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February 22, 2008

Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze:  Next Friday, Feb. 29, with Jon Peterson, heading the Peterson Companies' stunning creation of National Harbor. (Note: This event will be at the Tower Club in Tysons, not the usual City Club.) Big thanks to great sponsors Clark Construction and WDG Architecture. Sign up here!


We've heard a lot about CIM-a co-investor in many high profile projects around here. They fly under the radar, but we followed the scent of Quartermaine coffee and tracked them down in their Bethesda Avenue offices. We're not kidding:  principal Charlie Garner, left, loves being near his favorite coffee place, although colleague Matt Wexler appears happy to be near normal vending machines. They co-invest with JBG and Brookfield in Waterview; with JBG in the Marriott Wardman Park; with Marc Dubick in Lionsgate, Rockville Town Center and a new land venture; with Lowe and Bundy in CityVista; and with Ross Development in 4900 Fairmont. No, they're not also addicted to those M&M's behind him-just keep them on hand for frequent visitor Dubick, who is.


The firm was started in LA back in '93 and has 150 employees there, with 12 here in DC (Charlie opened the office in '03). Their total portfolio is 22 million SF and $5.6B, and they have quite a warchest still available: a big Opportunity Fund III with $2.4B fully discretionary equity, a private REIT with $1B left to invest, and a $200M infrastructure fund. They're eager to find more unban infill and transforming investments from NoMa and Mt. Vernon to Bethesda's Woodmont triangle and downtown Rockville.


We stopped into a WIRRE event last night at Maggiano's Chevy Chase. Despite the fact that stands for Women in Retail Real Estate, there were plenty of men in attendance for the panel on going green in retail. Above, White Star Investment's Reuben Bajaj and Craig Bernstein, Holland & Knight's Lauren Rabbitt, SMG Advisors' Sydne Garchik, and H&K's Kate Bagwell and Chris Price. White Star takes more than an academic interest in the subject:  They tell us they're about to redevelop the Loudoun Valley Shopping Center in Purcellville:  demolishing 65k SF and recreating a "trophy" 80k in retail and 30k in office to deliver in 2010. (Phil Ruxton of KLNB was also on hand; he'll be their leasing broker.)  As for H&K, we assume they let their lawyers off only on condition they consider the dinner their "lunch."


Yesterday at Capital Grille in Tysons, we joined Buch Construction's Carl Buch, left, for lunch with Orr Partners' David Orr. Dave showed admirable restraint getting just a salad, since he must have worked up quite an appetite in the hours before doing another daring solo (roundtrip from Leesburg to Hagerstown) as he advances toward his pilot's license. As for Carl's firm, fresh from its triumph as general contractor of the Chevy Chase Bloomingdales, it just finished erecting the structural steel at the 160k SF Leed Silver Milestone Business Park in Germantown being developed by Trammell Crow. Little Known Fact We Learned:  Carl's dad and grandfather did the first mockup of what's now the subway back in 1968 while working for Skinker and Garrett Builders-in other words, the Buch family's been building a long time.

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