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Chevy Chase Pavilion's New Look
February 22, 2013
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Chevy Chase Pavilion's New Look

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Last night, Clarion Partners unveiled its $32M renovation of Chevy Chase Pavilion in Friendship Heights, and we were on hand to track all the new bells and whistles. Comedian Chevy Chase wasn't there, but the phrase "retail leakage" was used... so we still got to laugh.

We snapped Mayor Vince Gray with Clarion's Marc DeLuca, Rob Greer, and Chuck Kemp at the grand re-opening. The mayor says Chevy Chase Pavilion is a prototype for the city's efforts to end retail leakage into Maryland and Virginia. Marc tells us the renovations (including transforming the building's atrium into a more circular shape) took 10 months. He's also thrilled with new concepts brought to the property like Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio's Range restaurant and cigar lounge Civil on the third floor.
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Cushman & Wakefield retail guru Dave Dochter (left), who's handling retail leasing with colleagues Matt Alexander and Hugo Gilbert, says there's a prime 30k SF anchor space available—perfect for another fashion retailer to complement the soon-to-open H&M and J. Crew. Here's David with Chuck, Cassidy Turley's Laura Rogers, and StreetSense's Eric Burka.

The renovated interior was designed by StreetSense, including a new, more vertical escalator setup (complete with LED screens, as seen on the right). The firm's Bruce Leonard tells us the design tried to simplify what was before a complicated outlay.

Here's the StreetSense gang responsible for the cool design: Jeff Pollock, James McCandless, Marc Ratner, Nadia Aviles, Eric, Gabby Philippon, David Pilkenton, JC Schaub, Bruce, and Gabby Rojchin.

Douglas Buys Takoma Property

An affiliate of Douglas Development has purchased the former Washington Theological Union building for $17.5M, according to public record. In a letter posted on WTU's website, chief academic officer Anne McLaughlin says the transaction officially closed last Friday. The property, located at 6896 Laurel St. NW, sits three blocks from the Takoma Metro station.

Heating Plant Sale Continues!

The GSA auction of the Georgetown West Heating Plant just doesn't want to end, as bidding has been extended again until 12:32 PM tomorrow. (Our eBay strategy of waiting til the last second wouldn't work here.) Bids keep rising, though, as the latest winning wager is up to $11.7M. Do you have any interesting ideas on what the winner should do with the property? Email your comments to chris.baird@bisnow.com.

John Stewart: From Engineer to CRE Whiz

Many of DC's top CRE pros fell in to the industry unexpectedly. Minshall Stewart Properties co-founder John Stewart was a chemical engineering major at Widener. After deciding to get an MBA at U. Chicago, he found a position doing workouts for foreclosures and bankruptcies at GE Capital ignited his real estate fire. And after working in the industry for several years, John realized he had the tools for a successful real estate career. "My skill set was better for creative acquisitions," he says, which led him to join Werner Minshall in creating Minshall Stewart. Here's John (right) with Greenwich Group International's Peter Witham at the 2008 Tour de France (more on that in a bit).

2175 K
John says his firm, which has acquired over 3.9M SF of commercial space (including 2001 L Street downtown, most recently), is unique since it offers institutional-level management of real estate yet remains entrepreneurial—working with high-level players like JPMorgan, Heitman, and Angelo Gordon on acquiring value-add and adaptive re-use assets in the DC Metro. Take 2175 K St (above), which the firm just sold in December. After acquiring in '07 with partner JPMorgan, the partners added three floors to the building (home of the Embassy of the EU) and completed a Class-A renovation while the building was still fully occupied.

Monte Carlo- Paris '08 101
Out of the office, John's a serious cycling enthusiast and even got involved with sponsoring the Garmin cycling team in the 2008 Tour de France. He attended the event, got to ride in the team car (that's him waving) and followed stages from a helicopter during the race. While he no longer sponsors the Garmin team, he's still involved in the sport, committed to an under-19 team based in DC that's also sponsored by Cycle Life USA, BMC and Hincapie Sportswear.

WRIT Salutes Brokers

Last night, WRIT held a broker appreciation dinner at Wolfgang Puck's The Source, honoring the super agents that helped the REIT close over 250 deals in 2012. Snapped here: CBRE's Brad Wilner with WRIT's Tom Morey and Phil Dickinson. (Not pictured: Delicious food, as it had already been consumed.)

Also on hand: Cushman & Wakefield's Peter Rosan, Scheer Partners' Nate Crowe, and Colliers' Keith Lavey.

This Morning in LA

This morning in LA, our publisher snapped this of City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel and Bisnow director of Southern California Operations Frank Sanchez. Wendy is currently leading in the polls for mayor, making her the first woman with a realistic chance of leading Los Angeles. Frank has a realistic chance of surfing this weekend.

Email your Oscar picks to chris.baird@bisnow.com

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