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January 12, 2009  

"Crystal Flight" art and air charity auction! Tomorrow (Tues) evening in the Crystal City Shops, 50 colorful airplane statues displayed on the streets of Crystal City in 2008 will be auctioned off for charity. Tickets are $20 at the door and include a commemorative book, auction registration, and wine and cheese reception.  Visit www.crystalcity.org, and see ad to right for more detail.


We were on hand Friday as Trammell Crow's Patriots Plaza (355 E St, SW) topped off 700K SF Phase II and III. Southwest DC is already about 85% GSA tenants, and Trammell is pursuing a government anchor, according to managing director Tom Finan. To gain access to the celebration, we threw on a beekeeper suit and pretended to be with USDA.


Thankfully they're topped off because our lens couldn't fit much more. It's 100% equity financed by the Multi-employer Property Trust, so no debt (not that anybody was offering). Phase I was completed in 2006 and is fully leased to GSA, including FEMA, HHS, and the FBI. Tom tells us they're aiming to deliver LEED-Gold in September and offer high-security features to woo GSA: 30' setbacks, shatter-resistant windows, and a lobby designed to blow air pressure outward during a blast. Trammell can lease each building as an individual facility or combine Phases II and III into one, which is what they proposed to DoJ before it landed in NoMa.


The menu included BBQ, hot dogs, burgers, and other American delights. (We'd expect nothing less from a building called Patriots.) Do the geographic math and you realize a high-security office building in SW puts Patriots Plaza in friendly competition with Constitution Center, a few blocks west. Tom points out that building from scratch meant Trammell could offer progressive collapse avoidance to withstand an Oklahoma City-type blast.


Landon Butler's Roger Feldman, Trammell Crow's Dave Wilson, MEPT's Kevin Collins, Gensler's Theresa Sheils, Kennedy Associates' Robert Coulman, Trammell Crow's Tom Finan and Chris Roth, and Kennedy's Jennifer Perkins. While there are no tenants yet, Tom says Trammell has bid for the 330K USDA, scheduled to be awarded this May.


Since we were in the neighborhood, here's MPD 1st District HQ directly across 4th St. In 2011, it'll be replaced by a 5-story Consolidated Forensic Laboratory, an MPD/FBI joint venture (think bio-safety, CSI:DC, controlled substances, etc.). Right behind and below, the District solicited offers to develop two parcels (Squares 494 and 495), which includes replacing a fire station while keeping it in continuous operation. Trammell along with teammates Michele Hagans and CSG Urban Partners submitted a bid, suggesting an office building once the fire station is successfully relocated, and is one of three finalists named by DC. No word on whether they'll keep the fireman's pole for CEO's on the go.


As we walked by the White House yesterday and snapped this picture, we debated alerting police to the presence of an apparent spaceship on Pennsylvania Avenue, which we thought might interfere with the President’s view of the inaugural parade.  But we decided it will probably fly away some time before January 20.

Reznick Group
Crystal City
Cardinal Bank
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