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July 23, 2008
 
       
 
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DEFEATING
SEA MONSTERS

A BIG welcome to our newest sponsor Matan Companies. They're redefining Frederick Class A office space with the Nov '08 delivery of 126k SF RiversideFive. Welcome aboard! See ad to right.


 

The headline refers to what the Greek hero Perseus was known for. But that's ancient history. Today, Woody Bolton of Perseus Realty likes to say his company is known for perfect diversification: "We have one of everything: apartments, condos, commercial, and hospitality." While that may be simplified, when Woody and Bob Cohen formed the company in 2004, it was to concentrate on re-positioning existing product, but after four years the now 13-person firm focuses primarily on ground-up development and has over 1.4M SF in the pipeline or under construction in the Washington area.

 

We visited Perseus' Penn Ave offices this week; Woody was holding down the fort, with Bob in California and Colorado. Next month it's Woody's turn to head out (to Nantucket with family), and Bob's turn to stay put. Here Woody shows us plans for 14W, a mixed use redevelopment of the historic Anthony Bowen YMCA (first African-American Y in the US), incorporating five restored row houses along 14th St. In addition to cool new athletic facilities, pool, and child care, Perseus is adding 231 apartments, 12k SF of ground floor retail and 170 parking spaces. The project, designed by HOK and Davis Carter Scott, is out for bid, and will officially break ground September 26.

Vastu
 

Fortunately we had another picture of Bob handy, so it would look as though he is actually working this week: Here Bob and Woody flank renowned artist and Georgetown resident Mindy Weisel in front of a rendering of Redland Corporate Center Phases II and III in Rockville. Mindy designed the lobby artwork and large-scale glass sculpture soon to grace the Redlands courtyard. The LEED certified 350k SF spec office sits in front of a 13-acre forest preserve that buffers the site from the usual things you'd expect being right off I-270 and a stone's throw from Metro and Shady Grove restaurants. The buildings topped off in June and should deliver 2Q '09.

 

We pulled some of the Perseus team members into the lobby for a shot: Steve Schwendinger, Diane Dickson, Gabrielle Kornely, Mark Adamo, Joan Smith, Tonya Steele, Jill Homan and Melissa Calmes. Perseus' 1 Hotel, part of Starwood's new green brand, is currently out to bid with Tompkins; it'll be DC's first LEED certified hotel and replaces the former Nigerian Embassy at 22nd and M in West End. On the residential side, The Argent, Perseus' 96-unit condo development a block from the Metro in Silver Spring, is set to deliver in March. Woody tells us it's the only project of its kind delivering in '09 in all of Montgomery County.

 

We couldn't resist including this last pic of Bob allegedly at the Argent topping off lunch a few weeks ago. It looks to us more like he was at a karaoke bar singing Neil Diamond.


SED CENTER GETS NEW HOME

 

We stopped by Boston Properties' new 9th St office the other day to learn about a pro-bono project that's getting a Who's Who of real estate passionately involved. The Spanish Education Development Center (SED), a local non-profit offering adult English classes, GED prep, and bilingual daycare, is set to move. It'll go from 1840 Kalorama Rd to Petworth, where it will triple its space thanks to BP regional head Ray Ritchey, right, who found it an old art deco warehouse (formerly Hahn Shoe) at 4110 Kansas Ave. Others helping out: BP's Pete Otteni and Jon Kurtis, SED's Martha Egas and Jose Gonzalez, Pillsbury Winthrop's Soha Mody, and DLA Piper's Bryant Richardson. Other sponsors include CBRE, DC United, Arnold & Porter, Goulston & Storrs, Jones Lang LaSalle, and Beers & Cutler.

 

Maybe most impressive is a huge donation from Clark to cover the bulk of construction costs; the Clark team working on SED includes Nickesha Anderson, Dennis Darling, Lindsay Mott, Kevin Roach and Mick Mizell. Renovation on the site begins the last week of this month with an October grand opening. BP is also donating $500k, but Ray tells us SED needs to raise another $500k to cover soft costs. Click here for more info.

 

Also working on the SED: Hickok Cole's Dana Mathews, Sean Wayne, Mike Hickok, Gavin Daniels, and Yolanda Cole.   


PILLAR OF SOCIETY!

 

Last night we ran into DC Preservation League trustee Jackie Corbett at the housewarming for a turn-of-the-century (that would be 1900 we're talking about, not 2000) bungalow in Cleveland Park. This is our excuse to point out that the annual DCPL membership pow wow and party will be on September 18.  More info


REAL ESTATE'S MT. RUSHMORE

 

Washingtonian Magazine, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Junior Achievement have announced the laureates for their great their Hall of Fame dinner December 2, and we're delighted that it includes not just one but two of our community legends: Rand Construction founder Linda Rabbitt and Peterson Companies founder Milt Peterson (who'll share the stage with Capital One founder Rich Fairbank, Washington Post Chairman Don Graham, and Ourisman auto magnate Mandy Ourisman). As a former chair of this event (2002—when we inducted Jim Clark), your humble publisher highly recommends it. In recent years it's recognized other illustrious real estate figures like Dave Reznick, Chip Akridge, Ted Lerner, Frank Saul, and Herb Miller, as well as bringing together figures from all industries and geographies.  More info

 
 
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