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Oh Hello, CityMarket at O
September 18, 2013

Oh, Hello,
CityMarket at O

Moseley Construction is a world-class "customer first" construction firm. It specializes in multi-family projects, both new and renovated. Find out more here.

We've written so much about Roadside Development's CityMarket at O, but it's been mostly drawings, blueprints, etc. Yesterday, we got an inside look at the real $300M, 1M SF project in Shaw. (Is it impolite to say "You're so much prettier than your rendering.")

Amidst yesterday's sun-splashed afternoon, we snapped Roadside principal Richard Lake on one of the project's five towers. The stats: Three are apartments housing almost 500 units (including one affordable housing building), one a 182-room Cambria Suites hotel, and the remaining tower will be multifamily as well, either condos or apartments (Richard says they'll decide in the next 60 days). About 90k SF of retail will be scattered throughout, including the 78k SF remade Giant supermarket that Richard tells us will be the biggest grocer in the city once delivered in November, with everything else opening up throughout the first part of 2014.
Moseley (Multifam) MDCRE

Giant's new digs will be a flagship store for the supermarket specialist, and Richard says it'll give the retailer a chance to see how to perfect an urban concept. The location will likely be a 24-hour store for Giant, complete with sushi counter, coffee bar, and ready-made food options, and won't be a traffic drag on Shaw since it includes underground loading docks. The design also includes reclaimed bricks from the old O Street Market, and Roadside even has a stash of bricks not used for Giant they'll save for later projects, Richard says. As for the other retail, Dolci Gelato has been locked down for a small space, while Roadside is also in talks with both local and Top Chef contestant chefs on new restaurant concepts.
CohnReznick (Think) MDCRE

The first apartments roll out in early December, but pre-leasing began in July, and 70 units have already been leased, according to Richard. CityMarket at O is at a lower price point than the booming 14th Street Corridor, he says, but the firm is employing some long-term leases (think 15,16,18 months). Either way, Roadside would rather bring down the project's turnover rate than charge huge rents to keep NOI up, Richard says. Amenity-wise, there are seven outdoor areas including a rooftop with a dog run, built-in fire pit seating areas, outdoor grills, and even a dog grooming station. (You all know how a dog run can muss up your dog hair.) A 6,500 SF fitness center with a large outdoor deck is also in the mix.

In the leasing office, Richard shows off a touch screen, which lets prospective tenants drag mock furniture models into the unit they're looking into, which can then be emailed to the prospect. An app for the whole community is being developed, too; it can do everything from alert a resident's dog walker to let them know when maintenance workers have entered a unit.

This Morning at the Economic Club

Today at lunch with the Washington Economic Club at the Ritz-Carlton downtown, we snapped Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman with club president David Rubenstein. Gorman, an Australian by birth whose firm manages nearly $2 trillion, said he believes that on a risk-return basis, the US is the best place in the world to invest, and that its economy is "fundamentally strong." He says that if the Fed lets up on its quantitative easing program, while there might be a little adverse market reaction initially, it actually is a great sign that the economy is recovering.

Former DC mayor Tony Williams, right, and councilman and current mayoral candidate Jack Evans, left, decided for our shot to let the most trustworthy available figure, EagleBank CEO Ron Paul, stand in the middle to give them some slight separation lest our readers view too much political significance in the fact that we found them at the same table.

AES Energy founder Roger Sant, right (with the French ambassador) was the first to tell us today that Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough has announced his resignation after five and a half years, effective a year from now. Roger is a longtime trustee of the Smithsonian, who tells us Wayne has done a wonderful job and is a model for the next person they'll search for, someone who combines academic distinction, vision, and passion.

We were delighted to meet ReedSmith global managing partner Greg Jordan, in from Pittsburgh and New York, flanked by colleagues Lorraine Campos and Olivia Shay-Byrne.

WeWork Makes Big DC Splash

NYC-based shared space hub WeWork has set its sights on DC, signing leases totaling 54k SF at two Douglas Development buildings—21k SF at 718 7th Street and the top two floors of the Wonder Bread Building (we snapped the top floor there this summer). JLL's Jay Farmer, who repped WeWork (with colleagues Steve Burman, Greg McCavera, and Sean Black) says DC is an untapped resource, with a growing entrepreneurial sector. And Jay tells us WeWork jumped at the chance to be a part of both buildings, with the Wonder Bread Building's role in transforming Shaw and what it saw as an underserved market at 718 7th in Chinatown. JLL's Evan Behr and Doug Mueller repped Douglas.

A Magician Never Reveals Her Secrets

Recently, several news organizations have asked us to explain our success. (Success, really? Our wardrobe tells a different tale.) But if pushed, and asked if we have a secret sauce, a journalistic genie, or even your run-of-the-mill deal with the devil, we would have to say it's nothing quite so fancy. As we told the reporter in this article by minB2b: "The key ingredient to transforming trade writing into an enjoyable read? Humor." What, you didn't notice? Well, please play along and, uh, humor us. Check out the whole article for a few more alleged secrets. Or just enjoy the illusion.

If You Build Affordable Housing, They Will Come

Attracting young professionals to DC is and will always be a major focus for the city. But ensuring housing is inclusive of all income levels shouldn't fall by the wayside, according to Nixon Peabody's Jeff Lesk. At yesterday's DC Affordable Housing and Community Development Summit at the Willard, Jeff said other trends to watch in the affordable sector are public/private partnerships, developers doing more with fewer resources, as well as putting the "UD" back in HUD—a call the agency has made itself, Jeff points out. (Be careful: The man who put the "MA" back in FEMA was fired for nepotism.)

Population growth will demand 28,000 more affordable housing units in Fairfax County by 2030, says Aseem Nigam, the county's director of real estate finance and grants. But Aseem (with CohnReznick's Jonette Hahn and Nixon Peabody's Patrice Harris Talbott) says the county's well positioned to accommodate, since it's a one-stop affordable housing shop, acting as bond issuer, lender, and developer. Jonette says that as a developer, getting to know all stakeholders well, from greeting local officials to attending public focus group meetings, makes projects move that much faster. Stay tuned for even more event coverage tomorrow.

Are you pre-ordering the new iPhone? We were thinking about it but are having way too much fun playing Snake on our Nokia flip phone. Email chris.baird@bisnow.com

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