Interview with Mortimer Zuckerman, Founder of Boston Properties
What is your philosophy on real estate and the Washington market?
When my colleague and partner joined me, 11 months into the formation of Boston Properties, we had an agreement on a strategy, which we have tried to adhere to as best we can: We were going to have A buildings in A locations and A locations in A cities. Because we had always come to the conclusion that these kinds of buildings not only do the best in good markets, but do the best in bad markets. And if you’ve been through enough, you know there are always bad markets. And Washington was a very, very good market as far as we could tell. We have a huge position in Washington and in Reston [Va.].
How many buildings do you have in the Washington market?
We have somewhere around 4.5 to 5 million [square] feet between Reston and Washington. You can’t imagine what we are doing in Reston.
What are Washington’s real estate strengths?
Number one, there is a shortage of supply, primarily because there is a height limit. Number two, there is a shortage of really good supply because people tend to build fairly conventional buildings, and we have tried to do a lot better than that.
We believe, and have had the experience, that a lot of good tenants will go into the better buildings. And every building we have done there has been really a great success. Not so much because of us, although I think we cater to the right sector of the market, but because it’s a great market for office real estate and it’s a growing city. Washington itself has become much more of a dynamic, metropolitan area on its own, setting aside the government.