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March 6, 2008


Big shout-out to new sponsor Seyfarth Shaw.  Led by Joe Damato, Seyfarth has 60 attorneys in DC focusing on Real Estate, IP, Construction Litigation, Government Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Employee Benefits, and Labor & Employment. Welcome!


Only last week we could have sworn we heard pundits at various conferences saying NoMa would be slow-going compared to, say, the baseball district, Rosslyn, Silver Spring, and, heck, even Columbia Heights (welcome, Target shoppers!). But suddenly, two grand slams:  huge leases for DoJ, as we reported last night, and for NPR, as we reported yesterday afternoon. (Sorry about all those emails, folks, but those were two of the biggest and most anticipated deals of the year in DC.)

Could the “amenity base” everyone’s waiting for be far behind?  Then—gasp!—a law firm?  This is getting as exciting and unpredictable as a presidential election.

And talk about momentum:  How about that StudleyKudos on the DoJ lease of 100 M St. to Studley reps Neil Levy, Julie Rayfield, Mett Miller, Rick Barnett, and Todd Valentine; and on the NPR lease of 1111 North Capitol to Art Greenberg, David Perlstein, Vernon Knarr, and (again) Julie Rayfield. (And congrats to Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers’ Darien LeBlanc, Zeke Dodson, and Mark Sullivan, who repped owner Stonebridge on DoJ, and to Nick Pappas of Eastdil who represented J Street on NPR.)  


Man, Studley’s all over the place.  Yesterday as NPR was being announced, Bisnow on Business was holding a lunch for 130 lawyers at Il Mulino, Studley’s Tom Fulcher, Rick Rome, and Laurent Myers (disclosure—great sponsors of the occasion) were on hand.  Here’s Laurent yesterday with Marriott VP and senior counsel Anne Bertsch. Studley’s also brought in leases the last couple weeks for USPTO and the Social Security Administration.



Taking advantage of nice weather, we met up with Brick Companies CEO Lex Birney at his Edgewater, MD office outside Annapolis.  No, the booths and menus aren’t part of the lobby décor:  We headed over to the local Friendly’s restaurant, or where Lex told us they take their “most valued” guests for milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. Lex is a down to earth guy. In 2002 he moved the 109-year-old company, previously in DC, to give his 350 employees a “better quality of life.”  Until 1939 the company’s sole gig was making brick and terra cotta piping.  Lex tells us after a big fire burned the plant down, the company never made another brick, but the name stuck. Now they develop residential, commercial, and “fun stuff” like golf courses and marinas


It’s pretty fitting there’s a putting green on the company’s roof—which Lex told us was the first “living” roof in Anne Arundel County.  BC is big on sustainability. Their latest big project is in Queenstown Harbor on the Eastern Shore. Though ground won’t break for two years, they’re rezoning to allow the 150-room high-end golf resort, which will include a heron rookery (we had to look that up), 2.4 miles of shoreline on the Chester River, and a conservation easement in the largest contiguous woodlands in Queen Anne’s County.  Though Lex tells us he’s a “terrible golfer,” his real vice is sailing; he holds a Coast Guard’s captain’s license. And he sails on his 50ft sloop with an all-female crew:  his wife and 6, 7, and 8 year old daughters.  


And we checked in with Arlington Economic Development’s Karen Vasquez to find out what’s going on in the other city on the river.  We snapped her on the balcony of her Ballston office – if you look really close, you can even see Waterview waaay in the background.  Karen says Arlington is trending to be much more urban—she even said Rosslyn will be like a “Manhattan on the Potomac.”  With JBG’s Central Place, Turnberry Tower, and Monday Properties’ 1812 N. Moore Street as new additions to skyline, we hereby dub it the Little Apple. 

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