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December 4, 2007


Big welcome to new sponsor Suffolk Construction. A leading national general contractor, the firm recently launched a Mid-Atlantic division in Falls Church and is underway on several projects including the Silo Point luxury condo development in downtown Baltimore and the Hotel Sierra in Richmond.

It’s been almost nine months since we last took a gander at Peterson Companies’ National Harbor, so we figured it was high time for a drive downriver.  The progress of the $2B investment is mind boggling; There’s an army of workers (over 2000 for Peterson and 1200 for the Gaylord hotel), dozens of cranes, bulldozers, and cement trucks busily building the 300-acre mini-city on the shores of the Potomac below Wilson Bridge.  The hotel will host its first convention March 29 and other parts will start opening in April.

Peterson Companies founder Milt Peterson, left, and his leasing guru Marc Menick point and laugh at our car being bulldozed.  Just kidding, they’re showing us the new home of J. Seward Johnson’s sculpture, The Awakening,” after its relocation from Hains Point.  Milt sees the sculpture of the giant emerging from the ground as symbolic of the awakening of the long dormant DC waterfront.


Here’s an aerial shot we took from the Bisnow satellite.  Aw, you got us…the pic was snapped by a few Peterson folks up in a Prince Georges County chopper the other day. With a whopping 14 buildings under construction, it’s not surprising they can’t pinpoint exactly when each will come on line (but be on the lookout for Bisnow’s January update).  

Here’s the front entrance to the 18-story Gaylord – the largest non-gaming hotel on the Eastern seaboard.  They’re so ahead of schedule that beds are already being moved into some of the 2000 rooms. The 470K SF convention center will boast 7 restaurants plus swank nightclub.  The area will have four hotels in addition to the Gaylord:  a Westin, W Aloft, Hampton Inn, and Residence Inn, plus a 250-unit Wyndam Vacation time-share resort.

Peterson’s marketing director, Rocell Viniard, shows us the impressive model that takes up an entire room at the company’s HQ. The grey buildings in the back are later phases of the project which, when all is said and done in 10-15 years, will include 7.3M SF of mixed use, 4,000 hotel rooms, 2,500 residential units, 500K SF of Class A office, 1M SF of retail, four piers, two marinas, and 10,000 on-site parking spaces.

Peterson’s Jeff Reseteco, second from right, oversees the construction of two condo buildings designed by WDG Architecture and being built by Clark Residential. (With him, Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the distance:  Susan Davis’ Chris Vassil, Peterson’s Rocell Viniard, and Bisnow’s Anthony David Adams and Elliott Bisnow.)  The first units to go on sale were at One National Harbor, and they say all 250 sold in 6 weeks.  In just three weeks since the second condo building’s release, they say more than half of the 160 units have been sold. Many trendy restaurants are headed to NH: LA-based Dolce Group (part-owned by Ashton Kutcher and Wilmer Valderrama) will be unveiling Ketchup and Dolce Enoteca.  Add to that a Rosa Mexicano, Grace’s Fortune, McCormick & Schmick’s, and others, and the eateries alone are a destination.  Want to check it out?  By April 1, you’ll be able to hop a water taxi there from Old Town, Georgetown, or Mt. Vernon.

Venable LLP
Madison Retail Group
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