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June 9, 2008

Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: Forest City's Debby Ratner Salzberg talking about her amazing new projects at The Yards, Waterside Mall, and Konterra. Thurs., June 12, BLT Steak. (Yes, breakfast at BLT!) Big thanks to Arent Fox and Davis Construction! Sign up!


"Humanize" sounds good, but can it really be done when you've got eight lanes of 123 and Route 7 intimidating pedestrians? Well, that's the word Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Gerry Connolly uses when he tells us what the Tysons Land Use Task Force he initiated three years ago is about to recommend. Tysons has 120,000 commuters and only 17,000 residents, and he wants to turn it from a car-centric series of parking lots to a 24/7 "city" of parks, walkable streets, and classic boulevards where people live, work, and play. (Hmm, could there be an election tomorrow?) 


We met with Gerry last week in his "unofficial office" at the Silver Diner off International Drive in Tysons, near his day job at SAIC and in the heart of Fairfax where he's running hard in the Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Tom Davis (Gov. Kaine has endorsed him, Sen. Webb has endorsed opponent Leslie Byrne). Gerry points out he's won five elections and lost none, so we hope he keeps up his pattern better than Big Brown.


The other big news, of course, is the favorable reversal of the Feds' position on Dulles Metro last month, although lawsuits are still flying and the Feds are still talking conditions before they plunk down their $900M toward a $5B project. Still, says Gerry, "We've been talking about this since 1962; it's been a long time coming and it finally is." But the Boston native warns that Phase I of the 23-mile extension (up to Wiehle Ave.) won't be complete until at least late 2013.  



Thursday we went to the Reagan building for a breakfast hosted by the Greater Washington Board of Trade for Volkswagen of America CEO Stefan Jacoby, left, here with BOT president Jim Dinegar and Officer Movers' Matt Logan. Stefan's said VW moved here because it's a fertile recruitment ground: The company's looking to hire 300 for its new Herndon office (sold last week, by the way, by Tishman Speyer to a German investment fund run by DIFA; TS will continue to provide property management services). Matt's no stranger to moving either; this weekend his firm transported 120 truckloads of stuff to Long & Foster's new HQ in Chantilly.


Also at the breakfast, Newmark's Earl Segal with Hay-Adams Alison Okabi and Doug Camp. Doug told us the hotel is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year by re-decorating the main meeting room and "going eco." (Are they painting the Hay-Adams green?)



We met downtown the other day with Drew Mucci, HITT's Law Firm Services division project manager, and he showed us a couple projects. Not only are they leading the interior build out for the Mayer Brown space at 1999 K, but also re-doing the atrium of 1299 Penn for Vornado with design by Lehman-Smith McLeish. Only in this case, they're taking away the green paint and making way for something more law-firm appropriate for tenants like Howrey and Baker Botts.


Right around the corner, Drew showed us Douglas Development's 1155 F Street where HITT just won the Shook Hardy Bacon deal for 38K SF. Drew says they're also gearing up for the interior build out for Jones Day's new $25M, 150K office at 300 New Jersey.



On the tenant/landlord side at Transwestern, Pete Prominski and Mark Richardson (with pictures on the wall of company forebears Brendan McCarthy and Carey Winston) say a trend seems to be for some tenants to renew their leases and "tread water" instead of moving. However, there is good leasing velocity in well located "B" assets. They also predict eventual movement to quality buildings at economical rates in pioneer locations. Along with partner Tom Hilley, the duo represented DRI and Paramount in the recent sale of 1331 L Street to the Mortgage Bankers Association and now wants to land a similar deal for DRI with an HOK designed 125k SF build-to-suit opportunity in SE.


June 12 Breakfast Schmooze with Debby Ratner Salzberg  Sign Up
June 24 Bisnow State of the Market Conference  Sign Up

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