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October 24, 2008

Next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: JBG's legendary Mike Glosserman. Please note the date has changed to Fri., Oct. 31, 7:15-9AM, at BLT Steak. Thanks to great sponsors LandAmerica, Arent Fox, Davis Construction and Kling Stubbins. Sign up!


No, folks, our headline refers not to the election, but to something mysterious that real estate mogul Marty Irving says all of Washington will be celebrating by Thanksgiving. He gave us permission to report that a multi-billion dollar spend is on its way here from Dubai that will be a "very, very, very" big deal. We're honestly not sure what it is, but he swears it's true. So, starved for good news and wearing our best William Randolph Hearst hat, who are we not to make a headline out of this wonderful, if flimsy, rumor?


We had breakfast with Marty yesterday at the Tower Club—his company of yore, Tycon Development, built the "Shopping Bag" building 20 years ago. Marty just returned Wednesday from the annual NAIOP convention (he was national chairman in 2000) at the Mandalay Bay and says "there's no action at the gaming tables," by which we believe the oracle means little action either in Vegas or in commercial real estate. But (good news) he says everyone there knows Washington is doing better than anywhere else; it's not our imagination. Especially if his prediction comes true.


Speaking of the Shopping Bag, here's a picture we snapped yesterday of the adjacent Quadrangle trophy next door, 1850 Towers Crescent Plaza, set to deliver in April. It's 13 floors and 295k SF, with 15k SF of ground floor retail space and covered pedestrian bridge to Tysons mall. Hensel Phelps Construction is GC and Jones Lang the broker.


Economic doldrums didn't stop 225 brokers and friends from pouring into the Newseum last night, where developer Jeff Zell (with the help of the three "green goddesses" above, representing high LEED level aspirations) presented plans for his 350k SF Carlyle Plaza in Alexandria. Why a party in DC for a Virginia property? Because Jeff says he's built an "urban building in the suburbs," where associations and downtown law firms (or at least their admin sides or individual practice groups) can find the quality they're used to at 35 to 40% off.


The site's been prepped and permitted, and Davis Construction is standing by to mobilize within 30 days of financing to build the artist's rendering above. It's right across from the PTO, perfect for IP lawyers, near Metro, and will have a green rooftop terrace and 25k SF of retail. Other possible tenants: tech firms lured by BRAC from Reston or Loudoun to new focuses of Lorton, Springfield, and Mark Center. Jeff's also expecting up-zoning at a two and a half acre site next door that in combination with Carlyle Plaza could accommodate a million square foot user. Two of his previous buildings, also designed by SmithGroup's David King (Time Life in Carlyle and Bricklayers in East End) were award winning but Jeff says this is even better.


We ran into our friend Theo Bell, formerly of Equis, now at Newmark Knight.


GVA Advantis's Nick Katz and Jones Lang's Bobby Schwartz were also among the galaxy of stars our paparazzi spotted and harassed.


A great young Cassidy & Pinkard crew was on hand: Lamar Newburn, Amber Fanta, Chris Woods, Scot Humphrey, Chris Lucey, Rosalia Buitrago, Michael Burke, Avi Fisher, Erik Weinberg, and Scott Goldberg. Congrats to Cassidy, by the way, for getting a leasing and property management engagement for 1620 L, and arranging $212M in bridge financing for the Portals III. But in more important news, and please don't tell anyone, Chris broke his pinky toe in Nashville doing some wedding dancing last weekend and will be on crutches for five weeks. Lamar better watch out: he's off to a friend's wedding at Cornell and will miss Halloween. Speaking of missing, we organized a search party to find critical team member Rory Byrnes but could not do so, although we did find an extra "e" to add to his name (inside jokes, folks).

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