If you don't see images, click here to view
Story Ideas  Events 
     |      Forward to a Friend
To ensure delivery, please add mark@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Real Estate Bisnow
LegalTechAssociationWomenMedicalThe Scene
November 11, 2008

Big shout-out to great sponsor ONCORE Construction. They were just awarded the Residence Inn at Hunt Valley, which is another infinity hybrid concrete frame project that saves owners money. Visit their new website and click on the concrete bucket, you’ll be surprised. See ad to the right for more details.


The secret to finding a good story is to interview someone with lots of signage around town. With Obama unavailable (Biden said yes, but we didn’t have all day), we tracked down contractor Gerry Sigal, whose name is on current renovations at the top-drawer Jefferson and Four Seasons hotels. We always knew Gerry was a class act, but this proves it.


The Four Seasons, Washington’s only Mobil 5-star, remains open during its $40 million makeover, due for completion in early January. Four Seasons Regional VP/GM Christian Clerc, Director of Engineering Tony Savage, and Gerry lead the effort. Under the direction of Sowinski Sullivan Architects, 11 new rooms and suites were added to the West Wing, including a 4k SF Royal Suite designed by Anderson Miller Ltd. The Royal suite goes for $12,500/night and has been booked for $15k per day during inauguration. If it seems like the hotel was only recently renovated, that’s because 151 rooms in the East Wing were spruced up in ‘06. To keep the hotel running smoothly while under construction, a $250k temporary lobby was erected. In the picture above, it appears that Gerry must have accidentally walked away with the critical list of which guests require hourly delivery of blue M&Ms.


We caught Gerry looking at blueprints (or is that the table rankings?) for the new Michael Mina restaurant, Bourbon Steak, due in mid-December. Jonathan Nehmer and Associates is designing the restaurant and lobby, assisted by interior designers David Rockwell and Pierre-Yves Rochon. Seasons Restaurant will still be open for breakfast, lunch, and private events, though getting a state-of-the-art kitchen, marble bar, and mercury glass-wrapped ceiling beams.


Did you know Mobil’s Five-Star criteria are confidential? Hotels have no knowledge of when judging takes place (only that it’s annually) or what judges are looking for. We asked Christian for a wild guess on what makes them a cut above, and he cited their “intuitive service” that reacts to a customer’s needs.  It doesn’t hurt their rep that heads of state choose them when the pillows at Blair House aren’t fluffy enough. Above, Tony, Christian, Sigal’s Stacey Coughlin, Four Seasons’ Liliana Baldassari and Gerry do what we think is a great impression of 5 stars.


Gerry doubled as chauffeur and drove us to the Jefferson. Along the way we learned this marks his 31st year in construction. We can only imagine that caddying around the Bisnow team is exactly how this Brooklyn native envisioned all his hard work paying off. Gerry’s team has purposely diversified in recent years; they are currently upgrading the parking garage at National Airport, building the natatorium for Wilson High School in DC, and handling 1.7M SF of tenant work this year alone.


At the Jefferson, we grew our crew: Superintendent Kevin Nenno, second from left, and Managing Director Franck Arnold, right. They’re overseeing the total gutting, which began with restoring the historic façade. Franck tells us the renovation of all 100 units, including a 1900 SF presidential suite, will finish in mid ’09. An adjacent townhouse was acquired to increase accommodations. All public spaces are getting a new look, including the restaurant, lounge, and terrace for cigars and cognac. ForrestPerkins and Oehrlein & Associates are architects.


The renovation will preserve original wood floors and 1940s terra cotta tiles. The Jefferson was built in the 20’s and remained residential until 1955, and for a time in the 80’s it was owned by famed DC trial lawyer Edward Bennett Williams. Its list of recent long-term residents, even when it was a hotel, includes former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Or is that the future Treasury Secretary?


Showing us the presidential suite, it appears hotel head Franck Arnold sees Bush packing up at the White House down the block and perhaps needing a suitable new place to say.


Okay, folks, you asked for it.  The Week in Review, as we attempt to apply our written style to video. Should we be so foolish as to do more?  Let us know what you think about it.

Total Engineering
Silver Companies
Advertise with Bisnow
CONTACT EDITORIAL                             CONTACT ADVERTISING                              CONTACT GENERAL INFO

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe at bottom of the newsletter. ? 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036. All rights reserved.

| Subscribe | Forward to a Friend
Arlington Economic Development Arlington Real Estate Showcase Registration The JBG Companies Monday Properties