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December 29, 2008

A big shoutout to great sponsor K3 Construction that's had a big December: work for Customs and Border Protection in Quadrangle and Lerner buildings; for General Dynamics facilities in Fairfax; and phase 3 renovations at Georgetown Square Shopping Center in Bethesda, among other projects. K3 has twice the backlog going into '09 as it had in '08. Congratulations!


HSU Development works on landmarks, but that has its perils: their rehab of the West Wing was once delayed while Barney (yes, the dog) strapped on the "Barney-cam" for his annual holiday run through the White House. But that's not stopped the 60-person Rockville firm from also working on the press room there, or the Kennedy Center and Air and Space and American History museums.


We thought we recognized the HSU team's pose from somewhere, and then remembered this photo. Barry Saffer, Randy Fetter, Walter Hsu (who started the firm in '94), and Chris Bradford tell us  "personal relationships with answering machines" get them the first job, but once in the door, return offers come because clients trust their work (and know they have security clearances).


Another challenge occurred when Ben Stiller's filming of Night at the Museum 2 halted work at the Smithsonian. When installing fire protection at the National Zoo, each crew member had to be tested for TB so the animals wouldn't get sick. On that same job, work was called off whenever it rained because the apes refused to leave the ape house that was under construction.


No matter how solid their work, one caveat of construction in secure areas is: Publicity is difficult. Walter points out, "You can't really put a huge sign on the White House." But they stay on the radar with involvement in groups like the WBC and AGC, where Walter sits on the board. Apparently feeling his life lacks enough screaming adults, Walter also coaches his sons' soccer and baseball teams, also because he says it's never too early to market to future leaders.


Our friend Mark Levy from ProLogis stopped by our office last week and of course we made him sign in. His firm completed this year over 1.5 M SF of leasing including stabilization of two new projects at Dulles Airport, and continued the entitlement process on proposed new projects in Manassas and Aberdeen. He's expanded his geographic responsibilities to include the Hampton Roads market. And personally, he's working on a novel about a mid career professional caught up in the Wall Street meltdown (not, he assures us, an autobiography), and is spending the holidays traveling around the East Coast with an itinerary created and designed by his three children ages 4,6, and 9. Material for the next novel?  


Our friends at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center hosted their annual customer appreciation event in the dramatic Pavilion Room, which we like not just because it's crowned by a 54-foot-high center dome, but adds great color to our issue. Thanks to executive chef Xavier DeShayes, guests enjoyed organic ale from Maine, artisanal domestic cheeses, local, sustainable seafood, roasted tenderloin of buffalo, and slow roasted pheasant. Does that make your mouth water? You should all have your parties there. 


Speaking of food, no surprise that when DC's top restaurant attorneys gather to chat, it's at a restaurant. Tom Papadopoulos of Papadopoulos Properties (standing second from left), assembled the group at Mai Thai Restaurant last week for his annual holiday party. Back row: Stephen O'Brien, Tom, Bryan Ross, Papadop's Ralph Tapiero, and Andrew Kline. The 3 Wise Men (ie, sitting near the food): Dimitri Mallios, Benjamin Pelton, and Charlie Papadopoulos. What can a restaurant lawyer do for you other than help you sue if the soup's cold? Well, as general counsel for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, you can thank Andrew for pushing the legislation that extended last call to 4AM during Inauguration. Looking a bit past that, Tom says he's talking with well known restaurant groups from NY and LA about coming to DC and could finalize deals in 90-120 days.

Reznick Group
Cardinal Bank
GVA Advantis
Patriot Contracting
Reznick Group
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