• The majority of commercial real estate deals in D.C. are under 50,000 square feet.
  • The neighborhoods of NoMa, Southeast Waterfront and Southwest Waterfront are now attracting a host of businesses.
  • More businesses are downsizing, leasing smaller spaces to increase employee collaboration.

With a background that includes running CBRE’s DC office, Ernie Jarvis is well aware of the consolidation occurring within the commercial real estate sector and wants no part of it.

Jarvis recently announced the launch of Jarvis Commercial Real Estate, a full-service, hyperlocal brokerage that aims to be the opposite of global, publicly-traded real estate firms.

“A company of 100 brokers doesn’t feel personal anymore,” the fifth generation Washingtonian said. “When you grow to that size you dilute the value proposition, then you become a semi-giant. A lot of talented people don’t want to work in a global company.”

Jarvis doesn’t foresee his new firm growing beyond ten brokers and brokerage support staff, and anticipates serving a number of DC-based businesses and companies that prefer to work with a local firm.

“My premise is, if you’re moving to NoMa for 10,000 square feet do you really need a global firm that can do a deal in Singapore,” he questioned, adding most commercial real estate transactions in DC involve spaces of less than 50,000 square feet and local businesses. “The proposition that bigger firms are better simply isn’t true.”

DC commercial real estate trends

Jarvis is noticing several trends in the Washington, D.C. commercial marketplace, more companies leasing smaller spaces and companies setting up shop in neighborhoods that were undesirable ten years ago.

For his new office, Jarvis anticipates leasing a smaller space in a move to create a more collegial environment that encourages collaboration.

Following a billion dollars of commercial development by institutional groups, the neighborhoods of NoMa, Southeast Waterfront and Southwest Waterfront are attracting a host of businesses.

Creating hyperlocal brokerages in DC isn’t exclusive to the commercial sector. Recently Hans and Steve Wydler formed an independent residential brokerage, Wydler Brothers Real Estate. The brothers were previously with Mid-Atlantic-focused Long & Foster, which is said to have more than 200 sales offices and 11,000 sales associates.

Email Erik Pisor

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
We're giving away 3 free ICLV tickets at Connect Now next week. Register and attend live for your chance to win!REGISTER×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription