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2014 Virginia Legal Elite - Real Estate/Land Use

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Robert L. Dewey Photo by Mark Rhodes

Robert L. Dewey
Willcox & Savage PC, Norfolk

Title: Managing partner
Birthplace: Wilmington, Del.
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Delaware; law degree, University of North Carolina.
Spouse:  Jean
Children:  Kelly, Ryan and Conor
Hobbies:  I collect baseball autographs (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb). My first autograph was Pete Rose when he was a rookie and the only player signing at a game rained out. My favorites?  Pee-Wee Wanninger and Babe Dahlgren on the same card.  They are the player that Gehrig replaced and the player that replaced Gehrig, to begin and end his consecutive-game streak.
First job as a lawyer: Willcox & Savage — 32 years ago.
Fan of:  Philadelphia Phillies (very painful now)
Favorite vacation spot:  Stone Harbor, N.J. (where I worked 10 summers in the recreation department, three as the summer recreation director)
Recently read books: “The Blessings” by Elise Juska and “The Men Who United the States” by Simon Winchester
Career mentors:  Tommy Johnson, as a real estate attorney and as my predecessor as managing partner; and Toy Savage, both at my firm.  Also Jay Wilks, Dave Faggert, Tom Betz and Bob Ruloff — lawyers at other firms who, while on the opposite side of deals, made sure that the rookie didn’t slip up.

Is Virginia’s commercial real estate market being affected by cutbacks in federal spending?
The reduction of the federal government’s real estate requirements, whether by downsizing or otherwise, likely will result in an influx of vacant space in the commercial market.

Will an increase in interest rates have a major impact on the market?
Even a small increase in rates can impact a deal’s equity requirements and push some past the point of feasibility.  Rent increases can potentially offset this, but not all tenants can (or will) pay more rent simply because interest rates have moved.

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