Friday, February 2, 2018

Silver Spring construction update: Thayer & Spring (Photos)

It's been more than a year since my first construction update on the Thayer & Spring development, which at the time was called Studio Plaza. Now six stories above street level, its Summer 2018 delivery date sounds a bit optimistic. The Fairfield Residential project will feature 415 units, 15% of which will be affordable. It will also boast 10,500 SF of retail, and 35100 SF of public space, including a green plaza, a through-block walkway, and public art displays.










16 comments:

  1. Every night I walk by the recently opened Central (I think that's the name) at the corner of Wayne & Fenton, and it still appears to be over 2/3 unoccupied. Now this giant new apartment building is on the way and another on Georgia where Dale Music used to be. All of them "luxury," all primarily studio and 1BR units, all chasing after the same demographic--high income singles, couples and empty nesters. It's hard for me to believe there's an unlimited supply of these renters, particularly when every other urbanized neighborhood in the area is chasing after the same renter. Presumably the developers building all these units know the market a lot better than I do, but it's a head-scratcher to me. Though I suppose if HQ2 lands in our midst...

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    1. I certainly hope that at some point supply meets demand so my apartment rent stops going up 4%+ a year.

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    2. Central just delivered a few months ago, and most of their units probably aren't even ready for move-in. A full lease-up for any apartment building takes 1-2 years.

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    3. Well, a quick scan of their website shows dozens of units available today. But my larger question was how successful can they be leasing--and keeping occupied--these dozens of units when hundreds more just like them will be coming on the market in the near future? I wish them all success. Full occupancy is good for the neighborhood. But color me skeptical.

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    4. I looked at their Web site and think there is an error on availability dates. While it's not unusual in new construction for dozens of units to be turned over to management for leasing, I think their property management software isn't reflecting actual availability dates (a common disconnect between operations and marketing). Regarding the hundreds of similar units coming online in other developments, none of them are even close to starting to lease. Thayer and Spring is probably 11 months from the *start* of pre-leasing according to their Web site. Ripley East (on Georgia Ave) is probably 15 months out. Finally, "full occupancy" is not optimum for multi-family owners. Maximized revenue is. As the old adage in the apartment business goes "if you're 100% occupied, the rent is too low".

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    5. I live at Central and I can factually say that the building is practically empty with only a few tenants residing. Most of the tenants there are under MPDU and management is doing the best that they can to get it leased with "move in specials". Central is at a prime location (more so than Thayer and Spring) and they're running behind not only in completing the building but leasing as well. Silver Spring on a whole will eventually realize that Silver Spring is not Bethesda nor DC as much as they try to be. The average Silver Spring resident does not want to pay $2200 for a 1 bedroom and $3500 for 2 bedrooms no matter how pretentious these buildings strive to be. A summer move in for T/S is not realistic.

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    6. Miriam - Interesting. Keep us posted on the occupancy going forward. It's very hard to get any data on how many people are moving into these new buildings.

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    7. Unless Miriam works for the management company and has direct knowledge of operations, her reports on occupancy and market tolerance for rents are purely speculative.

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    8. 3:33: It's exactly the fact that Miriam doesn't work for the management company that makes her a valuable, anonymous resource. The management would tell you they are forbidden by federal law to disclose any information regarding tenants. That's why it's so difficult to get any demographic data on who is moving into these buildings, and how many vacancies they are carrying.

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    9. Hardly. The management company isn't restricted by any law preventing them from disclosing occupancy/vacancy/leasing rates, which were the crux of Miriam's casual observations. It certainly makes good business sense to NOT reveal this info during lease-up as they are in direct competition with other newly built apartment communities nearby. Unless she is an employee with access to construction turnover info and leasing, she has no idea if the rate of absorption of the apartments is on-schedule, ahead or behind.

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  2. Of course it's not completely occupied, they didn't start pre-leasing until last August before the first units were completed. Large apartments buildings are always completed on the outside first, along with the rental officer and any common/amenity areas. Apartments are then completed over time. No developer would complete all 250+ units and then try to lease them all at once.

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    1. Just saw your post. My point exactly.

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  3. I walk by this new building every day. I'm just completely taken away by how big this place is. And it's only half way done. The building is absolutely enormous.

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    1. Yes, it's one of those projects that stretches across a whole block to the next street.

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    2. It's massive, but it's not fronting Georgia or Fenton, so it won't be too imposing from the ped's pov.

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