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November 17, 2008
 
       
 
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GIVING BACK

Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: Latest Market Trends, with gurus Marc DeLuca (ING), Hayden Jones (Carlyle Group), and Bruce Lane (Meridian Group). This Thursday, Nov. 20. Thanks to great sponsors Katten Muchin Rosenman, Group Goetz Architects, and Forrester Construction. Sign up here!


 

You want a heart-warming story? Here we are in the throes of recession, and what are some of Washington's top real estate players doing with their time? Building a state-of-the-art education facility with a variety of social services for underprivileged Hispanic children and adults in Petworth. They've contributed $2.6 million already in cash and kind and are seeking to raise $400k more via a Shop 'Til You Drop website.

 

We snapped this at 4110 Kansas Avenue, a 24k SF former Hahn Shoe warehouse that's been under reconstruction since August. The cause is SED, the Spanish Education Development Center. And it takes a village to do it: generous volunteers from Boston Properties, Vornado/CES, Clark Construction, Pillsbury, Arnold & Porter, Goulston and Storrs, DLA Piper, JLL, CBRE, and Hickok Cole (with significant contributions from the DC Government through Neil Albert’s office).

 
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With the new facility, SED can increase current capacity from 88 children to 120 and introduce infant care for up to 40 newborns, plus programs for continuing adult education. The building has features like an industrial grade food prep area to provide needy students two hot meals daily; a sunlit reception space to greet kids as they arrive to school; and three distinct teaching venues (infant, children, and adult), all to be ready in the first week of '09.

 
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A rendering of the cool new lobby; the front of the building will be a dramatic glass wall symbolizing a beacon of light to the community.

 

BP's Ray Ritchey shows around visitors. "No group has contributed more to the success of the community than the Hispanic workforce. This is our small way of paying back," he tells us. The new website for individual contributions is what Ray calls a "shop 'til you drop, anti-black tie, un-golf tournament way to give money," helping to furnish the facility, via something like a wedding register.

 

Clark Enterprises' King Davidson, Boston Properties' Carl Slagle, Clark Construction's Nickesha Anderson and Dean Sanders, and Clark Enterprises Becky Owen check plans—or at least pretend to for the camera.

 

Even a furniture team is on the scene, giving final approval to selections: DLA Piper's Bryant Richardson, Washington Group Sales' Amanda Tiede and Kim McAnany, and Goulston and Storrs' Chris Cardinale. WGS is obtaining the furniture through its sources at what we're told are amazing prices.

 

In a few weeks, SED will move out of this townhouse it's rented on a month-to-month basis for 36 years in Adams Morgan, which due to gentrification the population they serve has moved away from (toward Petsworth and Mt. Pleasant). The new facility will have a 20 year lease with option to purchase.

 

Martha Egas, left, has been the tireless SED executive director for 30 years. For the last five months, attorney Soha Mody has been on loan from Pillsbury, pricing and negotiating tenant improvements, doing licensing with the District, and submitting grant applications.

 

Don't forget:  Go to http://store.sedcenter.org and SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP! 

 
 
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