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May 2, 2008

We're excited with GGA Architects to be recognizing the Lerner Family on Tuesday evening as Visionaries of the Year; and also honoring real estate luminaries Fern Barrueta, Bruce Baschuk, Brian Coulter, Joe Fries, Michele Hagans, Ernie Jarvis, Douglas Jemal, Steve Porter, and Deborah Ratner Salzberg. More info.


Yesterday we joined Northern Virginia NAIOP as it burned rubber all over Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun Counties for its annual office property tour. A fleet of 9 buses packed with 450 real estate voyeurs wound its way through the NoVa suburbs, with those valiant police escorts again out in force making us feel like a Presidential motorcade.


The bus ride kind of reminded us of a school field trip. Just like the old days, the loud rowdy folks sat in the back and teachers up front. Well, in this case the teachers were called "bus captains" (here, Cassidy's Scott Goldberg and Spencer Stouffer, left and right, with Lincoln Properties' Doug McLearn in between), narrating the entire trip about every speck of office or industrial we passed.


NAIOP Chair Dave Birtwistle of Balfour Beatty, center, locks arms with ING guys (and event sponsors) Dean Rostovsky, Sam Baker, Jim Grant, and Craig Tagen.


At the trade show portion of the day, OPUS East's Scott Brody, Jennifer Gerber, and Matt Holbrook told us about Patriot Ridge in Springfield, their 5-building 1M SF Class-A office campus planned near Ft. Belvoir's Engineering Proving Grounds. Matt says they're rezoning now, but expect the first phase to deliver in 2011. Jennifer's all smiles for one more reason: She just got engaged.   


At Dulles Station for lunch, Vornado's Dave Sittler, Buchanan Partners' Kathryn Davis, Prince William County's Martha Schoonmaker, Meridian's Bruce Lane;  Northwestern Investment Management Company's Eric Ekeroth, Bill Norton, Joe Miller, and Ahmad Perry; and Vornado's Greg Byrnes. Eric says Northwestern is breaking ground on a 350k SF industrial warehouse project, Northwoods, next week out on Rt. 606.  


Crimson Partners' Christian Chambers, DBI's Kathryn Ciliberti, and WRIT's Dave DiNardo lead the lunchtime raffle. Christian said the 186k SF Dulles Station East just delivered in March, and Dave told us the 178k Dulles Station West finished up in Q3 '07. Dave also says WRIT is planning another 350k SF of office (with 6,000 SF of dedicated retail) in the area.


Yesterday, the Westin Reston Heights opened it doors!  Showing us how scissors work: Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Mark Looney, Crestline Hotels CEO David Durbin, Westin Hotels SVP Sue Brush and GM Sami Zeitoun, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' Cathy Hudgins, and JBG's Ken Finkelstein. The 191-room hotel sits on the grounds of a planned 16-building, 35-acre mixed-use JBG development at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Parkway.


Last night, we dropped by a Woodmark/Hagner reception in G-Town and thought the two merging groups might still array themselves on separate sides of a photo like at a high school dance, but turns out they're already best friends and just arranged themselves by height: Woodmark's Geoff Kieffer, Hagner CEO Bruce Baschuk, Woodmark's Alex Greene, Woodmark CEO Ed Beanblossom, and Hagner president Petch Gibbons.  


Also last night at the Woodmark reception, CBRE's Kate Ahearn and Allison Berry listen to CB master of the real estate game Joe Michael tell wild tales of his largest deals.


Earlier this week, it was ladies only at the Tysons Palm for Women and Wine III, the sold-out fundraiser which benefits breast cancer research at the Lombardi Cancer Center. We joined 200 gals honoring breast-cancer survivor (and Rand CEO) Linda Rabbitt, right, as recipient of the first Lombardi Spirit of Life Award, here with Brandywine's Janet Davis. 


Event co-chairs: Randi Schweitzer; Beers + Cutler's Barbara Schaefer McDuffie, Lombardi Director of the Clinical Breast Cancer Program Dr. Claudine Isaacs, Long & Foster's Molly Decker, and BB&T Wealth Management's Kirsten Brazley. Isaacs said fundraisers like this have made a difference: Mortality related to breast cancer has been going for past five years. 


The CREW Mid Atlantic Regional Conference hosted its own version of "Meet the Press" at the Gaylord Hotel the other day, featuring guest pontificators Mary Matalin and James Carville at the kickoff lunch, here with Monument's Bethany Allen and Tasha Stancill. Though Matalin and Carville traded barbs, both agreed that 1031 exchanges loom as the critical issue of the campaign.


***Don't forget to visit our Tent #30 on Members Hill at the Gold Cup on Saturday!

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