The MacRo team shares 2014 hopes and dreams for the economy, the local commercial real estate market, and (most importantly) an end to twerking.
2013 was a roller-coaster year of highs and lows here at MacRo. The phone was ringing again, property showings were brisk, and December was the strongest month MacRo experienced since the real estate bubble burst.
Overall we ended on a high note and enjoyed the ride, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in Frederick’s real estate market. This week the MacRo sales and marketing team shares their commercial real estate wish lists, along with hopes of a fulfilling and prosperous 2014 for our clients, colleagues, and the citizens of Frederick County.
Rocky Mackintosh, President
My wishes for 2014? Well, I prefer to stay local in where the Pixy Dust may settle:
- May I quickly find the perfect buyers and tenants for all my clients!
- May the City fathers and mothers (Mayor and Board) find the will to provide subsidies to make a downtown hotel conference center a reality! … and yes, they CAN pull it off without spending a penny!
- May Blaine Young make the right political decision!
- May Jan Gardner go back and check her record before she writes another op-ed for the Frederick News Post!
- May Frederick County Public Charters Schools finally earn the respect they deserve!
- May political polarization reverse itself in local politics!
- May Duk Hee Ro sell all of her downtown properties!
- May the Golden Mile live up to its name!
- May my friend Seymour Stern finally get a break in life!
- May Simon return home to Kai Hagen!
Dave Wilkinson, Vice President
The real estate industry is dependent on the economy which in turn is heavily influenced by politics – so many of my hopes and dreams are in this vein. Here are my wishes for 2014:
- Peace on Earth. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
- The Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government make meaningful progress in reducing the national debt, without a government shutdown.
- Implementation of Obamacare doesn’t wreak havoc in the insurance markets and spill over into the national economy.
- The Maryland legislature makes it through its entire 90 day session without increasing taxes and fees.
- Elections of our first County Executive and County Council don’t result in a wild swing of the “growth pendulum”.
- The US men’s national soccer team makes it through group play at the World Cup (gotta have one sports-based wish).
Our industry thrives on stability – let’s hope sound economic policy overrides political gamesmanship and we’ll all have a prosperous 2014.
Steve Cranford, Vice President Commercial Sales and Leasing
Although I have many ‘wishes’ for 2014 (lower golf scores, fewer overpriced properties, etc.), the two below are what I have in the general commercial world.
- Research and development of various technologies is a fundamental part of Frederick’s future. For meaningful job growth in Frederick, we must encourage the expansion of the manufacturing and transportation sectors supporting those numerous technologies. Intellectual capital is easily transportable to support more economic production and delivery processes.
- The medical industry is being reassembled through a variety of legislative and economic activities. Frederick should be a leader in that changing landscape by becoming a healthcare hub.
Kathy Krach, Commercial Sales and Leasing
It seems appropriate to stay true to fairy tale form, so I’m asking for three magic wishes in 2014.
My first wish for 2014 is a slew of new Class A and B office-using jobs for Frederick County–which by extension should provide traction in the local office market recovery. The office market continues to be one of the poorest-performing segments of commercial real estate in Frederick. This is partially due to a nationwide evolution in corporate office use, but more so to the barriers to entry Maryland has put in place in terms of corporate taxes and commercial development fees. Oh, and let’s not forget the glut of vacant Frederick office space left by large employers fleeing the state for “greener” pastures. (See what I did there? Pun fully intended.)
My second wish is for an economic crystal ball with a reasonably clear view of the next several years. Seasoned economists hesitate to discuss the economic outlook beyond the next twelve months, and who can blame them? The U.S. is experiencing one of the longest economic recoveries on record; the good ship QE3 shows no signs of docking; the roll-out of Obamacare is fraught with incompetency and uncertainty; and the nation continues to hurtle toward yet another fiscal cliff like a Jurassic comet heading for the dinosaurs. And that doesn’t take into account the black swans threatening the global economy. There are no proven economic models to quantify or predict the future given the variables we are dealing with today. Here’s to seeing at least some of those variables swept away or resolved in 2014.
My third wish for Frederick in 2014 echoes Dave: I hope to see robust voter turnout in the fall elections, and more importantly, that Frederick County’s citizens elect a county executive and council who take a balanced, inclusive, and non-extremist approach to development and land planning. Now that would be a fairy tale with a happy ending.
Christina May, Real Estate Marketing Consultant (Managing Partner & CMO at Illumine8 Marketing and PR)
As with the residential market, the commercial market should finally find solid footing in 2014. With consumer spending and confidence driving the US economy back in business, businesses are gearing up to meet the demand. Expect it to be a busy 2014!
What does this mean for commercial real estate? It means growth. The Urban Land Institute is naming warehousing as a stand out sector for 2014 with businesses shorting supply chains, increased data demand and R&D sector growth. I believe multi-family will still rule the day in 2014 in line with the changing market persona trend of “less is more”.
With those thoughts in mind, my wish list for 2014:
- Increased consumer confidence
After years of trepidation, the economy seems to be returning to “normal” or as some have termed it “the new normal”. I would like to see companies that have been sitting with cash reserves invest in new technology, training and development, thereby creating more economic stimulus, opportunity and growth. “Back in the day” was a while ago now, time to put away the rain umbrella.
2. Hyper-local economic stimulus
I am a huge supporter of “live here, work here”. Frederick County has seen certain economic indicators improve in 2013. Frederick has lost significant ground in the construction, manufacturing, information services, and financial services sectors over the same time period. There is a silver lining: Industrial Permits are back to levels previously seen in 2009 and the vacancy rate for commercial real estate has continued to decline.
My wish would be creating more skilled employment so that Frederick County truly has the opportunity to live here and work here.
3. Arts in Schools
It is a proven fact that music education leads to higher test scores, advanced English and math skills and even higher graduation rates – yet arts education is one of the first programs considered to go when the budget axe is swung. My wish would be for more arts education in our schools at all grade levels.
4. Twerk Twit
Someone please send Miley Cyrus’ agent a note that lets her know “twerking” is so very 2013. I wish she would just cut that out. And oxford dictionary, shame on you.
What is on your wish list for this year?
For more information about how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Services can assist you in the sale, acquisition, or development of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial properties, please contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.