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January 7, 2008


Sponsor Update: BUCH Construction finished ‘07 with a bang: completing mega-law firm O’Melveny & Myers’ expansion space and finishing the build-out for HKS Architects’ new digs on 12th St.

When we reported the formation of the JBG Urban portfolio last August, it was impressive enougha $2.5 billion equity pool contributed by MacFarlane Partners (80%), Morgan Stanley Real Estate, and JBG family and friends, leveraging $10 billion in development for 93 existing JBG properties at 42 sites around the region.  Now it seems positively miraculous, a huge recapitalization just in time to beat the late summer credit crunch—proving once again JBG’s storied knack for timing.  We dropped by their Chevy Chase headquarters for an update.

Even though the firm was started in 1960 (co-founder Ben Jacobs and 25-year vet Mike Glosserman are still going strong), Investment Officer James Iker, left, and Chief Development Officer Dean Cinkala—two of JBG’s current partners—show the youthful depth of the 500-employee firm’s bench.  Dean, from the Berkshires in Western Mass, came to Washington in 1989 after his Darden MBA, pretty much because that’s where he could find a job in real estate (for those of you who’ve blotted out the memory, it was an inauspicious time).  He was at Bethesda’s Stonebridge 12 years, coming to JBG in 2000 and now leading its development efforts from the point of raw land through the regulatory, design, and construction processes. James, from Oklahoma, is a Wharton grad more involved in the capital structure and acquisition side.  As for Bisnow Factoids You Could Not Live Without:  Dean is an avid skier; James is known for a clean desk.


About $1.3 billion of JBG Urban’s $2.5 billion of equity has already been invested.  An example, pictured above, is a 225-room addition which doubles the size of JBG’s Bethesda North Marriott, started in June and due to be completed in January ’09, with possible future additions for office and retail.  Most of the portfolio sites (25 in Annandale, Arlington, Falls Church, Reston and Vienna; 13 in Bethesda, Bowie, Gaithersburg and Silver Spring, and four in DC) are in some phase of design and engineering, regulatory approval, or construction; in total they represent the potential of 8.5M SF office space, 2.2M SF of retail, 13,200 residential units, and 2,500 hotel rooms.  Many might have been underwritten by JBG’s opportunity funds but for typical 2-3 year capital commitment windows which are often shorter than development cycles.  The recap makes investment funding simpler and more predictable, and also provided capital reinvestment alternatives to JBG investors.  JBG’s $600M Fund VI that closed in February can be used for additional new property acquisitions.    


Is this company that wouldn’t go home after a Redskins game?  Close:  it’s Cassidy & Pinkard’s James Cassidy, Lowe’s Harmar Thompson, and MRP’s Zach Wade in James’ basement a couple weeks ago apparently testing the efficacy of a new shoe deodorant. (For those whose olfactory senses are easily offended, don’t look at what we’ve circled.) 


We always knew the Forrester Brothers (David, Scott, and Rick) were good guys—and here they are literally getting the award last month at DC’s Hyatt Regency for “Character Under Construction” from the National Capital Area Boy Scout Council, which cited Forrester Construction for its contributions to the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, and Imagination Stage.  All three Forresters were Boy Scouts, and one was even an Eagle Scout (we won’t tell you which one, to maintain brotherly harmony). 


What's this picture all about? Stephanie Gallagher, a partner at Banner Associates recruiting, has been writing daily emails to a JBG Lead Engineer, Sean Smith, who she placed back in 2005 and was called up for military duty in Iraq.  She’s also been sending him coffee, biscotti, brownies—and “dri-fit” tee-shirts for him and his friends.  Sean sent Stephanie the picture above of one of his fellow soldiers in a Banner Associate tee shirt and wrote "The guys loved the shirts and you've got advertising in Iraq!”  We thought for such a good deed, we’d give them a bit of advertising stateside as well.

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The DC Preservation League’s annual fundraising dinner, “Preservation Now: Building on the Historic,” will be February 7 at the St. Regis. More info

CORRECTIONS:  We got the architect wrong of Station Place; it is (of course) Kevin Roche.  In another story, we meant Steven Lewis Cohen (of SmithGroup) not Steven Lewis.  And it does appear two trophy buildings are under construction in Tysons:  Quadrangle’s 8030 Towers Crescent, and BF Saul’s Park Place II.

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