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February 3, 2014
Bethesda's New Icon
Carr Properties' 4500 East West Highway—Bethesda's first new downtown office building in over a decade—is taking shape fast. On Friday, we stopped by the building's topping out to get an update.
After thanking Clark's hardworking construction workers, Carr Properties' Bob Carr (right, with Carr CFO Barry Bass, Transwestern's Keith Foery, and Carr's David Chaconas) told us that 4500 East West is "the best building ever built in the city of Bethesda." The group also told us they're upbeat on leasing for the 220k SF building, which Carr is building on spec. Bob says 4500 East West's anchor could come from a base of law firms, financial groups, and other professional services firms Carr typically scores as tenants. Keith is handling leasing along with colleagues Phil McCarthy and Jovi McAndrew.
Shalom Baranes Associates designed the LEED Platinum pre-certified building, to be completed this summer. What's next? CC Newman, one of Clark's project managers on the building, says the glass skin will be placed as soon as possible. Bob says the building is the latest in a long line of Carr/Clark partnerships—it's the 39th the firms have worked on together over the years. (Between Lewis and Clark, Lois and Clark, and now Carr, people like pairings with Clarks.)
CC (flanked here by colleagues Steve Leary and Brian Abt) tells us she's excited to see 4500 East West's lobby finishes deliver, complete with stone imported from Portugal. (That keeps with the theme of east to west.)
Finmarc's Big Baltimore Trade
Bethesda-based Finmarc Management (and principals David Fink and Marc Solomon) unloaded one of its biggest Baltimore holdings, revealing last week the sale of 60-acre Port Covington Shopping Center just south of downtown for $35M. And the buyer's so secret, Finmarc doesn't even know the identity. (When this happens, we imagine it's billionaire Bruce Wayne or the Count of Monte Cristo.)
Here's the center's waterfront. The Finmarc guys told our Baltimore reporter that the site, anchored by Walmart (it also included a Sam's Club before that location shuttered in '08) has mixed-use potential, but that demand was never consistent enough to get anything started. The company has since started to diversify beyond retail; over the past 18 months, it's acquired or sold $279M worth of assets and seeks more investment ops in the Mid-Atlantic. We're not sure whether that number includes the purchase of a nine-building Gaithersburg portfolio from First Potomac, which news broke of moments ago.
GMU & AIA|DC: Micro Goes Maxi
Small is going to be big, predicts Robert Wulff, director of George Mason University's Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship (CREE). That's why CREE and the DC chapter of the American Institute of Architects have partnered to organize a one-day conference on the design and development of micro-units in the national capital region. On Feb. 26, experts from architecture, real estate, government, and finance will convene at AIA|DC's downtown HQ to explain the potential for micro-unit apartments through topics like demographics, financing, regulatory barriers, and case studies from DC and San Francisco where micro has already taken hold. Learn about this micro trend before it goes big in DC. RSVP for our sponsor's event here.
CREW DC members sharpened up their culinary chops last week, as the org hosted a cooking class at CulinAerie on 14th Street. Snapped here rolling up the sleeves: CBRE's Kathy Allgier, SunTrust's Barb Mackin, Herman Miller's Barbara Rothmell, and Monument Realty's Bethany Allen.
Cassidy Turley's Jayne Shister whips up a fiery batch of apples flambe. (We think that's what's happening.)
DC Leads VT
If you've spent enough time around DC, you know that Virginia Tech alums have a big presence. And a big chunk of the alumni base are in real estate, too, like the ones pictured here at a recent function celebrating VT's new undergrad real estate major. Here are Eastdil's Collins Ege, VT's Rosemary Goss (associate director of the program), JBG's Leslie Ludwig, CBRE's John Kerr, Transwestern's Gerry Trainor, VT's Kevin Boyle (head of the VT RE program), and Eller Group's Wade Eller. Gerry (a member of the program's advisory board with Collins, Leslie, John, and Wade) tells us over 160 VT alums in real estate attended the event, held in Arlington.
Repositioning Event: New Date!
We've set a new date—March 6—for the Repositioning Office & Other Assets event that the elements interrupted a few weeks ago. Join us for this special lunch event, where we'll present Chip Akridge with a Bizzy as well as hear Chip's take on restoring the National Mall. Sign up!
San Francisco keeps pouring it on. Congrats to Boston Properties, which just topped out this sleek spec 27-story tower at 535 Mission, probably the hottest street in the city. Although it's in the "brick and timber" low-rise old industrial area of SoMa that's become so popular with the tech set, glassy new high-rises like this are going up all around as well.
Nearby on Mission, this is the core of a tower that's been done for a new Salesforce building developed by West Coast powerhouse Kilroy.
This is the current tallest building in SF, the iconic TransamericaPyramid built in 1972. It's 853 feet—compared with the new Boston Properties/Hines Transbay Tower that is underway near the other BP property and will rise more than 200 feet higher.
It comes with topiary (we think that's the SAT word we once learned) that echoes its shape. No idea whether that will be in vogue when Transbay delivers in 2016.