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July 29, 2008

Join our friends at WorkSpaces, LLC & Skanska on REET, the Real Estate Endurance Team, a group of real estate, architecture, and legal professionals that will compete in upcoming endurance events to raise money for charity. A great way to network, get in shape, and support great causes. Included: 3-month membership at Results. Contact Khalid Itum or Brennan McReynolds for info.


Yesterday at precisely 8:55AM, the entire Tower Companies team (below) walked clockwise around the perimeter gardens or "Vastu" of their new LEED GOLD "Fortune Creating Vedic Architecture" headquarters building at 2000 Tower Oaks off I-270 before entering it for move-in day. The timing was not random: It was chosen as astrologically auspicious for success, health, and publicity (and we know that part worked).


Yes, the ceremony was kind of a metaphor for Jeffrey Abramson: an iconoclast who has made a career of defying convention. But watch out: he has a track record of vindication—he was decades ahead on his avid environmentalism. And he points out that we all live in a city whose Free Mason founding fathers looked to proper alignment of planets and stars, and that their efforts worked out well. We can't disagree.


Once ensconced  in their new environs yesterday, 91-year-old Tower Company founder Sonny Abramson was joined by Lerner Enterprises' Edward Cohen, Gingery Development Group's Greg Gingery and Monte Gingery, Jeffrey, and Mark Lerner. Sonny said he came up with what he called the "very original name" for his company after starting his real estate career in the Tower Building at 14th and K in 1948. Lerner Enterprises also moves its HQ to the building in October. Here Jeffrey shows us a green "report card" which details methods used to make Tower's 9th floor interior space LEED Platinum


Tower's Director of Sustainable Development David Borchardt and Jonathan Gritz say there are all sorts of hidden green methods used throughout the building, everything from recycled rebar to interior wall sound insulation made from blue jean fabric scraps.


Company CFO Jerry Burke (who says he's been with the company for the last 50 years—looks too young to us) shows off the lucky bamboo that each of Tower's 35 employees got as green gifts yesterday upon the move in.


Jeffrey's executive assistant Gina Beckmann, second from left, brought her mom, Joyce, son Gary, and daughter Lynne for her first official day in the sparkling KGD-designed building interior that even has three sky gardens. Tower invited 75 guests to come celebrate those who helped create the building and its interiors.



Now that West, Lane & Schlager just celebrated 12 years in the tenant rep biz, founders Eric West, Rich Lane, and Gary Schlager are priming the next generation for company leadership. Above, Mindy Saffer and Josh Cramer, both recently promoted to SVP, at WLS' Connecticut Ave office. Along with Eric, the two brokers lead the firm's national non-profit practice, which reps clients like Save the Children, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Pew Research Center, and National Parks Conservation Association. Josh, who was the first hire for the firm in '96, tells us WLS consults with clients for years before a transaction is completed.


Eric, who picked up his spiffy new tie just minutes before we snapped this pic (it pays to have Burberrys downstairs), says the firm is currently in hiring mode. He also explains that sustainable design is more than just hype, but a cultural and social goal that organizations are trying to achieve. They've decided that by the end of '09, all WLS advisors will be LEED accredited; Mindy became their first LEED broker a few months ago. Eric says he and Rich were buddies in college, and founded WLS after Eric got experience at Barruetta & Associates (now Transwestern) while Rich got his at Grubb & Ellis. Although their core clients are non-profits and law firms, they also have a 4-person investment sales group.

Goulston & Storrs
Reznick Group
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