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December 5, 2008

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Six hundred and thirty fans of legendary developer Tom Buzzuto didn’t wait for the holidays to make merry Wednesday night at the National Building Museum, where ULI Washington conferred upon him its annual lifetime achievement award. For the record, Tom’s just precocious; he is obviously much too young for any recognition with the word “lifetime” in it.


So that Tom doesn't let his honors go to his head, we’ll call him the thorn between two roses here: his DC zoning lawyer Maureen Dwyer, managing partner of DC’s Pillsbury office, and architect Reema Gupta of Mancini Duffy. Maureen did two entitlements earlier this year for Bozzuto developments at 5th and New York. But recent travel is also their common denominator. Tom cruised the Nile last month with fellow board members of Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum (he recommends you all go see it), and Maureen did Thanksgiving in Paris. (Her difficult daily routine: pain au chocolat in the morning, charcuterie baguettes at lunch, dinner at Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, with vigorous walks in between along the Seine and through the Latin Quarter to work it off.) 


This table of luminaries told us they are baffled about the market anxiety they read of in the papers. They say as far as they can tell, lending spigots are wide open, new construction starts are booming, consumer confidence is soaring, stocks are going through the roof, and every day things are better than the day before.  (Yes, thank goodness some people still have a sense of humor.) Standing: Argo Development’s Richard Perlmutter, Foulger Pratt’s Morgan Doolittle, RCLCO’s Gadi Kaufmann, Scott Price, and Laura Cole, and Trammell Crow Residential’s Ron Terwilliger. Seated: Foulger Pratt’s Curt Morris, Brent Pratt, and Dick Knapp, and RCLCO’s Charlie Hewlett.


ULI Washington Chair (and Keane Enterprises CEO) Brian Cullen, standing center right, with Pulte’s Stan Settle, Keane’s Andy Shukra, PNC’s Carolyn Roberts, Kettler’s Asheel Shah and Buvermo Properties’ Laurey Millspaugh. Seated: Stanford Properties’ Andy Brown, JBG Rosenfeld’s Grant Ehat, JBG’s Pete Jervey, and PNC’s Bill Lynch. Congrats to Brian (and executive director Lisa Rother) on a great event.


Our friend Rusty Meadows, second from right, really stretched for an excuse last night to throw a heavily attended party at the Occidental—the claim is he’s stepping down at Perkins + Will.  Okay, maybe he’s no longer going to be managing partner, but he’s still hanging around and seems to us as active as ever. Except some of his activity this winter will be going to St. Barts and Park City. Anyway, here he and fellow real estate vet Joe Moravec make it look like gangster suits are back in, but whether they are or not, they are clearly getting moral support from the National Building Museum’s Char Taylor, Tomkins Builders’ George Kreis, and JBG’s John Simeon.  


Brian McVay, we can’t let you out of our sight for a minute, or look what you do!  Yep, on crutches for four weeks (with a “boot” to come), allegedly from some acrobatic tennis maneuver. Helping him stand  up for our picture: US Green Building Council COO (and former CFO for Ai) Chris Smith; Davis Construction’s Dennis Cotter (healed from his own foot issues and en route to Costa Rica, as usual); JLL law firm guru Tom Doughty, Kate Powell, RM Powell & Co’s Rick Powell, Perkins + Will’s Cathy Fawell, and Urban City Venture’s Jeff Epperson.


Yesterday afternoon, Golden Triangle BID director Leona Agouridis paid us a gracious visit, bringing a couple friends. We didn’t have the heart to tell her, but technically they would appear to be cardboard cutouts they’re using between now and the holidays to promote deals at shops and restaurants (see more at GoldenTriangleDC.com). The BID boundaries are 16th and 22nd, and DuPont Circle and the White House. Leona used to be an assistant GM at Metro and now has a staff of five to attract business and promote commerce for 600 firms in the area. Since we’re on Connecticut Avenue below Dupont Circle, that means us, so we were delighted to see her working so hard, although we wish that had been real wine

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