July 12, 2011
Mark R. Keller
Edge Fund Advisors
5301 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 740
Washington, D.C. 20015
The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Metropolitan Washington, awarded the prestigious TOBY Award in the 250,000 499,999 square feet category to 1625 Eye Street. In addition, we were also awarded the Grand TOBY Award; awarded to the building with the highest points scored of all entrants! The 1625 Eye Street team worked very hard for this achievement. The comments by the judges say it all:
The judges received a warm welcome and gracious introductions by the management staff of the winner in this category. They were clearly ready for the challenge of presenting their building's many exceptional features, and the enthusiasm and pride were palpable. A dynamic presentation and tour, led by the confident property manager, highlighted the team's excellent organizational skills and seamless operation. Every base was covered on the inspection by knowledgeable and prepared staff in all departments, from security to janitorial through engineering, headed by a chief who had what was described as, quote, an "awesome knowledge of the building's history". All the required information and documents were readily available, making for a tour that was, as one judge put it, 'A breeze!" The judges marveled at a lobby they described as "beautiful, expansive and inviting". They enjoyed visiting the incredible roof deck with a panoramic view, and saw, quote, a "magnificent top floor tenant build- out". Learning about the significant community impact programs, an impressive use of great technology and conscientious environmental efforts, rounded out a terrific tour of the property.
The TOBY Awards program was created in 1985 by BOMA International. The program is an international competition that recognizes properties that exemplify superior building quality and excellence in office building management; in fourteen different categories based on size and facility type. The award is bestowed as the highest mark of excellence for office building management and is the most all-inclusive program in the commercial real estate industry.
In order for a building to be eligible to enter into the TOBY competition, the building must meet the following eligibility requirements: 1. The building must be at least 3 years old from the date of occupancy of the first tenant. 2. At /east 50% of a building's space must be used as office space to be considered. 3. Each building may enter in only one category, the categories include: under 100,000 square feet, 100,000 - 249,9g9 square feet, 250,000 - 499,999 square feet, 500,000 - 1 million square feet, over million square feet, Corporate Facility, Earth, Government Building; Historical Building, Industrial Office Park, Medical Office Building, Renovated Building, Suburban Office Park - Low Rise and Suburban Office Park - Mid Rise. 4. All TOBY entries are required to be Energy STAR benched-marked. 5.Submit an application and pay entrance fee per building.
Participants are judged on the effectiveness of their overall management in 11 categories, some of the categories include: community impact, tenant relations, energy management, emergency preparedness and training for personnel.
The competition consist of three levels, The competition begins at the BOMA local association level. At the local level, all facets of a building's operations are thoroughly evaluated during the judging process via an on-site inspection. The visiting TOBY judges, a select group of property management professionals, evaluate the following areas for judging purposes: Entrance/Main Lobby, Security, Management policies/procedures/expense controls, Staff training/designations, Community Impact, Elevators, Multi-Tenant Corridors, Restrooms, Stairwells, Typically Tenant Suite, Roof, Parking Facilities, Landscaping/Grounds, Refuse Removal Area and Tenant Amenities. One building in each of the qualifying categories is awarded 'Winner" upon attaining a minimum score of 75% or higher. The winners are announced and honored at an elegant luncheon celebration. Each winner receives a beautiful glass award and gives a short. acceptance speech. The Grand TOBY Winner receives a rendering of the their building in addition; to the award. The local winners advance to the regional level.
At the regional level, local winners compete with other buildings from the Mid-Atlantic region. The competition differs, in that all information pertaining to building's operations is submitted via an electronic submission process through BOMA's website. Regional winners are announced each year at the BOMA International Winter Business Meeting (January 2012). Regional winners then compete against properties from around the world in the International competition through the same electronic submission that they entered for the regional competition. The International TOBY Award winners are announced each year at the BOMA International Conference (June 2012).
There are many benefits to entering a building into the TOBY competition, The benefits include: owner recognition, garner recognition of management team's hard work and dedication, recognition from colleagues and other industry professionals, improves building's marketability, tenant retention and creates new opportunities and unlimited public relations opportunities.
In conclusion, the work involved to present a building for the TOBY competition is quite laborious, but well worth the effort. The sense of camaraderie, pride and loyalty in the building staff, tenants and service providers has been incredible. We are thrilled and honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award. This award recognizes not only the building, but the way it is managed and is an excellent testament to our employees' hard work and dedication The process has been a bonding experience for the entire team and we hope to make a strong showing at the regional level and progress to the international level. I am very proud of the 1625 Eye Street team for all of their hard work and effort they put into this process. It's an honor to manage a building that's recognized as "one of the best."