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November 7, 2007


Big shout-out to new sponsor SIGAL Construction. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, SIGAL recently completed GWU's Monroe Hall, Woodland Pointe for Tishman Speyer, and the downtown Palm Restaurant's interior renovation.

And who is this beautiful family? We joined more than 1000 partygoers Saturday night at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Breath of Life Gala at the National Building Museum, which bestowed its biggest honor, the 2007 Hitchcock Humanitarian award, on developer Douglas Jemal. Below, he celebrates with his kids: Sally, Norman, Kim, and Monette. The event was slated to raise $3M but was bumped up to a record breaking $3.3M when Douglas junked his acceptance speech, said "I never do what I'm supposed to do," and re-opened the live-auction, pledging to match additional donations, which he did.

No, it's not a prom night picture below, young and glamorous though this group looks. These are Douglas' real estate supporters, who came out in force: Carr Properties' Oliver Carr and wife Bonnie, John and Jaye Schissel, and Christian and Allison Clifford; and Cassidy's Phillip Thomas and wife Mary Beth, and Spencer and Kit Stouffer.

On another family front, do you know what a big deal anniversary is coming up for the founding of Donohoe? Just think: before computers, cell phones, and even cars, there was a DC real estate company by the same name as today. The family-owned business turns a whopping 125 years old in a few months. We decided to catch them while they're still young and spry at 124 for the scoop on what they've been doing the last century.

For the record, Bert Donohoe, above left, and Tim Gallagher, right, have not been with the company since it began—only since 1983. It was actually Bert's great-great grandfather John F. Donohoe who started the company that initially specialized in residential; in the late 1940s they broke into commercial. There are seven Donohoes in the business today, including fifth-generation Bob Jr. and "Jad," who both started last year. Brothers and cousins--we can't keep track--and they're in development, construction, and services of all kinds. Now with 540 employees and 6M SF under management (it's close to 18M if you count facilities management) they call themselves the "Quiet Giant." And speaking of giant, we pulled it out of Bert that he is 6'8" and even played for JMU against Michael Jordan in the 1982 NCAA game where they lost to North Carolina 52-50. Another elite grad: Tim's son graduated from the Naval Academy in '03 and is now serving in Iraq as a Marine pilot.

Bert heads up DC brokerage and investment sales while Tim looks after Maryland/Virginia and oversees the company's hotel advisory group, which has brokered over $250M worth of hotels since its inception in 1990. Above they show us a 100th anniversary letter from Ronald Reagan that hangs on their Wisconsin Ave. office wall. They've leased over 900k SF of space this year to the likes of Sport and Health for 150k, Raytheon for 100k in College Park's River Tech building, and Fannie Mae for 415k. Their newest development will be a 200k SF office building at 1111 New Jersey Ave SE early next year. Bert and Tim explained that Donohoe is a long term holder: Tenants know the landlord and it will be the same company fixing the HVAC that leases the building. Case in point: Fox 5 has been a Donohoe tenant since 1966.

Reznick Group
SIGAL Construction
Arent Fox
Banner Associates
Buch Construction
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