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January 30, 2014
The industry was buzzingyesterday with news of Public Buildings Commissioner Dorothy Robyn's resignation. The former BRAC master had a run of successes since taking the job in late 2012. Can her (rumored) successor keep it going?
We snapped Dorothy at our Federal Property Summit last May, where she praised GSA's ability to get more efficient with some of its assets (including its 1800 F St HQ), but also lamented the lack ofup-front funding to improve space utilization for others. One reason Dorothy, a self-described policy wonk, may be leaving is because she's not able to implement policies as efficiently as she'd like; federal leasing expert Darian LeBlanc of Cassidy Turley tells us: "In today's GSA environment, I'm not sure that the PBS Commissioner's post is the best place from which to mount a policy shift, so I can see where Dorothy would become frustrated." (Though sometimes Barack Obama must feel the presidency isn't a great place to make policy changes either.)
OMB acting controller Norm Dong--left, snapped at the same event last year with Arent Fox's Jon Bouker--is said to be GSA director Dan Tangherlini's likely choice for the public buildings commish post. (Maybe the GSA was waiting to see where Masahiro Tanaka signed before making any personnel decisions.) Dorothy, who was instrumental in leasing the Old Post Office to the Trumps, as well as the auction sale of Georgetown's West Heating Plant, will stay on 'til March.
1100 16th Finds Buyer
Vacant to victory? It's worked multiple times for Rock Creek Property Group, which just sold its redeveloped 28k SF 1100 16th St to the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman for $16.5M, according to public record. (That's a little over $581/SF.) It comes a few months after Rock Creek sold 1438 U St, a vacant, redeveloped former nightclub, to the Republic of India. Rock Creek's Gary Schlager couldn't confirm the buyer or price, but he told us this morning the new owner gets a "gem of a property in a timeless location [16th and L] that will serve them well for 100 years." Though Gary couldn't comment on it, the Sultanate of Oman is expected to use the space as a cultural center, same as the Republic of India on U Street. (So much culture. Don't ever let your boyfriend say there's nothing to do in DC. Dude just doesn't want to pay for a date.)
1100 16th's "before picture." Gary says Rock Creek bought the property—a former charter school and once the site of the Benjamin Franklin University accounting school—in 2011 at a foreclosure auction, and with design and construction consultants OTJ Architects and Bognet Construction sought to incorporate its historic bones into a 21st century, efficient space. "It's much easier to tear down a building and start from scratch," Gary says, but renovating a historic property the right way can create a "much more special space that people really want to occupy."
More with Power Women
At Tuesday night's Power Women event, we caught up with one of the night's honorees, JBG's Leslie Ludwig, snapped with Orr Partners prez Scott Siegel. Scott says Orr Partners is providing project management services for JBG's The Galvan project at Twinbrook Metro, a Safeway-anchored mixed-use complex that should deliver by early 2015.
Power Women honoree Darlene Pope of CoR Advisors (second from left) was joined by Pritchard Industries' Nancy Payne and CoR colleagues Diane Slack and Jennifer Chugg. Diane and Jennifer tell us CoR is sponsoring the annual Building Energy Summit April 1 at the Reagan Building, featuring GSA director Dan Tangherlini.
McKissack & McKissack's Lisa Anders (third from right) and Victoria Norman (far right) were on hand to support honoree and colleague Deryl McKissack. They're snapped here with DC Housing Finance Agency's Denise Nelson, HHS' Genevieve Hanson, Hawthorne Hemlock's Dennis Baxter II, and Knoll's Craig Dean.
Baked by Yael's Yael Krigman and Jennifer de los Reyes were busy all night handing out their delicious cake pops--many attendees went back for seconds (ok, we did, too). The cake pops and Yael's other treats are available online.
Send Us Your Pick!
In between making that seven-layer dip or stocking up the cooler for Sunday, we're sure you loyal readers are making up your minds on whether Peyton Manning's Broncos or the Seahawks will win the big game. So tell us! Email Chris Baird with your pick (and why) and we'll publish answers tomorrow.