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April 30, 2008

The wine event of the year, Heart's Delight, benefiting the American Heart Association, will be held May 8-10: dinners, tastings, auctions. Amazing stuff, and we don't just say that because your publisher is a former chair, who loves it!  More info here.


Though he acknowledges it may not be as glitzy as office or mixed-use, ProLogis regional head Mark Levy says what his company does is just as important because it allows other product types to thrive. Just think: For every National Harbor-esque project, there's a warehouse or service center acting behind the scenes (storing linens, food, and the like). And Denver-based ProLogis is the largest owner of industrial property in the world: $38.8B in assets and over 526M SF around the globe, with a local portfolio of over 8M SF stretching from Baltimore to Richmond.


We paid a visit to ProLogis' Georgia Avenue office last week. Six months after a move to Silver Spring to consolidate Alexandria and suburban Baltimore branches, the 15-person DC field office is expecting to build over 350k SF of new industrial, mostly in Northern Virginia and Baltimore. And with a 97% occupancy rate in their local properties and a 90% tenant renewal rate, business is anything but slow for the below-the-radar builders.

Green Earth

Mark tells us that ProLogis, a component of the Fortune 1000 and S&P 500, has more than 2,750 properties in 20 countries and annual revenue of over $6.5 B.  It leases industrial space to manufacturers, retailers, transportation firms, and other enterprises with large-scale distribution needs; local customers include  Amazon.com, Best Buy, and the Washington Post Company. They're currently working on Phase III of their nine-building, 700K SF Gateway Distribution Center in the Dulles Airport corridor, and on the entitlement phase for the 750K ProLogis Park Manassas. Mark says as of January, all new US buildings will be LEED certified. Meanwhile, when he's not working, the Philadelphia native isn't resting: He's got three kids under eight.


Yesterday we joined 200 at Arent Fox's historic preservation symposium at the St. Regis. Above, three panelists: Cho Benn Holback + Associates' George Holback, Studley Director of Sustainability Olivia Millar, and Forrester Construction's Scott Forrester. George says his work on Struever Brothers' historic "Natty Bo" (as in Natural Bohemian beer) Brewery in Baltimore was not only green, but savvy; the mixed-use site received big historic and green tax credits. Scott talked about retrofitting the American Society of Landscape Architects' 1970s era HQ with a green roof, which he says thousands of people have since toured.


Keynoter Dick Moe, the tall guy, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, says that with over 40% of the nation's C02 emissions coming from the operation and construction of buildings, the recycling of existing structures is crucial to combating global warming. No doubt agreeing are Arent Fox's David Pfeffer, Kinley Dumas, and Keith Styles.


RWN Development's Lonnie Fisher, John Ginnever, and President Richard Naing tell us they're in planning stages for the Gilford Holliday Towers, a proposed 2.6M SF mixed-use development in Baltimore's CBD which would include fa?ade easements for several historic properties on the site. They're also rehabbing The Brexton, a 19th Century hotel in Baltimore's Mount Vernon district, which will become a 30 room boutique hotel delivering Q4 '09.


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