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December 10, 2008

Big shout-out to great new sponsor Technical Property Services, Inc., which does project management and real estate consulting for developers, tenants, lenders, and property managers. Please click on the ad to the right to learn more about the high-level services offered by our friends at TPSi.


We put exclamation marks in the headline lest you forget key suburban sub-markets. Last evening we were on hand as JBG cut the ribbon on 225 more hotel rooms at one of the biggest conference centers in Maryland, the Bethesda North Marriott. (You know, the one where we go for all the conferences like NAIOP, up Rockville Pike past White Flint.) JBG owns the hotel in partnership with the County and finished the project a month ahead of schedule.


They rolled out the red carpet for the reception, so naturally here's "Joan Rivers" with Capitol Financial Partners' Brock Jolly. Before she could ask "who are you wearing," Brock was inside touring the new Presidential Suite and watching Goldfinger, which was playing in lounges throughout the building.  


JBG's Rod Lawrence and Bethesda North Area GM Bob Daley at the reception in the new Concierge Lounge. The additional wing doubles the room count to 450. Bob tells us even though they already host 10-12 events a day, they're ready for the always busy "holiday party season." He's also one of the few hotel GM's lucky enough to work in his county of residence, having been in the area since leaving the service in '71. (We think that means armed service and not turndown service.) Our friends at HITT handled the contracting and kept the hotel fully operational during the 1.5 year project.


HITT's Scott Stevenson, JBG's Craig Ciekot and Michelle Gleason, BBG-BBGM architect Robert Osborne, and HITT's Nicole Lussier and Jerry Brandmueller. Craig was development associate for the project, which includes an enhanced fitness center, concierge lounge, three two-story luxury suites, and presidential suite. (We assume the latter is useful if, after dropping off Malia and Sasha at Sidwell's campus, the new President decides to shop at White Flint, then doesn't want to hassle traffic back downtown.) A stone's throw from the hotel, JBG's also doing North Bethesda Market, 650k SF mixed-use now at grade with concrete and due in early '10.  Meanwhile, Jerry reminds us that HITT's own HQ at Fairview Park tops out this Friday.


Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, above, and Council President Phillip Andrews made the moment official. Here Ike is telling the crowd that during a recent trip to South Korea and China he stayed at two Marriotts. That comment earned smiles from the crowd and even a tipsy giggle from Joan Rivers.


We talked this morning with Monday founder Anthony Westreich, who says the story of Rosslyn this year is that the market has not slowed, and that lease activity and rates have remained steady. He was on the phone from his NY office (he's got a big presence in both cities) so, heck, we settled for this picture of Chief Investment Officer Tim Helmig, right, with internal leasing guru John Wharton. We posed them like pins in an automobile bowling alley, but for the record they were safe on a sidewalk. Monday's announced a flurry of recent leases, including four at 1100 Wilson: IT specialist Freedom Technologies, which left DC to sign for 3,300 SF with the aid of Studley; Activu Corp. (2,800 SF), which expanded from New Jersey, and Quantum Research International (7,400 SF), headquartered in Alabama. Existing tenant New Media Strategies also just expanded by 2500 SF.


Monday owns and operates 12 office buildings totaling four million square feet in the metro area, including the Rosslyn office buildings known as the Twin Towers (1000 and 1100 Wilson Boulevard), where we snapped this in their own office. When luring a client, this view is their secret weapon. They have a pact with the bald eagles on Roosevelt Island to ensure majestic flights occur when clients take a tour, and they pay royalties for the Washington Monument (circled) not to have cloud cover.  They are 96% leased across 10 Rosslyn properties, and hinted new announcements are to come.


They've also leased 53k SF at the old Newseum site to Arlington County for a proposed cultural center for music, theater, film, and dance, though it will also feature a Busboys & Poets, ticket outlet, and ballroom. (Thanks to Jim Coates for this photo.) The first ten years will be at a dollar, but the County will make improvements and the rate will then re-set. The Newseum closed in '02  but not before attracting half a million visitors annually.  At the same address, they just renewed GSA for 21k SF; Charles Dilks and Kurt Stout of Grubb & Ellis represented Monday. And they're undertaking a $4M renovation of lobby, elevators, and public areas. They do not plan to renovate the views.

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