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June 11, 2008

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


You know a place is on the map when 1100 units of new residential come online in a single month. That’s what’s slated for DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle in July, according to Community Improvement District director Bill McLeod, whom we met up with for a walking tour at 5th and K, NW, just like the street sign says below.


Bill at City Vista’s “K” building with 292 condos, which delivers in July along with 244 apartments at Building V. First floor retail will include a 55k SF Safeway, Busboys and Poets restaurant, Results gym, and Logan Hardware’s “5th Street Hardware,” plus 20k SF of yet-to-be-signed space. And a lot of other buildings have already arrived: in the last six months, Lowe Enterprises’ 149 condos in building “L” at City Vista, and Quadrangle/Wilkes’ 259 condos at  Madrigal Lofts and its 75-condo Sonata.


Around the corner from City Vista, on 4th and Mass, sits NY-based Broadway Management’s 600-unit condo giant, the Dumont (the red brick building to the right), which also opens next month; and on the left, ASB’s 240K SF office building at 455 Mass Ave. Sandwiched between them: the infamous townhouse featured on the Today Show after the owner refused to sell despite developers’ offers of $2.5M for the property. Now the family apparently has a Ledo’s Pizza franchise planned for the 1890s structure, although the banner’s been up since 2006 and still no pepperoni.


Bill shows us a 100-year-old oak tree that City Vista is paying $300,000 to preserve in a pocket park next to the Safeway that will open in September. He says the plan is for the area to feature a streetscape that blends with K Street to the west. As of now, much of the area isn’t yet built-out, but Bill tells us Douglas Development is buying the 600 block of K Street/NY Ave, and Stewart Investment, which owns the majority of two blocks, is planning a mixed-use development. Though Bill’s sad to see NPR leaving for NoMa, he hopes a developer will take down its current space at 635 Mass to create an area with first floor retail and cafes.


We also stopped in to see Trammell Crow’s Jeff Miller, who chairs the CID. Jeff, who was at Lowe until October, says despite not having projects in the area now, he has a deep connection to MVT after working with JBG to build 555 Mass Ave and then with Lowe on City Vista. He thinks Metro will play a key role in the area’s growth, with Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, and Mt. Vernon Square stations nearby. He says the best thing about Mount Vernon Triangle is that it was a blank canvas when building started in August of ’02: By replacing a dilapidated industrial space and parking lots, they’ve brought density without displacing residents.



Just to keep you all well-rounded, here’s a slice of life from our Tech side. Last night (before the storms) we held a party at a venture capitalist’s house in McLean to celebrate our 35 Under 35 top entrepreneurs of the region. (To tell the truth, there are only 27 here and we think some were inside still drinking mohitos and didn’t hear our call to come outside—there were another 100 “older” entrepreneurs inside acting young.) What’s the difference between these Under 35s and our Real Estate Under 35s? These probably play less golf and read more Lord of the Rings. For more info on who they are, check out our four installments of profiles



On our Legal publication side, last week we held one of our monthly managing partner roundtables, and you developers and brokers will be pleased to know that even as the world goes to heck in a handbasket, law firms remain poised to keep busy—and keep needing more office space. Above, the managing partners of McDermott, Will & Emery, Reed Smith, and Nixon Peabody (joined by reps of sponsors Jones Lang and Beers + Cutler) agreed that climate change is likely to produce major new practices as companies start trading carbon tax credits.  


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