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November 10, 2008

Next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: Trends in Real Estate Investing, with ING’s Marc DeLuca, Carlyle Group’s Hayden Jones, and Meridian Group’s Bruce Lane. BLT Steak, Thursday, Nov. 20. Special thanks to Katten Muchin Rosenman, Group Goetz Architects, and Forrester Construction. Sign up here!


On Saturday, the only place to be was the Builders’ Ball at the National Building Museum. A delicious, endless buffet kept everyone content while performers on stilts, in hula hoops, and dressed as potted bushes (poking unsuspecting passersby) kept them entertained. It all translated into $250,000 raised for three local charities and the Washington Architectural Foundation.


The museum was divided thematically with the appropriate foods in each section. To the left, “Fire” (spicy steak, andouille, Thai firecracker noodles and the like). To the right, “Water” (mussels, cold cuts, cool cheeses). The Water also included a full oxygen bar, filled with a variety of flavors, in case the dancing left you gasping for air.


Builder’s Ball Chairman Darrel Rippeteau, second from right, with family: Maison, Caroline, Judy, and Hall Oster (Caroline’s fiancé). The first ball was in ’96 and has always been a collaboration among real estate associations that otherwise find themselves competing on the business end. Darrel tells us planning started 14 months ago and included RFP’s to select the charities. This year, Covenant House, the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, and Perry School received large checks (literally and figuratively).

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JBG’s Mike Kearney, KGD’s Chris Gordon, and National Building Museum president Chase Rynd, who’s thrilled, by the way, that the museum was selected to host the G20 economic summit on November 15. This is going to be big. Twenty heads of state coming together in what many say is a new “Bretton Woods” (the post-WW II meeting that established the IMF and World Bank). Chris, also thrilled about the meeting, is preparing by gazing off into the distance and trying to see Russia.


All rise for the royalty: Builder’s Ball Queen and King GTM Architects’ Barbara Magistro and WBA’s Terry Perry join Bell Boyd & Lloyd’s Joel Rubinstein and Larry Prosen with wives Judy and Laura. Larry is the current general counsel of the Builder’s Ball (and Joel is the former GC) so we were on our best behavior. The King and Queen were selected based on votes that cost $1 each. Barbara and Terry campaigned vigorously, and the competition raised $32,000.


Skanska’s Brennan McReynolds, Chuck Brawley, Jay Weisberger, and Turner’s Joel Causey. Joel tells us Turner’s working hard on the residential component of Wisconsin Place (432 luxury units) in Chevy Chase, due in June, and hoping to deliver it “early.” They’re also at work on the Martin Luther King Memorial in a JV with McKissack & McKissack, Gilford, and Tomkins, expected to wrap in ’10 at a cost of $100M. Chuck, who’s Skanska’s GM for the region, tells us they’ve wrapped the new 200k SF, $50M Camille Kendall Academic Center at UMd, an expansion of a Census Bureau facility in Suitland, and Lincoln Memorial Plaza.


Boland’s Lou Boland with wingmen Ed Geoghegan, left, and CBS’ Larry Reeves. Lou is happy to report their recent move from Rockville to Gaithersburg has gone smoothly.


Quynham-Tram Chiaramonte, right, president of the Chiaramonte Construction Company in DC with husband Frank, VP.  Tram came from Vietnam in the early 90s. They met at Montgomery College (he was taking Vietnamese language courses), and now their company will do over $14M in revenue this year, specializing in carpentry work on 50 DC schools.  They now also have four boys, ages 2, 4, 9, and 11.  “We don’t sub out,” they told us.  We think that’s referring to their professional work, not the kids. 


Capitol Riverfront’s Michael Stevens, Anacostia Economic Development Corp’s Mike Wallach, with wife Carol, Blake Dickson’s Karen Nelson, and Rippeteau’s Tricia McCrary combine their powers to toast Darrel Rippeateau. Darrel gave all his guests glowing rings to make them easier to find throughout the night.


Turner’s Todd Hansen, KGD’s Chris Gordon, and Trammell’s Aaron Evanson and wife Kymberly (who just came back from NY where their two year old son enjoyed running on the piano at FAO Schwartz).  We took this without flash in an effort to be artistic; squint if you need to see it more clearly.   


J Street’s Jay Bothwell with daughter Paige and wife Pam. It turns out the whole Builder’s Ball was a ruse. Saturday was also Paige’s 21st birthday, and everyone was actually there to celebrate her big day. At least, that’s the story we’re going with.


From the outside in: Environmental Design & Construction’s Peter Davidson and his wife Linda on the ends, EDC’s Dennis Garbis with daughter Korinna and wife Denise, and Aronson & Company’s Kathryn Schneider with husband (and US Army major) Jeff. Kathryn helped plan the ball but may have faced a bigger challenge last month when she (and Jeff) completed the Army Ten-Miler triathlon. We learned a lot about how to prevent chafing as you transition from water to bike, but we’ll resist going into details.


Davis Carter Scott’s Robert Atkinson, Davis’s Dennis Cotter, and FTI’s Pat McGeehin. We turned to Pat first because he’s a consultant, and we’re suckers for good advice. He tells us the tight economy has led more construction firms to ask for project audits to ensure they know exactly where money is going, especially if the project goes bad. Lots of “looking back so we can look forward.”


Otherwise well-dressed guests accepted looking hospitalized for a couple minutes to get that sweet taste of 100 percent air in their lungs. We say taste, and we mean it. Hook yourself up to this oxygen bar and breathe in flavors including cinnamon, orange citrus, peppermint, cherry, and more. Above, Davis Construction’s Jennifer Langley enjoys spearmint.

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