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August 14, 2008

Gonna be in town next week like we are? Join in the fun with us at our Bisnow Schmooze & Breakfast, featuring top developers John Shooshan (Shooshan Cos.), Bob Buchanan (Buchanan Partners), and Bruce Baschuk (J Street). Thursday, Aug. 21, 7:15-9:00 AM, BLT Steak. Thanks to our friends at Seyfarth Shaw, Dietze Construction, and FOX Architects. Sign up now!  


When Prudential delivered the McPherson Building at 901 15th St. in 1988, many thought it was DC's premiere trophy. Of course, 20 years ages even trophies. And McPherson Square has gone from being a pioneering area to a more central one (think Farragut Square) as the city moves eastward. Now, ING owns the 12-story building, and starting a year ago has been spending a whopping $25M on renovations like bathrooms of floor to ceiling marble, a dramatic exterior glass curtain wall, and a state-of-the-art gym.


Yesterday we met with Jones Lang LaSalle broker Bobby Schwartz, who, as you can see, is an impressive multi-tasker: balancing his Starbucks as he walks a treadmill and gives us the building lowdown, all in coat and tie without breaking a sweat. (Disclosure: The treadmill was not moving.) The fitness center's locker rooms (which rival the pages of Architectural Digest with their white tiger-tooth marble and European dual flush toilets) are just the tip of the iceberg; the 245k SF space is being completely gutted and redone, including swank two story lobby and entrance with cantilevered canopy.


The glitz has paid off: It's attracting discriminating new tenants like Apple and New York Life in addition to returning law firm Kaye Scholer. At the northeast corner of 15th and I, the McPherson Building suddenly finds itself in the middle of a hot entertainment area: near the new club scene of Josephine's, Tatoo, Lima, and The Park at 14th. Oh, no wonder Bobby has to work out.


But during the day, you can always tell the broker by the tie, right? Here's Bobby with ING's Matthew Weber and Randall Casper, and building manager Christina Mindrup of Akridge. Leo Daly's doing the base building design, IA space planning, and Forrester Construction is doing (you'll never guess) the construction. Interior renovations should deliver next month with the exterior makeover completed in November. But you're in luck: 140K SF is available, including the top two floors.


Bobby's a JLL vet of 7 years, but let's get to the important stuff:  He's also a seasoned surfer who grew up catching waves in Virginia Beach. Working with TMZ and a rented amphibious helicopter, we got this picture of him last month when he took his daughters (8 and 11-years-old) to Costa Rica to teach them the ways of a surfboard. Later this summer he heads to Nantucket for more, despite chillier waters. Look at that form, by the way. Did he just take this in front of a green screen?


The FOX Architects fun bunch got together the other night for a summer soiree at Bob Fox's new house (designed, of course, in-house by FOX staff) in Arlington. The crowd of 75 had more reason than good cocktails to celebrate: They were recently awarded the design of Time Warner Cable's new digs in Herndon.


Vornado's Chief Leasing Officer Brendan Owen was also in Costa Rica this summer: He and his wife and kiddos even caught a few on their deep sea voyage. Wait a minute, that's a shark!


Bob Fox of FOX Architects decided to mark his 50th year with a big adventure. He and fellow sailors (including Office Environments International's Kelly Bjornerud, JBG's Brooks Blake and Jeff Williams, Monument's Bill Herman, Cushman's Warren Dahlstrom, and JLL's John Kevill) sailed Bob's J-42 (aptly named Schematic) through 635 miles of open ocean from Newport to Bermuda earlier this summer. This photo was taken shortly after the start in Newport, with Bob at the helm with the orange hat.  Once they arrived in Bermuda, they celebrated with what else? Lots of Dark 'n Stormies.


SmithGroup's Andy Rollman took a family vacation on the St. Martin's River at Ocean Pines, MD. Sustainability must run in the family: His niece Melissa, a May University of Wisconsin grad, is starting a position next month at Seven Generations Ahead, an organization dedicated to building ecologically sustainable communities. 

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