail.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 8:17 - What was the number of total jobs lost? You only gave a number for the retail sector.

Dyer @ 8:15 PM - I don't think he would like you putting words in his mouth.

Dyer @ 8:13 PM - Non sequitur.

Dyer @ 8:10 PM - Montgomery County residents shop at Amazon, not WalMart.

Robert Dyer said...

5:11: WTF? Both the numbers, and Hans Riemer's chief of staff endorsing my position on the moribund economy, are in this old article I wrote:

http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2016/06/growing-consensus-on-montgomery-countys.html

We've been over this 1000 times, Saul Alinsky.
"If every letter must receive a response, send 30000 letters." - Saul Alinsky

I guess you've never sat outside the Walmart in Germantown to see the sea of humanity going in and out of that store. Amazon is only a percentage of what people buy.

Anonymous said...

http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/economy/html/unemployrates.html

Just gonna throw this out there, unemployment rates have dropped in MoCo.

Anonymous said...

A. Han's Riemer chief of staff could be just as clueless. I mean is an administrative bureaucrat, supposed to be some authority of on the economy?

B. I'm pretty sure he would not appreciate you misquoting him on here, which you probably are.

Robert Dyer said...

6:44: I linked to HIS OWN WORDS, old sport!

5:49: Saul Alinsky, I've been telling you for 5 years now, unemployment rate has NOTHING to do with economic development or job creation WITHIN OUR JURISDICTION. It only tells you that people are employed in jobs located in NoVa or DC, because we aren't creating those jobs here.

Anonymous said...

Why does the author of this blog continually delete comments asking him to provide citations for his data? (In this case, that Montgomery County employment has fallen while the rate in neighboring jurisdictions have improved.)

Robert Dyer said...

8:41: I gave you the URL that has the numbers you're asking for in a previous comment.

Anonymous said...

Your URL is not evidence...do you even read what you write then argue sometimes? I read your source and it shows MoCo private sector, so this does not include NIH or any other non private company. Also, the growth does not taken into account the housing crisis of 2008. Jobs are almost back at its peak 2001 level in 2017.

Here is Robert's source since he can't just directly link it and forces readers to go through multiple other sites to get to his data.

Source

If you read the article, NoVa is struggling as well and this is a common theme that people would rather walk, bike and metro to work than drive in the area. People just don't work in these massive office parks as much.

Robert Dyer said...

10:25: No, that's not my source for the jobs data - you linked to an article about office parks.

Yes, we are talking about private sector jobs - those are the ones that have to be created, and can't just be moved here by a Democratic administration to help other Democrats.

My data accounts for the housing crisis, because we had a net loss of jobs while everyone around us had job growth over that same period - we all went through the recession together.

Jobs are not at peak level, because we not only didn't create as many jobs, we didn't create ANY - we had a NET LOSS of jobs. Any that were created were simply canceled out by the job losses.

Google and Apple are among the most powerful companies in the world, and are located in suburban office parks.

Anonymous said...

Did you read your sources source? The seventhstate's article links to that washington post article in regards to jobs.

Robert Dyer said...

10:58: It's one source, but it wouldn't tell people the important job loss numbers that prove Montgomery County's private sector economy is moribund.

Anonymous said...

Or the fact that it has grown since the housing crisis of 2008?

Anonymous said...

So, ONE source that wouldn't prove your analysis.

So you got nothing.

A big gasbag.

Anonymous said...

"I linked to HIS OWN WORDS, old sport!"

I don't ever remember Jay Gatsby yelling at his blog readers. In fact, I don't even remember him even raising his voice.

Robert Dyer said...

1:42: That's because you obviously never read "The Great Gatsby." No surprise you've ended up where you are today, an unkempt, free dingy apartment/stipend-grubbing stooge for the MoCo political cartel.

11:15: That was YOUR source, not mine, and it didn't have the statistics that I gave you the URL for, which prove my analysis, you ignoramus.

Anonymous said...

Dyer @ 8:38 PM - So what is your source for your claim that MoCo has lost jobs outside of the nationally-moribund retail sector?

Anonymous said...

The author of this blog states: "Montgomery County is indeed moribund - we were the only jurisdiction in the region to experience a net LOSS in jobs since 2000"

This statement is objectively false. Per the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, between the years 2000 and 2016 Montgomery County added 16,628 jobs.

Here is the source for this data.

Here is a table comparing Montgomery County's total employment with Fairfax County, the most populous county in Virginia.

Robert Dyer said...

5:55: Not sure what point you're trying to make. Fairfax has blown away Montgomery County year after year in job creation. No contest. If you're trying to claim we created more jobs than Fairfax, that is a flat out lie. We had a net loss in jobs since 2000, which doesn't mean a few jobs weren't created here and there, but that the number of jobs we lost more than canceled out those paltry gains - hence, we ended up with a net LOSS since 2000.

9:36: Are you trying to look stupid? For the third time, I gave you the link to the past article, which linked to Adam Pagnucco's report on the Seventh State that totally backs up what I've been saying all along. Net loss. Net loss. Net loss.

Anonymous said...

"We had a net loss in jobs since 2000"

FALSE! The number of jobs has increased since 2000. Somehow that equates to a "net loss"??? (Hint: "Increase" is the opposite of "loss.")

Robert Dyer said...

6:42: Did you drop out of school in 3rd grade? You're doing a Saul Alinsky on steroids. It doesn't matter that a paltry number new jobs were created, it's the total number you have left when you also subtract the jobs that were lost. As the stats I linked to clearly show, the end result was a net LOSS in jobs since 2000.

"If every letter must receive a reply, send 30,000 letters." - Saul Alinsky

Anonymous said...

"As the stats I linked to clearly show, the end result was a net LOSS in jobs since 2000"

The stats you link to are out of date. They compare 2001 (not 2000 as you keep repeating) to 2014. The data linked to at 5:55 looks at the same data source (BLS) through 2016. Let's compare, shall we?

Private Sector Jobs in Montgomery County (in thousands):
2000: 369,545
2001: 370,125
2014: 366,240
2016: 373,985

The number of private-sector jobs in Montgomery County today is greater than the number of jobs in 2000 or 2001. Period. End of story. Or, as the author of this blog might say: BABA BOOEY!

Robert Dyer said...

7:02: You're moving the year, so if I move the year too, I can just as easily say we've had a net loss in jobs "over the last decade." The number of private sector jobs in Montgomery County today is less than the number of jobs in 2005 or 2008. Period. End of story. BABA BOOEY!

Anonymous said...

"If I cherry-pick data, it will tell whatever story I want it to tell!" -- R. Dyer, 7/16/17, 7:12 AM Pacific / 10:12 AM Eastern

Robert Dyer said...

7:41: You just cherry-picked, which allowed me to cherry pick, as well. End result, we have a net LOSS in jobs under either formula.

Anonymous said...

7:41 is not cherry-picking, they are merely looking at CURRENT statistics rather than arbitrarily deciding statistics from 2014 are somehow more relevant.

The author of this blog would have his readers believe there are fewer jobs in Montgomery County today than there were in the year 2000. It's a lie.

Robert Dyer said...

7:55: Those were the numbers at the time of my report. Now, we have new information from 2016 that shows Montgomery County has suffered a net LOSS in jobs over the last decade.

By either calculation, you and the MoCo cartel lose - next loss by 2014 numbers, and net loss over the last decade using 2016 data.

I love it! Moribund Montgomery County!

Anonymous said...

"Those were the numbers at the time of my report."

But they were not the numbers when you made the statements in this very comment thread that MoCo has suffered a net loss of jobs since 2000. That is incorrect. You were wrong. It's okay! Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Just be gracious about it and move on.

Robert Dyer said...

1:03: Let me talk...really...slowly, so you can understand: There were no 2016 statistics when I and Adam Pagnucco posted our respective reports.

Both of our articles showed, correctly, that based on numbers available through 2014, Montgomery County suffered a net loss in jobs since 2000.

If you want to now, today, bring in the new statistics from 2016, you lose the argument again, because MoCo also has a net loss of jobs over the last 10 years, as well.

You've lost the argument. It's okay! Just be gracious about it and move on. Baba Booey.

Anonymous said...

Let me talk...really...slowly. so you can understand: In this very comment thread you made the claim that the county has lost jobs since 2000. That claim is false.

Period.

You did not offer the caveat that you were referring to old data. That omission leads to the implication that you're talking about the present. Again: Your claims are false.

And why do we have a 13 year comparison (2001-2014) and then a 10-year comparison ("the last decade")? That's the very definition of "arbitrary." You do realize the last decade brought us the most severe recession in generations, don't you? It would be much more relevant to look at how we're faring post-recession -- and in that case the county has added over 11,000 jobs!!! THANK YOU MOCO CARTEL!! BABA BOOEY, INDEED!

Robert Dyer said...

8:08: Due to your extreme density, or devotion to the teachings of Saul Alinsky, you just keep repeating yourself. I can't present it in a simpler form for an IQ lower than belt size. The old articles were written when 2014 was the latest available, and were correct based on that data.

Now, with the 2016 data available, we find that Montgomery County has suffered a net LOSS of jobs over the last decade.

You do realize that all the large and small jurisdictions around us had a net gain (except Prince George's), while MoCo had a net loss.

The cartel's record of failure is clear. Baba Booey!