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November 6, 2008

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Last night, Forrester Construction used its 20th Anniversary to party with friends and show off "Founding Farmers," the much buzzed-about LEED Gold restaurant (DC's first!) it built at 19th and Penn. How does a restaurant go green? Try buying directly from local farmers, making tabletops from walnut extracted from nearby Harrisburg (minimizing fuel consumption), and reusing materials from a demolished barn in West Virginia. The food is all farmed sustainably, and, oh yeah, tastes great.


David, Rick, and Scott Forrester rushed to take this photo before the ice sculpture behind them (yes, it's real) melted, but they still conveniently lined up oldest to youngest (51, 49, 48—we're pretty sure that was on the record). Scott tells us in addition to marking 20 years of growth (now at 230 employees), they've just landed a $75M design build at the Navy Yard's Building 200. Looking ahead, word is it'll be a few years before another generation joins the team—the eldest of the bunch is Rick's 11-year-old son. We asked Rick if this bash was better than their 10th anniversary. Thing is, he couldn't remember that one, which, at least in the old days, meant it must've been pretty good.


Project Solutions Group's Mike Wolff in an enviable position between colleague Erin Figueroa and FOX Architects' Laura Morris. He's also in front of what we hear is a pre-Prohibition era style bar (we think that has to do with how they mix the cocktails). Laura was not one of those partying in front of the White House on Election Day, as her allegiances lie elsewhere, but for friendlier holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we're told she heads to the family's colonial home (built in 1856) in Rappahannock County. FOX, by the way, just completed a build-out for Boland's new 60k SF headquarters in Gaithersburg. It's a beautiful location, but Laura doesn't plan on spending any holidays there.


K & G Project Management's Jennifer Olson and Selva Gunenc flank Ezra Company's Jonathan Harms, with Studley's Olivia Millar and Adam Brecher on the right. Imagine our delight when, just as Jennifer was telling us she's helping the National Wildlife Foundation move to 901 E St, Jonathan chimed in to let us know he's the broker on that deal. Double sourced, so we had our work done and could try the bountiful seafood buffet! Oh, the details: Owner Pew Charitable Trusts will occupy three floors, but the rest will be leased only to associations, including the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.


We interrupted DC Dept of Small & Local Business Development's Antonio Hunter and Gelberg Signs' Luc Brami, who were playing our favorite party game "How'd You Get Invited?" Turns out, both know Forrester through the same project—DC Public Schools and DOES. Antonio's office helped Forrester procure local contractors, and Luc is, you guessed it, a local contractor, who landed a $170,000 sub-contract at those sites.


Rick earns a second photo because this time he's joined by girlfriend Natalie Korytnyk, a psychologist and GW professor. (Rick, don't let this exemption get to your head—you're just a prop in our photo.) On the ends, Martinez & Johnson Architecture's Jim Kane and Gary Martinez. Gary's firm specializes in performing arts centers, and he tells us they've started the restoration of Howard Theater with owner Ellis Development. Due in 2010, it's the oldest African-American theatre in the country, even older than the legendary Apollo. In his off time, Gary whitewater kayaks year-round. We trust in the winter, it's in a warmer place.


And congrats to Gary on winning Bisnow's first annual Lou Diamond Phillips look alike contest.


Also last night, we went to a reception at GW for its "Real Estate Alliance," a group of alums in the (you guessed it) real estate field, which heard a panel on current issues like Square 54, the Campus Plan, and sustainability. Above, financial adviser Scott Lutz (both a CPA and attorney) with GW Associate VP for real estate Alicia O'Neil and colleagues Amy Argasinski and Eric Selbst. Alicia succeeded Sherry Rutherford (whom many of you know is now filed under "Krokowski, Mrs. Bill") about 18 months ago, and tells us that "controlled blasting" at Square 54 will be done by the end of the week. We think this means they'll have dug the 50-foot hole needed for five levels of below-grade parking (1000 spots). As exciting as that is (and the explosives get a police escort to the site every morning), Eric says the big thing he did yesterday was stand in line at a newsstand for a Post Special Edition on the election.


Jones Lang's Kriszen Williams, Legum & Norman CEO Mike Shehadi, and WMATA Realty specialist Cynthia Jachles. Technically, Mike's not CEO anymore, we just sort of use it as an honorific like an ex-ambassador would get. Two months ago, he sold the property management business to Associa and, if you can't tell just looking at that smile, has been spending a lot of time since in Florida.

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