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June 12, 2008

One of the great new condominiums of the region has opened its doors: Lionsgate, in the heart of Bethesda. We believe it will become a well-known landmark of luxury and convenience. See their ad to right, and tell 'em we sent you!


Thankfully the temps dropped yesterday, because we ran around to three evening parties. We start with our own party we hosted atop the historic Woodward Building at 733 15th, which 250 of you came through between 6 and 830 PM to nosh on sushi, see beautifully renovated apartments now for rent, and enjoy a view so good you see the all the monuments and practically touch the planes (a service United now charges for).


In front of what would become a recurring photographic backdrop, GW American Studies professor John Vlatch, Crocodile Dundee look-alike contest winner Jeff Domber, RainKing's Ray Rongley, HBW Construction's Pat Foley, Woodward building owner Jon Gerstenfeld, and George Mason's Kay Rongley. Jon has owned the Woodward since 1968 (he was obviously very young and foresightful). The 1911 Beaux-Arts style building has sky high ceilings, limed oak flooring, granite countertops, and of course is a block from the White House. It keeps Jon young, which is good because he's just restored a '72 antique Triumph motorcycle.


Jon with Cardea Commerical's Daniel Odio, Jon's daughter Ashley, Metrohealth Media's Taylor Walsh, Amber Wason LLC's Amber Wason, and LandAmerica's Bill Gessner. Warning: Factoid Ahead! As a young insurance exec, Taylor's grandfather, Edward Walsh, had an office in the Woodward building, and later became a co-owner of the original Washington Nationals (circa 1901), long before Ted Lerner was even born. Factoid Bonus: Bill had two reasons to toast last night: His company did most of the closings on the Mount Vernon properties we wrote about yesterday, and he's lost 16 pounds in the last month on the Mediterranean Diet, which we'd guess consists of fish, salt water, and climbing ancient ruins.


Davis Construction renovated the building, so a group shot was in order. Andrew Griffin, Jonathan Dougherty, Jodi Maloney, John Bornholdt, John Rappoport, and Greg Jasiota tried to get us to use details from their exotic personal lives in this caption, but sometimes it's OK just to let hard work speak for itself. Jodi says they have now turned their attention to a $250M renovation of Constitution Center (the old DOT) in SE.


SAIC's Adam Capuano, Whitestar Investments' Ruben Bajaj, our own Elliott Bisnow, and KLNB's Jordan look like they're settling in to watch a few hours of SportsCenter.


It seems we alarmed the bartender by stealing all his customers, but we only borrowed them for a second: Nixon Peabody's ElChino Martin and Debra Yogodzinski, Rippeteau Architects' Darrel Rippeteau, Calkain Companies' Jonathan Hipp, Wachovia's John Wick, and Ruben Companies' Marvin Rosskopf. Nixon Peabody is assisting redevelopment at the 10th and G First Church and several Abdo projects including at Catholic University.


Regus's Caleb Parker, Delucchi trio Vicky Vadlamani, John Piedrahita, and Patty Delk, and Ashely Gerstenfeld (Note: We know Ashley is in another picture, and we try not to duplicate, but pregnant women count as two separate people). Delucchi, a communications firm, did all the green branding for the Blairs in Silver Spring. Not to be out-greened, Caleb told us that at last week's Sangria Fest in the Sculpture Garden, he wore a green shirt.



We continued on last night from our own party to the Loughboro Road home of Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan and wife Veronica Valencia, here with Boston Properties' Ray Ritchey and Spanish Education Center ("SED") Board chair Ana Maria Boitel. A number of real estate folks have banded together to find a new home in Petworth for the bilingual education programs, which Ray says he supports because there are so many Latino workers on construction projects around here, he feels the community should help as much as possible. More info:  www.SedCenter.org  


Other big SED supporters: Jones Lang's Arlene Dedier, Courtney Clark Pastrick and husband Scott of BKS&H, Pillsbury's Soha Mody, and Goulston & Storrs Chris Cardinale.  Other lawyers actively volunteering their help are Pillsbury's Allison Prince and Wendy White, Arnold & Porter's Justine Fitzgerald, and DLA's Bryant Richardson. Note: SED is looking for an executive director. Ideas? Contact Soha at Pillsbury.



Finally last night, 500 construction folks packed into Union Station's Palm Court to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Associated Builders and Contractors' DC Chapter, including ONCORE Construction's Ray Sowers with partner and past ABC president Bob MacDaniels. Bob says their Infinity Structure hybrid building frame is still bringing in the biz; ONCORE just signed another contract for the 75K SF Mason Inn at George Mason University using the method.


Coakley & WIlliams' Neil Coakley (former ABC prez), second from right, with son Brian of Donohoe Real Estate Services (who evidently sees another picture he'd rather be in) , and wife Gerry and daughter-in-law Kim. Coakley is working on a 70k SF addition at St. Alban's School, upgrading Congressional Country Club's pool, and building Blackboard's new HQ on Mass Ave with Hickok Cole.


Electrical General Corporation's Jason Lawson, Donohoe Construction's Larry Miller, and EGC's Lindsay Fitzgerald, president Clint Heine, and Curtis Wieseler. Jason tells us ECG is working on Fairfield Residential's 15-story 289-unit Cameron House in Silver Spring.


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