20 May 2019

Supermarket Spike: Measuring Apartment Rent Growth Around New Grocery Stores

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Apartment developers expect to receive higher rents when a new grocery store opens next door, but a new report sheds light on which grocery chains come with the largest rent premiums and where in the D.C. region that premium tends to be highest.

Across the D.C. region, apartments near a new grocery store had rents more than 5% higher than the submarket average at the time of the store’s opening, Newmark Knight Frank’s Grocery Store Effect report found.

NKF’s report analyzed 55 grocery stores across the region that have opened since January 2014 and 402 apartment properties within a nearby radius, defined as a half-mile for the District and 1 mile for Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland.

NKF Research Director Bethany Schneider said she expected to find grocery stores associated with higher rents, but was surprised by the magnitude of the rent premium.

"The overall premium of 5.1% higher than the submarket average was pretty surprising," Schneider said. "That is a significant premium."

The rent premium was highest in the District, with apartments near new D.C. grocery stores achieving an 11.4% premium over the submarket average at the time of the store’s opening. The premium was 4.2% in suburban Maryland and 3.5% in Northern Virginia. Schneider attributed this to fewer people owning cars in the District than in the suburbs.

"Having a grocery store right there is a lot more important when you don’t have a car than it is in the suburbs when you could go further," Schneider said. "I think that’s why the premiums in D.C. area are a lot more than in the suburbs, because the accessibility is more important."

The report compared rent prices upon the stores’ opening with the latest rent price as of Q1, finding that the rent premium around most new grocery stores peaks when the store opens and then decreases over time. Additionally, it found apartment rents begin increasing after the announcement of a new store, even if the store has not yet opened.

"We attributed it to the novelty of a new store," Schneider said. "Apartment owners are able to market that there is a brand-new grocery store less than a mile away and bake that into their rental rates."

Rent premiums were much higher in apartment developments anchored by grocery stores in the ground floor, rather than just being within a short walk, the report found. In the District, grocery-anchored apartments achieved a 10.4% premium over other apartments within a half-mile radius and a 24.6% premium over the submarket average.

Stonebridge Managing Principal Doug Firstenberg, who developed the Harris Teeter-anchored Constitution Square in NoMa and Flats 8300 in Bethesda and recently signed Wegmans to anchor an Alexandria project, said he consistently sees higher rents for grocery-anchored projects, and now underwrites that premium when projecting finances for new developments.

"Our theory when we did our first grocery store and apartment building in 2006 was that we would certainly see a rate premium and hopefully a lease-up premium," Firstenberg said. "Having now done that several times, without question we have seen both. We have also seen an occupancy premium on a long-term basis."

Whole Foods, the popular organic grocer commonly associated with rising housing prices, achieved the highest rent premium, NKF’s report found. Apartments near new Whole Foods stores had 8.4% rent premiums over the submarket average at the time of the stores’ opening. But Safeway was not far behind, achieving an 8.2% rent premium upon the opening of the store.

Harris Teeter came next with a 7.9% premium, followed by Lidl with 5.9%, Giant with 4.2%, Trader Joe’s with 2.9% and Aldi with a 2.6% premium.

Schneider said the sample sizes when measuring individual grocery store chains were smaller than the full data set and more likely to be affected by outliers and other factors affecting rent prices. For example, the opening of Safeway stores in Hyattsville and Petworth achieved 19.2% and 18.4% premiums, respectively, which were much higher premiums than the other Safeways measured.

The Hyattsville Safeway at 3702 East-West Highway, which opened in 2016 as part of an Echo Real Estate development, shows the conditions that can lead grocery stores to be associated with massive rent spikes.

"In the case of the one on East-West Highway, that whole development was new and was in an area that is quickly developing with higher amenities in a place that didn’t have them before," Schneider said. "For that reason, rents are rising pretty rapidly there."

Studying apartment rents associated with new grocery stores presents a natural chicken-and-egg dilemma, Schneider said, because grocery stores can cause rent spikes, but they also tend to open in areas already experiencing rent increases. But she said that distinction should not matter for apartment developers.

"It’s a little bit of both, but in the end the premium seems to be present across the board, so for developers the reason behind the premium is less significant than the fact the premium is there," Schneider said. "It seems grocery stores are a good bet for developers in every case."

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10 May 2019

Why Last Night’s #MOECHELLA Protest Was a Big Deal for DC

Screenshot via Twitter

Over the past month, the hashtag #DontMuteDC—in response to the reported silencing of go-go music at the MetroPCS in Shaw—has become something of a movement. There have been rallies, concerts, and petitions in DC, and think pieces from Slate and the New Yorker aimed at a broader audience. The proximate cause of the agita was an April 8 incident in which a cell-phone store was ordered to stop playing music outside its storefront on a fast-gentrifying corner of Shaw. The real cause is Washington’s ongoing discomfort with the demographic and economic changes that have swept the city.

Last night, that movement took a much higher-profile turn, in the form of a traffic-stopping concert-cum-demonstration featuring the legendary go-go ensemble Backyard Band. The pop-up show took place at the corner of 14th and U Streets, once the center of black life in Washington, but more recently a center of luxury apartments inhabited by non-black newcomers.

The protests was called Moechella, a composite of “Moe” (a piece of DC slang that roughly means “homeboy/girl”) and Coachella (after the California music festival), and it felt like an inflection point in the fraught politics of a changing, anxious Washington. It was organized by Justin “Yaddya” Johnson, the artist-activist behind Long Live GoGo, a social-media movement that actually predates the MetroPCS fracas.

Johnson, 32, says he’s organized three other rallies at 14th and U since last July. Back then, the motivation was the Amplified Noise Amendment Act, which sought to regulate the volume of DC’s street performers. Johnson says he chose that specific corner because his family was moved out of the 14th Street Corridor as a result of gentrification—or, in his words, “cultural genocide.”

“It’s great for symbolism to show that we can come together and be unified,” he says. “I believe music is one of the most influential forms of getting a message across—it’s the glue of DC. My connection is with the music. We are go-go. Go-go is the culture.”

Last night’s rally, though, was an order of magnitude larger, closing the corner to traffic as thousands of people converged on the intersection. What’s striking is how little advance coverage it got through mainstream mass-media outlets.

Here’s how it came about: Johnson says he first called Backyard Band frontman Anwan “Big G” Glover, organized the performance with the band’s management, put together an itinerary, and word quickly spread on Instagram and Twitter. He also called DJ Domo and DJ Kool, Councilman Robert White, and a friend who is a sound engineer to set up the speakers. Activist Ron Moten organized the demonstration’s police presence, hoping to “de-escalate” any potentially dangerous situations. “It’s just the responsible thing to do, whether it’s a football game, big event, or a large concert,” Moten says.

All told, it took only about four days to get all the bands and DJs involved. “Being from the area and involved in the go-go community,” Johnson says, “it wasn’t difficult to get people out there.”

#MOECHELLA was classic. Three thousand people singing Pretty Girls #DontMuteDC ( via @BackyardBand) pic.twitter.com/lNljH31ifI

— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) May 8, 2019

One measure of the nascent movement’s growth: Organizers are already arguing about what it means, who leads it, and what to do next. Tone P, the DC producer behind some of locally-bred hip-hop star Wale‘s most popular (and most go-go-influenced) records, says that the protests are starting to lose focus—and becoming more about Johnson’s Long Live GoGo brand.

“Moechella was great,” says Tone, “but I’m worried it’s losing its point. What happened to the original message? People are excited to get a lot of people on the same corner. I like it, but what are we really accomplishing?”

Tone says the goal should be to create action items, such as inviting organizers to speak in front of the crowd about voting, education, and ending gun violence across the District—longstanding causes that go beyond the housing issues at the core of today’s gentrification.

One activist he hopes to see speak is Ron Moten, who has been influential in the #DontMuteDC movement and started a petition to keep go-go music playing at the MetroPCS. Moten attended Moechella to help register people to vote.

Johnson says he has yet to pick a date for the next major event but says there will be more to come this spring and summer. They won’t all be so huge—Johnson’s already organized a few go-go flashmobs at “key locations” like Gallery Place and Foggy Bottom where street performers are regulars. “At this point,” Johnson says, “the only ones who can get in our way is us.”

Note: This article has been updated with the correct spelling of DJ Kool.

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30 Apr 2019

Young Ballet Talents at Washington DC Grand Prix 2019

Posted by Alik Hakobyan, Community Contributor

Various ballet competitions are offered across the country for young students to unite and display their talent.The Classical Ballet Theatre of Maryland, The Russian Ballet Academy of Maryland, exists to give all students in the area of D.C. the chance to receive world-class ballet training and education.
It is through that effort of bringing ballet to all that the professional team of Masters of Ballet founded Washington D.C. Grand Prix.
Regular Washington Grand Prix competition took place
on April 27,28 ,2019 in Annandale ,Virginia. Numerous of young talented ballet dancers came here to take their chance to win and to receive world-ballet master classes and trainings.
The students from Academy of Ballet and Arts,Wheeling, Chicago, led by their Master Bella Levison and two other choreographers of the Academy: Hrachya Kostanyan and Medina Irsalieva were also ready to nail another competition and be among the top tens. Despite the though competition and professional competitors from all over the world the students of the Academy again showed up as the best ones in the country by taking the 1st(solos),2nd and 3rd places (groups) and being among the top tens.The Academy of Ballet and Arts was awarded as the best school .
Another hard competition is triumphed over.The gifted students of the Academy are getting ready for The Rainbow National Dance Competition on May 4,5,2019 aiming to achieve the best results and showing the audience and judges high quality dances.

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20 Apr 2019

Easter Fever: Washington, DC, will be taken over this weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The nation’s Capitol will be turned over to the tourists for the holiday weekend.

Congress is in the middle of its spring recess, and the president is spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

But come Monday — Easter Monday — D.C. will be hopping.

The White House will host the annual Easter Egg Roll and the American Egg Board is donating 74,000 eggs for the event, which is more than double the amount they have provided in previous years. Anne Alonzo, President and CEO of the American Egg Board, said:

"Easter is a major deal for us. We calculate that folks are going to eat about 2.9 billion eggs during this Easter season, and those eggs are going to be used for different purposes. To roll and to decorate, and for also what we call "egg pops." These are the hard-boiled eggs on a stick that people can enjoy on the White House lawn."

For the 42nd year in a row, the Egg Board will present the First Lady with a commemorative (and extravagantly decorated) egg. First Lady Melania Trump will be honored with an egg in commemoration of her "Be Best" anti-bullying campaign. American Egg Board Senior Director Ashley Richardson said:

"We put out a request and we said "What do you think should be the design for this year for the First Lady?’, and they came up back with a lot of different ideas and this particular design is an art form called quilling. And this is paper that has been rolled, and the color I think is particularly beautiful. This is just a gorgeous color, and some of the ideas with the stars and some of the flowers came from the children as well because this is the way they thought the design should be for this year. And the "Be Best" script on top is really a recognition of the First Lady’s campaign dealing with youth. And so it’s a beautiful egg, it’s a chicken egg."

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10 Apr 2019

Subsidized housing renters pay price in roaches, mold, leaks

In this Feb. 20, 2019 photo, Destiny Johnson shows the broken door to her oven that she uses string to hold together, in her apartment in Cedarhurst Homes, a federally subsidized, low-income apartment complex in Natchez, Miss. The complex failed a health and safety inspection in each of the past three years. Upset with conditions, Johnson moved out in late March. (Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press)

NATCHEZ, Miss. — In this city known for pre-Civil War mansions, a young mother shared a government-funded apartment with her three small children and a legion of cockroaches.

They lurked in the medicine cabinet, under the refrigerator, behind a picture on the wall. The mother nudged a bedroom dresser and more roaches skittered away as her 2-year-old son stomped on them.

It was home, sweet home for Destiny Johnson and her kids — until she got fed up and moved out last month.

Inspectors had cited the apartment complex with urgent health and safety violations for the past three years. Yet the federal government continued to pay Johnson’s rent at a property where a three-bedroom unit like hers can run $900 a month.

“I’m not asking for the best,” she told a reporter weeks before leaving, “but something better than this, especially for these kids.”

Health and safety inspection scores at taxpayer-funded apartments assigned to low-income tenants have been declining for years, typically with no serious consequences for landlords, an Associated Press analysis of federal housing data shows.

Johnson’s former apartment is one of nearly 160,000 at private properties with federal contracts that have failed at least one inspection since 1999. Nationwide data show the vast majority of failing inspections involved urgent violations. They can range from electrical hazards to rampant vermin to piles of garbage.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes rents for tenants assigned to both privately owned apartments and public housing run by state or local authorities. Many in these 2.1 million households are disabled, elderly or single parents. As the nation’s biggest affordable housing provider, the federal government will spend about $18 billion this year for these two programs.

Yet tenants curse heaters that don’t heat, emergency exits that don’t open, windows that don’t close. They complain of rats, rust, holes and mold.

In 2015 alone, families living in subsidized housing reported at least 155,000 more cases of childhood asthma than expected if the rate were the same as for renters in other households, according to AP’s analysis of a national tenant survey. Medical studies tie asthma to mold.

Federal authorities acknowledge the long slide in inspection scores, which started a decade ago in the privately owned housing. They say in recent years they have been protecting tenants by reinspecting sites with surprisingly high scores and closely monitoring repairs.

“These older properties,” Housing and Urban Development spokesman Brian Sullivan said, “the private owners may not have the means to do needed repairs.”

Conditions have deteriorated so badly in many subsidized buildings that by the government’s own estimate it would take tens of billions of dollars to rehabilitate them.

___

Destiny Johnson lived with her children ages 1, 2, and 5, at Cedarhurst Homes on a dead-end street in Natchez, where Mississippi River trading and wealth built on slave plantations have yielded to inveterate poverty among a largely black population.

The heater in Johnson’s apartment didn’t work, so she was using the oven to keep warm until a stovetop fire last year. Johnson, 21, said she tried to use her fire extinguisher, but that didn’t work either, so she rushed to borrow one from a neighbor.

The oven still hadn’t been replaced several months later. Its door was tied closed with a bright pink cord.

In late March, she said, management finally provided a letter that let her move to a nearby subsidized complex with a better inspection record.

“I couldn’t take it anymore,” Johnson said.

A former neighbor who still lives at the 30-unit Cedarhurst Homes, Whitley Williams, wanted to show a reporter and photographer her leaking water heater. The door to its closet was damp and swollen. She tried to heave it open, but the bottom scraped the floor and broke apart.

Her three children prefer to stay elsewhere, with her father.

Federal records list the site owner as The Columbia Property Group, which has managed or owned at least 66 federally contracted properties in Georgia, Florida and its home state of Mississippi.

Company President Melanie Moe referred questions to Bryan King, an officer at Mississippi-based Triangle Development, LLC. In an emailed statement, King said his development company was acquiring Cedarhurst Homes and planned to pursue federal tax credits for a “large renovation.”

The property earned inspection scores of 46, 53, and 54 out of a possible 100 from 2016 through 2018, federal data show. Any score up to 60 is now considered failing. At least three other Columbia Property Group sites have failed inspections since 2011, federal records show.

Federally subsidized private apartments, where tenants typically pay about a third of their income, fare worst in the South. Louisiana had the nation’s highest inspection failure rate at 12%, with Mississippi second at 10%.

Housing experts say landlords in poor, rural communities with low rents can have trouble amassing cash for repairs, despite federal payments.

Nationally, inspection scores at privately owned complexes like Cedarhurst Homes reached a peak of 90 in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration. Scores averaged 86 during Barack Obama’s two terms and 81 under President Trump as of June. AP’s analysis of historical trends uses data released in January. Since then, HUD has been revising its databases and released one that isn’t directly comparable and drops pertinent inspections.

Federal housing officials partly attribute the recent drop in scores to their crackdown on substandard repairs and inflated inspection scores . Under Trump, 92% of inspections found a violation, up from 85% under Obama and 77% under Bush.

Federal housing officials also say their new approach has driven up some scores as managers understand they must take repairs seriously.

In a March report , however, the Government Accountability Office told Congress that HUD’s inspection processes are outdated and need a thorough overhaul to ensure stronger oversight of building conditions.

And tenants in some buildings still complain that management hides problems from inspectors, covering cracks with duct tape, mold with a quick coat of paint, or even old junk with temporary partitions.

Michael Kane, executive director of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants, acknowledged the department has gotten tougher on inspections but said the decline in scores reflects continued deterioration of living conditions.

“As the buildings age, they develop certain kinds of problems. They didn’t have water leaks and mold at the beginning, but they sure … did 40 years later,” he said.

Federal officials acknowledge they must think hard before taking enforcement action that might shutter a property. The federal government ended most of its efforts to build new affordable housing in the 1980s, and private-sector financing for new construction has long been scarce.

HUD’s main programs now rely on the existing, gradually aging housing stock. “We lose the affordable housing forever. You never get it back,” HUD spokesman Sullivan said.

Since the start of 2016, he said, the agency has terminated 36 housing contracts. There are now about 24,000.

Most failing sites get what amounts to a warning and multiple chances to correct violations.

“Yet what’s going to save these programs is aggressive enforcement,” says Linda Couch, a housing policy official at the elderly advocacy group LeadingAge.

___

Job cuts over decades have hobbled HUD’s enforcement efforts from within.

“You could walk around all the offices and see all the empty desks where people used to work,” said Merryl Gibbs, a lawyer who enforced anti-discrimination housing law before retiring from the department in 2016.

The Trump administration proposed deep cuts in department funding as recently as March, but Congress has resisted.

Spending for HUD’s main housing programs is expected to increase about 2% to nearly $40 billion this year, by AP’s calculation. The total includes a third program that gives vouchers to another 2.2 million households, letting tenants pick a unit on the private market.

Many housing advocates want more vouchers and incentives for private landlords to accept them. Others suggest increasing tax credits for construction and repairs, more federal staff and resources for better oversight, and more tenant participation in site improvements.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has acknowledged a drastic shortage of low-cost housing and stressed the federal role. A physician by training, Carson has also pointed to the connection between residential mold and asthma.

That tie is supported in federal data. The share of U.S. households reporting mold was higher in subsidized rentals than other rentals, according to the latest data available from the American Housing Survey. Meanwhile, 13% of subsidized rental households reported at least one child with asthma, compared with 7% for other rentals. The differences hold even accounting for family size and poverty.

Housing advocates say funding remains the bottom line.

“We try and come up with solutions that don’t cost anything,” said Priya Jayachandran, a former senior administrator at HUD and now president of the National Housing Trust. “The answer is money.”

___

On a recent visit to Baltimore’s Rosemont Tower for elderly or disabled tenants, stairwells were littered with plastic caps for needles used to inject heroin.

Tenants in this federally funded public housing complained of bedbugs and mice. Signs saying “mandatory fire watch” alerted residents that the sprinkler system was broken, requiring a firefighter to stand watch around the clock.

A recurrent leak has sopped a prized Oriental rug and spread mold into the living room of Della Thomas.

“Every time there’s a real heavy rain, the ceiling gets a big bubble, and it starts to leak. They just kind of patch it up until the next time,” said Thomas, 64. She pointed to a plastic trash can, saying management provided it to catch drips.

Ingrid Antonio, a spokeswoman for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, said security guards make regular rounds and pest extermination happens at least every three months. She said stairwells are cleaned daily.

To increase funds for repairs, however, the building will be converted to private ownership in coming months but remain subsidized housing, she said.

Inspectors gave the 200-unit high-rise a failing score of 25 in 2017. That jumped to 71 last year, according to the housing authority, though urgent violations and smoke detector problems persisted. A reinspection was planned for later this year.

Of 37 Baltimore public housing sites, 22 failed their last inspection, according to data from HUD and the housing authority.

“Steadily declining federal investment in public housing for more than a decade has taken a tremendous toll,” the city’s housing authority said in a statement.

Largely due to Baltimore’s blighted complexes, since 2013 Maryland had the country’s highest inspection failure rate for public housing at 32%. The District of Columbia was second at 29%. The national average was 10%.

Around the country, inspection scores at public housing have fallen under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Scores averaged 89 during Obama’s second term, dropping to 79 under Trump through March 2018.

HUD’s most recent estimate, from 2010, concluded that public housing needed about $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs and at least $3.4 billion more each year. That would have added up to well over $50 billion by now. Instead, Congress has restricted repair spending to $23.5 billion.

The federal government also has tried to avoid expensive takeovers.

HUD knew for years of broken appliances, pests, racial discrimination and other “deplorable conditions” at buildings run by the Alexander County Housing Authority in southern Illinois, according to the agency’s inspector general. It wasn’t until 2016 that department officials finally took control.

By then, they needed to close four complexes and relocate hundreds of residents.

___

Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts. David McFadden in Baltimore contributed.

___

Reach Jeff Donn on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jadonn7

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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31 Mar 2019

Best days to view cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, in 2019

Officials from the National Park Service recently moved the peak date for the Yoshino cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., forward to April 1 this year, but blooms should hold up into the first week of April.

Peak bloom is when approximately 70 percent or more of the blooms are open.

Experts originally anticipated the peak bloom to be a bit later, but by only a few days.

A few very warm days during mid-March and recent days, as well as slightly above-average temperatures over the winter, will contribute to the slightly earlier peak than average.

The average bloom date is April 4, since 1921, when the trees were gifted from Japan to the United States. However, the average bloom date has trended earlier over the years.

What will be the best weather days for the National Cherry Blossom Festival this year?

Following the warm and breezy conditions for Saturday’s Blossom Kite Festival, the weekend will end on a brisk and much cooler note.

Temperatures may fail to reach 60 F on Sunday after flirting with the 80-degree mark on Saturday. Gusty winds will create even lower AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

"The afternoon hours will be better to be outdoors than the morning, when showers will move through," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

The weather during the mid- to late-afternoon hours on Sunday may improve enough to allow the sun to come back out.

It is unlikely that Sunday’s rain will be heavy enough to significantly damage the blossoms, which are generally the sturdiest just prior to and during peak bloom.

As the blossom petals age past peak, they become progressively more fragile and can be more easily damaged by rain and torn away by wind.

The anticipated peak bloom is on Monday along the Tidal Basin.

Slightly cooler weather is in store for Monday with highs in the lower to middle 50s. A cool breeze can continue to blow through the first half of the day.

Temperatures will rebound slightly on Tuesday as clouds increase ahead of a storm strengthening along the Southeast coast.

Provided that storm remains far enough offshore during the middle of the week, the next chance of rain after this Sunday would be Friday, April 5.

Wednesday and Thursday would then feature warmer weather and sunny to partly cloudy conditions.

However, if that storm hugs the coast, rain and wind could result in the blossoms taking a beating on Tuesday night.

To keep an eye on the forecast, download the free AccuWeather app and enter Washington, D.C., for the forecast location.

How are bloom dates estimated?

The average air temperature is a major player in determining spring blooming time.

The accumulated number of Growing Degree Days (GDD), based on temperature, is used as a rough guide to determine the blossoming and leafing out of trees and shrubs, as well as some changes in animal behavior, according to the National Phenology Network.

The GDD for each day is calculated by taking the average of the high and low temperature for the day minus the base temperature. The base temperature varies and is dependent on the species of plant, time of the year and application.

This spring, the number of accumulated GDD with a base temperature of 32 is far above average for the Southeast and slightly above average for part of the mid-Atlantic, but below average in parts of the Northwest, Plains and Midwest.

Where the number remains steadily above average, blossoming may occur earlier than average. Where the number remains steadily below average, blossoming may occur later than average.

Other factors may affect blossom time, including soil temperature and moisture, as well as sunshine.

For example, a great number of cloudy days may keep soil temperatures colder than average and delay the blossom date.

However, a large number of cloudy nights may also result in higher temperatures at night and effect the overall daily average temperature.

As a result, a number of small factors can have significant impact on blooming dates.

When the date to the bloom gets close, experts examine the state of the buds and the weather forecast to make a final call.

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21 Mar 2019

More Women Are Entering Washington, DC’s Job Market — but There’s One Problem

Washington DC city view at a orange sunset, including Washington Monument from Capitol building.

Finally, some positive news out of the nation’s capital. According to a recent study by GOBankingRates, Washington, D.C., is one of the biggest cities in the nation where women are “taking over” the workforce, but there are some troubling facts beneath the surface.

For the study, GOBankingRates determined the cities where women are taking over based on U.S. Census Bureau data detailing percentages of women and men in the labor force, median earnings for both groups and percentage increase of both women and men in the job market over the last five and 10 years.

Washington, DC, Has More Women in the Workforce Than Men

From 2007 to 2017, data shows that the percentage of women workers in Washington, D.C., increased by 26 percent, but the increase for men was less significant at 23.8 percent. In Washington, D.C., not only has the percentage of women workers seen an upswing, but since 2007, women have comprised the majority of the workforce. Even more impressively, when compared to the top four most populous cities in the nation — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston — Washington is the only city that has a female majority workforce. In 2017, women made up 51.6 percent of the workforce in Washington, which is up 0.4 percent from 2007. Washington also has seen the largest 5-year and 10-year change in female employment with 15.6 percent and 26.0 percent, respectively.

City Size Rank 5-Year Change 10-Year Change 2017 Civilian employed population 16 years and over with earnings 2017 Male – Employed population 16 years and over with earnings 2017 Female – employed population 16 years and over with earnings Washington, D.C. 21 15.6% 26.0% 357,701 48.4% 51.6%

Not as surprising, however, are the three industries that employ a majority of the female workforce. Scientific and technical services make up 17.2 percent of the employed female population, followed closely by public administration at 16.2 percent and social assistance at 12.7 percent.

Does an Increasing Female Workforce Participation Equate to Better Pay?

As women continue to “take over” the workforce in the nation’s capital, one would assume that the wage gap between men and women must be closing as well. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Since 2007, the median salaries have gone from a difference of $4,123 in favor of men to a difference of $7,893 — a 5.11 percent increase. In 2017, the median female earnings of $46,858 in Washington, D.C. — while much higher compared to the rest of the U.S. — is still nearly $8,000 less than their male counterparts.

The difference in median female earnings to median male earnings in Washington, D.C., is also greater than in any of the nation’s four most populous cities.

So while Washington, D.C., is the standard bearer for big cities in terms of women “taking over” the workforce, there are still some worries about the rising wage gap between men and women in the city. What this study does suggest is that Washington is one of the best places for women to find employment, but, like most things that come from the nation’s capital, there is still a lot of work to be done.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the cities where women are taking over based on several factors: (1) Percentage of women in the labor force; (2) percentage of men in the labor force; (3) percentage increase in women in job market over the last five and ten years; (4) percentage increase in men in job market over the last five and ten years; (5) median earnings for women; and (6) median earnings for men, all sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, as well as top industries. List of cities was generated based on the largest 200 cities by population in the U.S.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: More Women Are Entering Washington, DC’s Job Market — but There’s One Problem

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07 Mar 2019

SC reopening a Washington, DC, office to aid state agencies

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during Google’s commemoration ceremony for its 10-year anniversary in South Carolina Friday, February 15, 2019, at the companies data center site in Mt. Holly Commerce Park in Moncks Corner, S.C. Brad Nettles/Staff

COLUMBIA — South Carolina will reopen its Washington, D.C., office that was closed in 2010 to save money during the recession, Gov. Henry McMaster announced at a cabinet meeting Wednesday.

Jordan Marsh, political director for McMaster’s 2018 election campaign, will run the Washington office aiding state agencies in the nation’s capital.

Marsh, a former intern for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, spent two years as vice president of South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads, an advocacy group that supports increased state highway funding.

He will earn $75,000 a year, the governor’s office said. The South Carolina office will rejoin other states as part of the National Governors Association in having a presence in Washington.

McMaster said the office will help South Carolina remain competitive economically and encouraged state agencies, even those outside his cabinet, to reach out to Marsh, who can help set up appointments or visit federal officials.

“Don’t be shy, we’re paying for it,” McMaster said.

South Carolina’s Washington office was closed by Gov. Mark Sanford as a cost-cutting move. His successor, Nikki Haley, did not reopen the office after the economy improved.

South Carolina is reopening its state office in Washington during a time when McMaster has an ally in the White House. As lieutenant governor, McMaster was the first statewide-elected official in the nation to endorse Donald Trump’s Republican presidential bid in 2016.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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25 Feb 2019

Fort Bragg resident brings dangerous housing concerns to Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — They put everything on the line to serve our country, but many military families say their living conditions are hazardous from toxic mold to bug and rodent infestations.

Ninety-nine percent of military housing is run by private companies. SPC Rachel Kilpatrick traveled from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Washington D.C. to speak out about her dangerous living conditions.

"During the hurricane, our ceiling caved in and we became exposed to mold during that time and my husband now has permanent asthma," says Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick says her kids got sick too, and her house wreaked of mildew.

"When we first moved in, there was cat urine everywhere, pet dander. We had told them when we first moved in that my husband had allergies and we couldn’t be in a home with cats," she says.

Kilpatrick is not alone. Other military families are speaking out about what they call unsafe and dangerous conditions in privatized housing on bases.
They are taking their concerns as far as Capitol Hill.

"As a former commander and former fellow patriot, I’m infuriated by what I’m hearing today. This is disgusting," says Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The committee is trying to get answers. Representatives from five private housing companies, including the one that owns Kilpatrick’s home, testified before the senators.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to their families and we need to help," says Corvias Group CEO John Picerne.

In a statement to Gray Television, Corvias Group says it’s "hiring a world-renowned specialist – at no cost to the government to review our mold/mildew procedures."

Kilpatrick says she hopes someone will be watching the housing companies closer.

"Active duty members shouldn’t be getting this sick from their housing. Nobody should," she says.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), who sits on the Armed Service Committee, says he wants legislation to protect tenants and penalize the private housing companies if they’re not maintaining a safe environment for residents.

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15 Feb 2019

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End Operating Results for 2018

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Washington Real Estate Investment Trust ("Washington REIT” or the “Company”) (NYSE: WRE), a leading owner and operator of commercial and multifamily properties in the Washington, DC area, reported financial and operating results today for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2018:

Full-Year and Fourth Quarter 2018 Financial Results and Highlights

Net Income and NAREIT Funds from Operations (FFO)(1)

Reported net income attributable to controlling interests of $25.6 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, for the year, compared to $19.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in 2017Reported net income attributable to controlling interests of $5.7 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the quarter, compared to $2.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for fourth quarter 2017Reported NAREIT FFO of $146.2 million, or $1.84 per diluted share, for the year, compared to $141.0 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, in 2017Reported NAREIT FFO of $36.8 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the quarter, compared to $35.4 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2017

Core FFO and Operational Performance:

Reported Core FFO of $1.86 per diluted share for the year, a $0.04 increase over Core FFO of $1.82 per diluted share in 2017Reported Core FFO of $0.46 per diluted share for the quarter, a $0.02 increase over Core FFO of $0.44 per diluted share in fourth quarter 2017Grew same-store(2) Net Operating Income (NOI)(3) by 3.1% and cash NOI by 3.7% for the yearGrew office same-store NOI by 4.5% and cash NOI by 5.5% for the yearGrew multifamily same-store NOI and cash NOI by 3.3% for the yearGrew retail same-store NOI by 0.7% and cash NOI by 1.2% for the year

Other Financial Metrics:

Ended the year with a net debt to adjusted EBITDA(4) ratio of 6.2xEnded the year with a Core FAD(5) payout ratio of 78.4%

"We delivered another year of solid operational performance with healthy same-store NOI growth and recycled office assets to further de-risk the portfolio while implementing a differentiated leasing strategy branded Space+ to maximize value-creation," said Paul T. McDermott, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As a result, we have entered 2019 with a higher-quality, better-located portfolio that is well-suited to meet the fastest-growing segments of demand in the DC Metro region: flexible space in office and value-oriented apartments in multifamily. We are working hard to lease our well-positioned commercial availabilities and to capitalize on demand opportunities, including those emerging from Amazon-related growth, with the goal of creating long-term value for our shareholders."

Operating Results

The Company’s overall portfolio NOI for the fourth quarter was $54.6 million, compared to $51.9 million in the same period one year ago and $53.9 million in the third quarter of 2018. The sequential increase in NOI was primarily due to lower property operating expenses across the portfolio as well as higher reimbursements and lease termination fees in office, partially offset by higher real estate taxes across the portfolio.

Overall portfolio ending occupancy(6) at year-end was 93.1%, compared to 91.8% at year-end 2017, driven by occupancy gains across the portfolio.

Same-store portfolio NOI increased by 3.1% for the full year and 4.5% for the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis. Same-store portfolio ending occupancy at year-end was 93.0%, compared to 92.6% at year-end 2017.

Same-store portfolio by sector:

Office: 43% of 2018 Same-Store NOI – Office properties’ same-store NOI increased by 4.5% and cash NOI increased by 5.5% for the full year. Same-store NOI increased by 5.4% and cash NOI increased by 7.0% for the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago. The year-over-year increase in full-year and fourth quarter office same-store NOI was primarily driven by new lease commencements, annual rent increases and higher recoveries, with these being partially offset by higher operating expenses. Same-store ending occupancy decreased by 30 basis points year-over-year and 40 basis points sequentially to 91.7% due to a few anticipated tenant move-outs in the portfolio. The overall office portfolio was 92.3% occupied and 93.6% leased at year-end.Multifamily: 31% of 2018 Same-Store NOI – Multifamily properties’ same-store NOI and cash NOI increased by 3.3% for the full year. Same-store NOI increased by 4.2% and cash NOI increased by 4.1% for the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis. Same-store ending occupancy on a unit basis decreased by 20 basis points year-over-year and 50 basis points sequentially to 94.8% as the Company focused on optimizing the portfolio’s rental income growth potential by focusing on rental rate growth. In the fourth quarter, the overall multifamily portfolio achieved 240 basis points of year-over-year rental growth, with Class B average monthly rent per unit growing by 260 basis points year-over-year. The overall multifamily portfolio was 94.8% occupied and 96.5% leased, on a unit basis, at year-end.Retail: 26% of 2018 Same-Store NOI – Retail properties’ same-store NOI increased by 0.7% and cash NOI increased by 1.2% for the full year. Same-store NOI increased by 3.4% and cash NOI increased by 3.5% year-over-year in the fourth quarter due to new lease commencements, higher percentage rent income and higher specialty leasing as well as lower operating expenses compared to the same period a year ago. Same-store ending occupancy increased by 70 basis points year-over-year to 91.9% but declined by 240 basis points sequentially due to seasonally lower levels of specialty leasing relative to third quarter 2018. The retail portfolio was 91.9% occupied and 92.6% leased at year-end.

Leasing Activity

During full-year 2018, Washington REIT signed new and renewal commercial leases as follows (all dollar amounts are on a per square foot basis):

Square FeetWeighted Average Term(in years)Weighted Average Free Rent Period(in months)WeightedAverage Rental RatesWeighted AverageRental Rate% IncreaseTenant ImprovementsLeasing CommissionsOffice325,000 5.7 5.0 $49.22 10.3%$40.49 $14.37Retail307,000 5.5 0.6 18.48 5.8%3.52 3.02Total632,000 5.6 3.9 34.31 9.0%22.56 8.86

During the fourth quarter, Washington REIT signed commercial leases totaling 153,000 square feet, including 52,000 square feet of new leases and 101,000 square feet of renewal leases, as follows (all dollar amounts are on a per square foot basis):

Square FeetWeighted Average Term(in years)Weighted Average Free Rent Period(in months)WeightedAverage Rental RatesWeighted AverageRental Rate% IncreaseTenant ImprovementsLeasing CommissionsNew:Office35,000 4.8 3.9 $46.68 5.2%$43.81 $10.57Retail17,000 7.2 5.9 19.82 -11.9%8.51 9.31Total52,000 5.6 4.2 37.69 1.7%31.99 10.15Renewal:Office90,000 6.9 6.2 $57.59 13.6%$51.26 $20.77Retail11,000 7.3 0.1 72.98 15.2%1.39 17.32Total101,000 7.0 5.3 59.23 13.8%45.94 20.41

The fourth quarter weighted average rental rate for new retail leases decreased due to two leases signed with service providers that are expected to further improve the merchandising mix and traffic at two of the Company’s shopping centers.

Earnings Guidance

2019 Core FFO guidance is expected to range from $1.74 to $1.78 per fully diluted share. The following assumptions are included in this guidance:

Same-store NOI change is projected to range from -0.50% to 0.50%○ Excluding Watergate 600, same-store NOI growth is projected to range from 1.75% to 2.75%○ The inclusion of Watergate 600 is the only addition to the same store pool in 2019○ The Company expects the top two floors of Watergate 600 to be built out for a new tenant in 2019 and for rents to commence in January 2020Same-store office NOI is projected to decline by a range of -5.25% to -4.25%○ Excluding Watergate 600, same-store office NOI change is projected to range from -0.50% to 0.50%Same-store multifamily NOI growth is projected to range from 3.75% to 4.25%Same-store retail NOI growth is projected to range from 3.75% to 4.25%Dispositions are projected to range from $175 million to $200 millionThere are no acquisitions assumed in guidanceDevelopment expenditures are projected to range from $65 to $70 millionThe annual impact of the adoption of the new lease accounting standard ASC 842 as of January 1, 2019 is projected to be between $1 million and $1.50 million in 2019General and administrative expense is projected to be approximately $18 to $18.75 millionInterest expense is projected to be approximately $51 to $51.75 millionNon same-store office NOI is projected to range between $16.75 to $17.25 million

The non same-store office pool in 2019 consists of Arlington Tower, which was acquired in 2018.

Washington REIT’s 2019 Core FFO guidance is based on a number of factors, many of which are outside the Company’s control and all of which are subject to change. Washington REIT may change the guidance provided during the year as actual and anticipated results vary from these assumptions.

2019 Guidance Reconciliation Table

A reconciliation of projected net income attributable to the controlling interests per diluted share to projected Core FFO per diluted share for the year-ending December 31, 2019, reflecting the dispositions assumptions above, is as follows:

Net income attributable to the controlling interests per diluted share(a) $0.21 $0.25Real estate depreciation and amortization(a)1.53 1.53NAREIT FFO per diluted share1.74 1.78Core adjustments— —Core FFO per diluted share$1.74 $1.78

(a) Does not include any impact from future acquisitions or any additional dispositions during the year.

Dividends

On January 4, 2019, Washington REIT paid a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share.

Washington REIT announced today that its Board of Trustees has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share to be paid on March 29, 2019 to shareholders of record on March 15, 2019.

Conference Call Information

The Conference Call for Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings is scheduled for Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. Eastern Time. Conference Call access information is as follows:

The instant replay of the Conference Call will be available until March 1, 2019 at 11:00 P.M. Eastern time. Instant replay access information is as follows:

The live on-demand webcast of the Conference Call will be available on the Investor section of Washington REIT’s website at www.washreit.com. Online playback of the webcast will be available for two weeks following the Conference Call.

About Washington REIT

Washington REIT owns and operates uniquely positioned real estate assets in the Washington D.C. market. Backed by decades of experience, expertise and ambition, we create value by transforming insights into strategy and strategy into action. Our portfolio of 48 properties includes approximately 6.1 million square feet of commercial space and 4,268 multifamily apartment units. These 48 properties consist of 19 office properties, 16 retail centers and 13 multifamily properties. Washington REIT shares are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:WRE).

Note: Washington REIT’s press releases and supplemental financial information are available on the Company website at www.washreit.com or by contacting Investor Relations at (202) 774-3200.

Certain statements in our earnings release and on our conference call are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” or “potential” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases which are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Washington REIT to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to the risks associated with the ownership of real estate in general and our real estate assets in particular; the economic health of the greater Washington Metro region; fluctuations in interest rates; reductions in or actual or threatened changes to the timing of federal government spending; the risks related to use of third-party providers and joint venture partners; the ability to control our operating expenses; the economic health of our tenants; the supply of competing properties; shifts away from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce; the availability and terms of financing and capital and the general volatility of securities markets; compliance with applicable laws, including those concerning the environment and access by persons with disabilities; terrorist attacks or actions and/or cyber attacks; weather conditions and natural disasters; ability to maintain key personnel; failure to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT and the risks of changes in laws affecting REITs; and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in our filings with the SEC, including our 2017 Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. While forward-looking statements reflect our good faith beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance. We undertake no obligation to update our forward-looking statements or risk factors or risk factors to reflect new information, future events, or otherwise.

(1) Funds From Operations (“FFO”) – NAREIT FFO is a widely used measure of operating performance for real estate companies. We provide NAREIT FFO as a supplemental measure to net income calculated in accordance with GAAP. Although NAREIT FFO is a widely used measure of operating performance for REITs, NAREIT FFO does not represent net income calculated in accordance with GAAP. As such, it should not be considered an alternative to net income as an indication of our operating performance. In addition, NAREIT FFO does not represent cash generated from operating activities in accordance with GAAP, nor does it represent cash available to pay distributions and should not be considered as an alternative to cash flow from operating activities, determined in accordance with GAAP, as a measure of our liquidity. In its 2018 NAREIT White Paper Restatement, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Inc. (“NAREIT”) defines NAREIT FFO as net income (computed in accordance with GAAP) excluding gains (or losses) associated with sales of properties, impairments of depreciable real estate, and real estate depreciation and amortization. We consider NAREIT FFO to be a standard supplemental measure for REITs because it facilitates an understanding of the operating performance of our properties without giving effect to real estate depreciation and amortization, which historically assumes that the value of real estate assets diminishes predictably over time. Since real estate values have instead historically risen or fallen with market conditions, we believe that NAREIT FFO more accurately provides investors an indication of our ability to incur and service debt, make capital expenditures and fund other needs. Our NAREIT FFO may not be comparable to FFO reported by other REITs. These other REITs may not define the term in accordance with the current NAREIT definition or may interpret the current NAREIT definition differently.

Core Funds From Operations (“Core FFO”) is calculated by adjusting FFO for the following items (which we believe are not indicative of the performance of Washington REIT’s operating portfolio and affect the comparative measurement of Washington REIT’s operating performance over time): (1) gains or losses on extinguishment of debt, (2) expenses related to acquisition and structuring activities, (3) executive transition costs and severance expense related to corporate reorganization and related to executive retirements or resignations, (4) property impairments, casualty gains, and gains or losses on sale not already excluded from FFO, as appropriate, and (5) relocation expense. These items can vary greatly from period to period, depending upon the volume of our acquisition activity and debt retirements, among other factors. We believe that by excluding these items, Core FFO serves as a useful, supplementary measure of Washington REIT’s ability to incur and service debt and to distribute dividends to its shareholders. Core FFO is a non-GAAP and non-standardized measure and may be calculated differently by other REITs.

(2) For purposes of evaluating comparative operating performance, we categorize our properties as “same-store”, “non-same-store” or discontinued operations. Same-store properties include properties that were owned for the entirety of the years being compared, and exclude properties under redevelopment or development and properties acquired, sold or classified as held for sale during the years being compared. We define development properties as those for which we have planned or ongoing major construction activities on existing or acquired land pursuant to an authorized development plan. We consider a property’s development activities to be complete when the property is ready for its intended use. The property is categorized as same-store when it has been ready for its intended use for the entirety of the years being compared. We define redevelopment properties as those for which have planned or ongoing significant development and construction activities on existing or acquired buildings pursuant to an authorized plan, which has an impact on current operating results, occupancy and the ability to lease space with the intended result of a higher economic return on the property. We categorize a redevelopment property as same-store when redevelopment activities have been complete for the majority of each year being compared.

(3) Net Operating Income (“NOI”), defined as real estate rental revenue less real estate expenses, is a non-GAAP measure. NOI is calculated as net income, less non-real estate revenue and the results of discontinued operations (including the gain or loss on sale, if any), plus interest expense, depreciation and amortization, general and administrative expenses, acquisition costs, real estate impairment and gain or loss on extinguishment of debt. We also present NOI on a cash basis ("cash NOI") which is calculated as NOI less the impact of straight-lining of rent and amortization of market intangibles. We believe that NOI and cash NOI are useful performance measures because, when compared across periods, they reflect the impact on operations of trends in occupancy rates, rental rates and operating costs on an unleveraged basis, providing perspective not immediately apparent from net income. NOI [and cash NOI] excludes certain components from net income in order to provide results more closely related to a property’s results of operations. For example, interest expense is not necessarily linked to the operating performance of a real estate asset. In addition, depreciation and amortization, because of historical cost accounting and useful life estimates, may distort operating performance at the property level. As a result of the foregoing, we provide each of NOI and cash NOI as a supplement to net income, calculated in accordance with GAAP. Neither represents net income or income from continuing operations, in either case calculated in accordance with GAAP. As such, NOI and cash NOI should not be considered alternatives to these measures as an indication of our operating performance.

(4) Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA represents net debt as of period end divided by adjusted EBITDA for the period, as annualized (i.e. three months periods are multiplied by four) or on a trailing 12 month basis. We define net debt as the total outstanding debt reported as per our consolidated balance sheets less cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period. Adjusted EBITDA is earnings before interest expense, taxes, depreciation, amortization, gain/loss on sale of real estate, casualty gain/loss, real estate impairment, gain/loss on extinguishment of debt, severance expense, relocation expense, acquisition and structuring expense and gain from non-disposal activities. We consider Adjusted EBITDA to be an appropriate performance measure because it permits investors to view income from operations without the effect of depreciation, and the cost of debt or non-operating gains and losses. Adjusted EBITDA and Net Debt to Adjusted EBITDA are a non-GAAP measures.

(5) Funds Available for Distribution (“FAD”) is a non-GAAP measure. It is calculated by subtracting from FFO (1) recurring expenditures, tenant improvements and leasing costs, that are capitalized and amortized and are necessary to maintain our properties and revenue stream (excluding items contemplated prior to acquisition or associated with development / redevelopment of a property) and (2) straight line rents, then adding (3) non-real estate depreciation and amortization, (4) non-cash fair value interest expense and (5) amortization of restricted share compensation, then adding or subtracting the (6) amortization of lease intangibles, (7) real estate impairment and (8) non-cash gain/loss on extinguishment of debt, as appropriate. FAD is included herein, because we consider it to be a performance measure of a REIT’s ability to incur and service debt and to distribute dividends to its shareholders. FAD is a non-GAAP and non-standardized measure, and may be calculated differently by other REITs.

Core Funds Available for Distribution ("Core FAD") is calculated by adjusting FAD for the following items (which we believe are not indicative of the performance of Washington REIT’s operating portfolio and affect the comparative measurement of Washington REIT’s operating performance over time): (1) gains or losses on extinguishment of debt, (2) costs related to the acquisition of properties, (3) non-share-based severance expense related to corporate reorganization and related to executive retirements or resignations, (4) property impairments, casualty gains and losses, and gains or losses on sale not already excluded from FAD, as appropriate, and (5) relocation expense. These items can vary greatly from period to period, depending upon the volume of our acquisition activity and debt retirements, among other factors. We believe that by excluding these items, Core FAD serves as a useful, supplementary performance measure of Washington REIT’s ability to incur and service debt, and distribute dividends to its shareholders. Core FAD is a non-GAAP and non-standardized measure, and may be calculated differently by other REITs.

The Core FAD payout ratio is calculated by dividing dividends declared per share by Core FAD per diluted share for a given reporting period.

(6) Ending Occupancy is calculated as occupied square footage as a percentage of total square footage as of the last day of that period.

Ending Occupancy Levels by Same-Store Properties (i) and All PropertiesSame-Store Properties All PropertiesDecember 31, December 31,Multifamily94.8% 94.1% 94.8% 94.1%Office91.7% 92.0% 92.3% 90.1%Retail91.9% 91.2% 91.9% 91.2%Overall Portfolio93.0% 92.6% 93.1% 91.8%

(i) Same-store properties include properties that were owned for the entirety of the years being compared, and exclude properties under redevelopment or development and properties acquired, sold or classified as held for sale during the years being compared. We define development properties as those for which we have planned or ongoing major construction activities on existing or acquired land pursuant to an authorized development plan. We consider a property’s development activities to be complete when the property is ready for its intended use. The property is categorized as same-store when it has been ready for its intended use for the entirety of the years being compared. We define redevelopment properties as those for which we have planned or ongoing significant development and construction activities on existing or acquired buildings pursuant to an authorized plan, which has an impact on current operating results, occupancy and the ability to lease space with the intended result of a higher economic return on the property. We categorize a redevelopment property as same-store when redevelopment activities have been complete for the majority of each year being compared. For Q4 2018 and Q4 2017, same-store properties exclude:

Acquisitions:
Office – Arlington Tower and Watergate 600
Sold properties:
Multifamily – Walker House
Office – Braddock Metro Center and 2445 M Street

WASHINGTON REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTQuarter Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,OPERATING RESULTS2018 2017 2018 2017Real estate rental revenue$82,901 $81,302 $336,890 $325,078Real estate expenses28,255 29,450 116,230 115,650Depreciation and amortization31,109 28,785 121,228 112,056Real estate impairment— 28,152 1,886 33,152General and administrative5,352 5,868 22,089 22,58064,716 92,255 261,433 283,438Other operating incomeGain on sale of real estate— 24,915 2,495 24,915Real estate operating income18,185 13,962 77,952 66,555Other income (expense):Interest expense(12,497) (11,900) (51,144) (47,534)Other income— 298 — 507Loss on extinguishment of debt— — (1,178) —Income tax (expense) benefit— (23) — 84(12,497) (11,625) (52,322) (46,943)Net income5,688 2,337 25,630 19,612Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries— — — 56Net income attributable to the controlling interests$5,688 $2,337 $25,630 $19,668Net income$5,688 $2,337 $25,630 $19,612Depreciation and amortization31,109 28,785 121,228 112,056Real estate impairment— 28,152 1,886 33,152Gain on sale of depreciable real estate— (23,838) (2,495) (23,838)NAREIT funds from operations(1)$36,797 $35,436 $146,249 $140,982Non-cash loss on extinguishment of debt— — 1,178 —Tenant improvements and leasing incentives(10,730) (7,788) (23,535) (18,182)External and internal leasing commissions capitalized(3,556) (1,741) (5,856) (7,405)Recurring capital improvements(2,110) (4,455) (3,954) (6,838)Straight-line rents, net(959) (1,238) (4,343) (4,380)Non-cash fair value interest expense(214) (221) (865) (970)Non real estate depreciation & amortization of debt costs989 943 3,887 3,537Amortization of lease intangibles, net372 436 1,842 2,431Amortization and expensing of restricted share and unit compensation1,682 1,211 6,746 4,772Funds available for distribution(4)$22,271 $22,583 $121,349 $113,947
Quarter Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,Per share data: 2018 2017 2018 2017Net income attributable to the controlling interests(Basic)$0.07 $0.03 $0.32 $0.25(Diluted)$0.07 $0.03 $0.32 $0.25NAREIT funds from operations(Basic)$0.46 $0.45 $1.85 $1.83(Diluted)$0.46 $0.45 $1.84 $1.83Dividends declared $0.30 $0.30 $1.20 $1.20Weighted average shares outstanding – basic 79,748 78,386 78,960 76,820Weighted average shares outstanding – diluted 79,760 78,478 79,042 76,935
Land$614,659 $588,025Income producing property2,271,926 2,113,9772,886,585 2,702,002Accumulated depreciation and amortization(770,535) (683,692)Net income producing property2,116,050 2,018,310Properties under development or held for future development87,231 54,422Total real estate held for investment, net2,203,281 2,072,732Investment in real estate sold or held for sale, net— 68,534Cash and cash equivalents6,016 9,847Restricted cash1,624 2,776Rents and other receivables, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $3,561 and $2,426 respectively73,861 69,766Prepaid expenses and other assets132,322 125,087Other assets related to properties sold or held for sale— 10,684Total assets$2,417,104 $2,359,426Notes payable, net$995,397 $894,358Mortgage notes payable, net59,792 95,141Lines of credit188,000 166,000Accounts payable and other liabilities59,567 61,565Dividend payable24,022 23,581Advance rents11,736 12,487Tenant security deposits10,112 9,149Other liabilities related to properties sold or held for sale— 1,809Total liabilities1,348,626 1,264,090Preferred shares; $0.01 par value; 10,000 shares authorized; no shares issued or outstanding— —Shares of beneficial interest, $0.01 par value; 100,000 shares authorized; 79,910 and 78,510 shares issued and outstanding, respectively799 785Additional paid-in capital1,526,574 1,483,980Distributions in excess of net income(469,085) (399,213)Accumulated other comprehensive income9,839 9,419Total shareholders’ equity1,068,127 1,094,971Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries351 365Total equity1,068,478 1,095,336Total liabilities and equity$2,417,104 $2,359,426
The following tables contain reconciliations of same-store net operating income to net income attributable to the controlling interests for the periods presented (in thousands):Quarter Ended December 31, 2018Multifamily Office Retail TotalSame-store net operating income(3)$14,803 $20,056 $11,917 $46,776Add: Net operating income from non-same-store properties(3)— 7,870 — 7,870Total net operating income(2)$14,803 $27,926 $11,917 $54,646Add/(deduct):Interest expense (12,497)Depreciation and amortization (31,109)General and administrative expenses (5,352)Net income 5,688Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries —Net income attributable to the controlling interests $5,688Quarter Ended December 31, 2017Multifamily Office Retail TotalSame-store net operating income(3)$14,212 $19,021 $11,530 $44,763Add: Net operating income from non-same-store properties(3)101 6,988 — 7,089Total net operating income(2)$14,313 $26,009 $11,530 $51,852Add/(deduct):Other income 298Interest expense (11,900)Depreciation and amortization (28,785)General and administrative expenses (5,868)Income tax expense (23)Gain on sale of real estate 24,915Real estate impairment (28,152)Net income 2,337Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries —Net income attributable to the controlling interests $2,337
The following tables contain reconciliations of same-store net operating income to net income attributable to the controlling interests for the periods presented (in thousands):Year Ended December 31, 2018Multifamily Office Retail TotalSame-store net operating income(3)$57,980 $79,742 $47,548 $185,270Add: Net operating income from non-same-store properties(3)(21) 35,411 — 35,390Total net operating income(2)$57,959 $115,153 $47,548 $220,660Add/(deduct):Interest expense (51,144)Depreciation and amortization (121,228)General and administrative expenses (22,089)Real estate impairment (1,886)Gain on sale of real estate 2,495Loss on extinguishment of debt (1,178)Net income 25,630Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries —Net income attributable to the controlling interests $25,630Year Ended December 31, 2017Multifamily Office Retail TotalSame-store net operating income(3)$56,137 $76,330 $47,204 $179,671Add: Net operating income from non-same-store properties(3)1,473 28,284 — 29,757Total net operating income(2)$57,610 $104,614 $47,204 $209,428Add/(deduct):Other income 507Interest expense (47,534)Depreciation and amortization (112,056)General and administrative expenses (22,580)Income tax benefit 84Gain on sale of real estate 24,915Real estate impairment (33,152)Net income 19,612Less: Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries 56Net income attributable to the controlling interests $19,668
The following table contains a reconciliation of net income to core funds from operations for the periods presented (in thousands, except per share amounts): Quarter Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,Net income $5,688 $2,337 $25,630 $19,612Add/(deduct):Real estate depreciation and amortization 31,109 28,785 121,228 112,056Gain on sale of depreciable real estate — (23,838) (2,495) (23,838)Real estate impairment — 28,152 1,886 33,152NAREIT funds from operations(1) 36,797 35,436 146,249 140,982Add/(deduct):Loss on extinguishment of debt — — 1,178 —Gain on sale of non-depreciable real estate, net — (1,077) — (1,077)Structuring expenses — — — 319Core funds from operations(1) $36,797 $34,359 $147,427 $140,224 Quarter Ended December 31, Year Ended December 31,Per share data: 2018 2017 2018 2017NAREIT FFO(Basic)$0.46 $0.45 $1.85 $1.83(Diluted)$0.46 $0.45 $1.84 $1.83Core FFO(Basic)$0.46 $0.44 $1.86 $1.82(Diluted)$0.46 $0.44 $1.86 $1.82Weighted average shares outstanding – basic 79,748 78,386 78,960 76,820Fully diluted weighted average shares outstanding 79,760 78,478 79,042 76,935

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