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November 5, 2008

Hope to see you all at the Builders’ Ball, Nov 8. Going to be a great time!  Only comes around every two years, so here’s how to get your tickets: Click here!


No, we don’t just mean Obama. We’re talking new, vibrant buildings downtown. Sure, it’s easy to write about developers not getting lending, but here’s the real man-bites-dog story: In the middle of it all, thank goodness, there are still examples of buildings going up—and getting tenants.


This is what you might call Douglas corner at 11th and F. Yes, Akridge, Dweck, and Quadrangle are nearby, but with the 2005-redeveloped Woodies across the street, the Atlantic Building at 950 F St., and other scheduled projects nearby (like 90k SF boutique office 1000 F St.), this neighborhood seems the epicenter of Jemal family development in an area once just known for Kemp Mill Records, kung fu studios, and Popeye’s. 1155 F Street, above, is 250k feet, combining several historic buildings and one all-new glass tower. And most of it already spoken for, with tenants able to start buildout next month for April move-in.


We snapped this yesterday of Norman and Matthew Jemal in the construction office. Douglas Development tells Bisnow it’s just signed Guess clothing out of LA for over 5k SF as an initial anchor retail tenant. The two got together with the help of Madison Retail’s Eric Rubin at an ICSC conference in New York this January. Also on the good news front, on Monday St. Louis law firm Bryan Cave announced it’s merging with Atlanta’s Powell Goldstein and bringing a combined DC-based 125 professionals to the building, where it had previously leased 88k SF for just itself. Two other law firms, Simpson Thatcher and Shook Hardy, have taken space, leaving 75k SF in office available and 15k retail. 


Norman and Matthew point to a Gaylord Hotel-like glass ceiling over the seven story atrium, uniting the buildings and bringing together terra cotta, exposed brick, glass, and bronze. Shalom Baranes and Pei Cobb Freed did the designs. 


Now you can see better what they were pointing at.

This is what the block used to look like.


Ah, we love artists’ renderings with all blue skies—clearly this is after the new president has been sworn in.


That’s what the Builders Ball, this Saturday, should be called. Tons of food, fun, and people, with proceeds going to three carefully selected local charities. More infoHere, 6-time chair Darrel Rippeteau, not just an architect but doodler, signing our office wall yesterday and deciding how many love beads to put on his highly unfair caricature of your humble publisher. 

Reznick Group
Builders' Ball
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Patriot Contracting
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