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December 21, 2007



M E R R Y  C H R I S T M A S !
(we may not be publishing for a few days)


Ten years after WMATA made its largest ever real estate award-32 acres adjacent to the White Flint Metro-Bethesda North Center is beginning to take shape across from Marinelli Blvd.  It took most of that time to rezone for 2.7M SF of development, and in June '06 LCOR broke ground for the first phase:  312 luxury rental apartments and a 65k SF Harris Teeter, the largest in Maryland.  The first apartment will deliver in May, and LCOR just turned over the "core and shell" of the store so improvements can be put in place for a summer opening. 


LCOR is based in Berwyn, PA, but Principal Bill Hard, left, has been with it here since 1982. We took this picture in his Bethesda office where he stands with colleagues Tim Smith and Michael Smith. The next phase is planned to start Q3 next year, as soon as they're through approvals:  350k SF of office, 120k SF of retail, and a second high rise apartment tower of 323 luxury rentals.  At that point the development will be half done; they also have in mind two more office buildings of 600k SF, a pad for a hotel not yet determined, and a bunch more retail.  It's LCOR's biggest project in the region, though they're also redeveloping a former Comsat property up 1-270 near Clarksburg, and a couple buildings in Alexandria, where they built the 2.5M SF PTO headquarters, the largest lease in GSA's history.  Biggest news:  Bill's newly married daughter returns with husband from New York City for Christmas-balancing the ledger after spending Thanksgiving with in-laws. 



Up the Pike in Rockville, another WMATA joint development project.  After growing up in Huntington Beach, CA, where people practically live in their cars, Kevin Roberts' goal was to get people walking and fight urban sprawl.  It seems that being development manager for JBG on its Twinbrook Station project, a 26-acre transformation of ho-hum surface parking into a 2.2M SF mixed-use destination, is right up his alley.  We stopped by Kevin's office to see the renderings above of the LEED Neighborhood Development project.  Phase I broke ground last month and will include 279 luxury apartments and 15k SF of retail, and will deliver in 2010.  The eventual build-out will include 325k SF of office space, 220k SF of ground floor retail, and 1,595 multi-family residential units (15% of which will be affordable housing), delivering in 8 years.


They save lives every day - but can they also save you money?  They're gonna try. We visited DC Fire Chief Dennis Rubin, left, and spokesman Alan Etter the other day to hear about their goal of shrinking DC's fire department ISO rating (Insurance Services Office) from a class two to a class one.  Why you should care: In reducing the rating (which is set based on everything from reliability of fire hydrants to amount of firefighters per call,) the cost of DC fire insurance would drastically drop - meaning you, building owners and lessees, would save some serious cash.


Bisnow's Stacey Pfarr hangs with fire guys Dennis Rubin, Stephen Brookbank, Edward Rice, Patrick Kinard, and Scott Blevins.  Though Dennis is not exactly sure how much he can save you, Dennis tells us that when he reduced the rating of his former department in rural Dothan, Alabama from a three to a two, the city saved around $25M a year.  Do the math: DC's a lot bigger than Dothan.


We snapped this last week at the bar of Spezie at Connecticut and L-but don't worry, they weren't drinking at lunch.  Just workaholic lawyers from next door Arent Fox who arrived to find an overflow crowd and grabbed lunch at the counter.  Jon Bouker and Craig Engle, attorneys in the government relations practice, handle DC lobbying for large real estate projects, with clients like developers Akridge and Monday Properties, various end users and major tenants, and cultural institutions like Arena Stage.  They were retained to represent then-DC United owner Phillip Anschutz to help navigate the legal and political process as the team endeavored to find a new location.  When the team sold (a year ago this week) to investor Victor MacFarlane, team president Kevin Payne recommended them to continue.  Democrat Jon and Republican Craig have been working together four years and are obviously regulars here-they got quick service.  

Last night, Group Goetz Architects held its internal holiday party at Park on 14th-owned by friend and client Mark Barnes (also owner of Love), second from right above, together with GGA's Thomas Hart, founder Lewis Goetz, and Mary Ellen Curto.  Award were given: "Loudest Employee" and "Most Likely to Give an Overly Complicated Answer to a Simple Question."  None of those pictured were named.
Reznick Group
Harvest Bank
Penzance Companies
Arent Fox
Buch Construction
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