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January 24, 2012  
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VVA is an independent project management and consulting firm, representing domestic and international clients on their commercial construction, renovation, relocation, infrastructure and development projects. Find out how you can benefit from their expertise here.

Is Windows headed to St. E's? After months of speculation, Mayor Gray has announced a "strategic digital alliance" between the city and Microsoft. Further details come at his press conference tomorrow. We expect an announcement that Manny the Monument will be replacing Clippy the Paperclip.
Billed as a "first-in-the-nation strategic alliance... that will support job training, economic growth, and education in the District," the deal sounds like it could include a presence on the east campus of St. Elizabeths, a site pushed as a potential "innovation center" by DC officials. Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.

Bisnow Exclusive:
IMF Sells In Dupont
1230 New Hampshire Ave NW
Bisnow has learned that the IMF (yeah, the bank people) sold 1230 New Hampshire Ave.—a rare opportunity in Dupont Circle—to an undisclosed buyer. Sources say the 80-unit asset is functionally obsolete but in an excellent location. The buyer will likely renovate it, potentially capturing some of the city's highest rents. Its next-door neighbor, 1250 New Hampshire, is still owned by the IMF. Upon hearing the news, 5000 rioters showed up but weren't really sure who they were mad at.

$1B Development JV Launched
Principal Real Estate Investors, Rob Vogel
Principal Real Estate Investors and Trammell Crow are partnering for the second time, launching a $1B Class-A office and industrial development program. This morning Principal managing director Rod Vogel (on a business trip and unavailable for our camera) told us the firms are focused on "select markets with positive job and population growth trends, as well as favorable supply and demand conditions." That could change over time, but his current shortlist includes DC, Houston, Dallas, Austin, SoCal, Seattle, Denver, and NoCal. Trammell Crow has a healthy local pipeline, including the redevelopment of the McMillan Reservoir, but Rod says "no announcements are imminent" in DC.
Trammell Crow recently JV'd with WRIT for Braddock Gateway, above. "This program signifies that we have a positive view on the US economy," Rod says. Recent job growth numbers have been encouraging, and the firm expects that 2012 will be similar to 2011, with slow, steady growth. "We think 2013 and 2014 will see significant job creation," he says, "and therefore we are hoping to deliver into that timeframe." Trammell and Principal are keen on markets with strong technology, energy, and healthcare sectors.
US Capitol
Government cuts are a concern but not a deal-killer when considering opportunities in Washington, Rod tells us. "Cutbacks mean there will be less overall office demand, but the market still has bright prospects." Other growth factors he sees in DC: the biotech/life sciences community along I-270, as well as technology firms.

VARCO Tops Itself
VARCO Metal Fabricators, Bob Grimmett
A few years back, a Civil War re-enactment group brought a copper coffee pot to Bob Grimmett, president of VARCO Metal Fabricators. The rebels wanted it replicated for their event, which was no problem (even if the North still won). It’s all in a day’s work for this relatively new division of The Virginia Roofing Company. It opened in 1925 and occupied the same building since 1962, but its grasp of technology is as advanced as next week. Bob tells us that its custom fabrication shop is working on everything from lobby reception desks to church podiums. They keep a multitude of metal in stock: copper, black iron, Kynar 500 pre-finished galvanized, aluminum and stainless steel in mill-finish, and acrylic glossy. (Their resume includes all the lockers at The Washington Golf and Country Club.) To find out how our sponsor can fabricate your own metal dreams (including HVAC, electrical and roofing), click here.

College Park Purchase
American Campus Communities recently announced it acquired a majority stake (79.5%, to be exact) in the entity that owns The Varsity, a student-housing complex located next to the University of  Maryland on Rte. 1 in College Park. The transaction is based on a total value of $121.5M. (How much is that? Math majors, get to work.) The firm also purchased 26 West in Austin, TX, a block away from the University of Texas, for $86.2M. If there were a "core" for student housing, these would fit the bill.

This Morning In San Antonio
Today at our San Antonio Multifamily Summit, a Texas sized crowd talked everything from value-add to rental conversations. (See, we're not so different.)
USAA Real Estate, Hailey Ghalib
USAA Real Estate executive director Hailey Ghalib announced that oversupply may be a concern soon in some markets. About 39k units delivered last year nationwide and 80k more are expected to hit this year. But 150k units went into permitting last year, which may strike at fundamentals in 2013. She says USAA switched to development when core acquisitions got so competitive (to the point of frothiness), but now her company may eye secondary markets and value-add to get its returns.

ALIS or Alice?
Don't get the wrong idea about the Americas Lodging Investment Summit. It's a sober and informative annual conference about buying, selling, and developing hotels, now in its 11th year. But we snapped this last night at the opening dinner at the JW Marriott in downtown LA just because our camera could not resist the striking...white columns.
A summary of hotel trades last year. OK, ok, we know that New York is ahead of us, but otherwise in most categories we're at or near the top. If only the feds would sell (rather than fix) the Washington Monument, it could be repositioned as a hotel and put us over.
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