The MTC Member Power Players of Washington, D.C., 2022

The MTC Member Power Players of Washington, D.C., 2022

Peter Briskman
Executive Managing Director, JLL’s Maryland Region

Peter Briskman is executive managing director and co-lead for JLL’s mid-Atlantic life sciences practice, working with notable companies to help them complete some of the largest and most visible real estate transactions in the region.

“The past couple of years, my passion has been in life sciences,” Briskman said. “I’m from Maryland, so it’s been very meaningful for me to help local and national groups navigate through the pandemic and help Montgomery County become a top five life sciences cluster.”

Over the last year, Briskman represented TCR² Therapeutics on its expansion from Cambridge, Mass., to Rockville, Md., including its acquisition of a newly constructed facility to accommodate commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing.

He’s also represented a large lab and research company in the full-building lease of a new Class A lab conversion at 9601 Medical Center Drive in Rockville to be used for R&D and expansion of its manufacturing activities. He’s also handled a major biotechnology company that supports the production of viable vaccines, including for COVID-19, in its negotiation of incentives and execution of multiple real estate transactions along the I-270 corridor.

“The life sciences sector is very active right now,” Briskman said. “If you look at the office market compared to the life sciences market, life sciences is more active because the scientists need to go into a lab and work with their hands, unlike office workers who can be more remote and work in a hybrid nature.”

Briskman also serves as the board chair for research firm BioHealth Innovation, allowing him to work with leaders in the life sciences arena and share perspectives with like-minded people in the industry.

It’s an exciting time to be dealing in life sciences in the mid-Atlantic, as money has been flowing into the space through private equity and venture capital, and that translates to a direct need for space, Briskman noted.

“If you look over the last couple of years, we have doubled the influx into D.C., and as a result we’re seeing speculative construction in many different product types — not just R&D, but also in manufacturing and R&D conversions — and I think we will continue to see that,” he said. — K.L.

William Quinby
Vice Chairman and Co-Regional Manager, Savills

William Quinby has seen plenty of commercial real estate trends come and go in his more than three decades at Savills. Even in the face of inflation, a potential recession and an ongoing global pandemic, Quinby, who mostly represents government, nonprofit and university institutions, said his business has stayed much the same. “The governments that I’ve worked with have had the responsibility as a government to stay in business and the philosophy that their employees should be in the office — and, consequently, they made it safe for them to do so,” Quinby said. “They have not embraced this full hybrid work but have just carefully looked at an appropriate hybrid model, and that has not led to a reduction in footprint.”

Quinby, who completed 1.3 million square feet in leases across 17 transactions in 2021, has represented Amtrak, George Mason University, the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. He was reluctant to discuss his clients, though he did not expect their space needs — particularly those on the government side — to change should a recession hit. Universities, on the other hand, may be more inclined to shrink or repurpose existing space rather than sign new leases, he added.

Quinby often represents tenants looking for new buildings, which are more difficult to find in Washington, D.C., he said. For his clients, often the location of a space is the first decision, and next comes the new development needed to meet a tenant’s specific space requirements.

Those deals, which involve the pre-leasing of a property that hasn’t been built yet, have been more complicated due to supply chain issues and staffing shortages that limit construction work. The No. 1 resource Quinby has tried to get for his clients, though, is time.

“We’re trying to start as early as we can on every project so that we have more schedule flexibility because, if we don’t, we’re going to shop less and be forced to buy what’s on the shelf right now,” Quinby said. “If it looks like we’re forced to make a decision, the market will take advantage of us.” —C.Y.

Rob Faktorow
Vice Chairman, CBRE

Rob Faktorow is considered one of the most versatile real estate practitioners in the metropolitan D.C. area. Adapting his focus based on market conditions, Faktorow has at times led the region in office building sales, data center sales, land trades and office leasing volume during his career, as well as populated the landscape with notable buildings through his transaction and advisory work.

After a 35-year focus on various sectors, Faktorow shifted primarily to data centers in 2021, adding significant depth to CBRE’s team by recruiting top talent and making the firm a leader in the segment.

“We maintained excellent market share and executed 60 percent of the region’s institutional data center investment sales [over the last year], in addition to our recent activity selling over 1,000 acres of data center land for development,” Faktorow said. “With a combined total aggregate value of  $2.2 billion, we established ourselves as the dominant data center investment sales team in the world’s largest data center market and the top revenue-producing data center team at CBRE.”

Most deals and clients Faktorow works with are highly confidential, but he pointed out that his team closed the largest data center investment sales deal in the D.C. region over the last 12 months, with a $185 million acquisition.

“As a data center specialist, we were fortunate we didn’t need to navigate uncertainty,” he said of the pandemic. “Instead, our challenge has been planning for extraordinary growth. Identifying where to invest our time and who to do business with was our biggest challenge.”

Faktorow does not anticipate demand for data center space in Northern Virginia to slow any time soon.

“My goals are to maintain the highest standard of world-class service, offering the most forward-looking strategic advice, and being relentlessly focused on delivering unsurpassed client outcomes,” Faktorow said. —K.L.

Darian LeBlanc
Executive Vice Chair, Cushman & Wakefield

Darian LeBlanc is listed as a top 100 performer at Cushman & Wakefield overall and a leading performer in the D.C. region. His specialty is government leasing, and he’s handled some of the largest and most impactful government deals in the District over the course of his career.

Over the last decade, LeBlanc has facilitated the General Service Administration’s 471,499-square-foot lease at 400 7th Street SW; the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ 241,398-square-foot lease at 425 I Street; and the District of Columbia’s 205,860-square-foot lease at 899 North Capitol Street.

The past year has been just as busy. LeBlanc and his team completed leases with U.S. Courts at 1401 H Street NW; the Federal Maritime Commission at 800 North Capitol Street NW; the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services at 999 North Capitol Street; and the Department of Homeland Security at 70 Kimball Avenue in South Burlington, Vt.

“In this environment, every deal is most notable and the ability to deliver any lease, regardless of size, is notable and valuable to our clients,” LeBlanc said. “I am so proud of my team — Scott Johnston, Scott Killie, Howard Traul, Austin Sanders, Liz Cumberpatch and Robert England. These are the people that truly make great things happen for our clients and for myself.”

In February 2020, his team went remote, but stayed with heads down and focused on what was possible, LeBlanc said.

“By 2022, our team was operating under a functioning new normal where some of us are back in the office full time and some are still working remotely,” LeBlanc said. “The name of the game in CRE for 2022 will be getting as many people back to the office as possible and allowing organizations to make decisions and map their future needs. For me, I’m going to continue embracing my clients, and work to advance their goals and improve their assets.” —K.L.

Comments are closed.