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March 24, 2008

Happy 11th birthday to ONCORE Construction! Now doing $70 million a year over 400 employees, ONCORE's been awarded 6 new jobs in the past month with a value of $45 million!  


Beyer Blinder Belle just won a History Channel-inspired competition, City of the Future, where the object was to imagine what DC would look like in 2108. The 40-year old architecture firm, with 170 professionals in NYC and DC (which has restored Grand Central and Harlem's Apollo Theatre, and created Princeton's new campus plan and the Shanghai Cultural Center) was challenged like seven other teams to create a futuristic DC plan within a week.

Hany Hassan, the head of the BBB's DC office, showed us renderings of the vision, which was to propose that the city be completely self-sufficient and environmentally stable. Towers built on former Civil War forts would serve as centers for wind harvesting, solar energy production, and hydroponic farming.  Reached for comment, General Ulysses Grant said he was in favor of the moves but, "as of this time," the Union Army is still waiting for the French to deliver solar powered canons.


They even converted the grassy space on the Mall into a waterway. By allowing the natural course of Tiber Creek to wind into it, and expanding the Mall to the east, they connected the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Hany, who says BBB has an ongoing contract with the Smithsonian for renovation projects, is keen to find out what it thinks. But where will they put the merry-go-round, and will there be popcorn vendors in the world of the future?


Hany got kind of hooked on the project; over the weekend he met with Duke, Cleveland State, and Catholic U engineering students to analyze the plans for present day implementation. Hey, maybe Eleanor Holmes Norton can "earmark" the money for it. But can Mayor Fenty wait 100 years for the groundbreaking?

Hany started the DC office in 2000 and "built it one person at a time."  Now, with a staff of 36, high profile projects include the Lowe's residential addition to the Washington Hilton and JBG's Central Place in Rosslyn.  BBB's first foray into the DC market was the renovation of the DC Court of Appeals, above.  Contractor Hensel Phelps is set to deliver the project in Spring '09, renovating the historic 1820s courthouse, and adding a below-grade ceremonial courtroom and new glass jewel box entrance on Judiciary Square.


Hope you all had a swell Spring Break.

Good News:  Four days of perfect skiing weather in Deer Valley.
Bad News:  Spent most of it in hospital room getting femur fixed.

Here is rare footage of Bisnow’s dramatic spill (at second 15):    


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