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March 3, 2008


NEWS FLASH:  Cassidy Moving to Vornado's 2101 L. It's taking 28k SF in the fully-renovated building in August, leaving its long-time space at 2001 Penn and another it took last summer at 1120 20th. Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers has grown from 160 less than a year ago to more than 270 today as it's hired a lot of Trammell brokers and taken on the EOP leasing and property management of Beacon Capital properties. Gensler's doing the buildout.


Please don't tell the Tower Club that more than the room limit of 150 flooded in to see Jon Peterson at our Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze Friday morning.  We can't help it if there's excitement building over National Harbor, and people wanted to hear the backstory and details from the guy in charge, down to how he remembers walking the cold shores one winter day when he was 13 as his dad Milt shared the original vision. March 29 marks Gaylord's first convention, water taxi service from Old Town begins on April 15, and new interchanges from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge are almost ready, so it looks like the Petersons' shining city on a hill will soon be a part of our lives.


Jon, second from right, joins WFT's Melissa Allen, Calkain Companies CEO Jonathan Hipp, Commercial Title Group prez Doug Nichols, and Paciulli Simmons & Associates' Peter Rigby.  When Jon innocently asked the crowd during breakfast how many have already had dealings with National Harbor, more than half the room raised their hands.  Melissa, for examples, says WFT is working on the MEP (we think that means mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) systems in conjunction with WDG and Clark.


The Fairfax native and St. Stephen's grad says NH may be the "biggest risk we'll ever take" (hmm, does that mean they're thinking of something else?), or in "Vegas terms" Jon says they "had it on the six." Milt, whom Jon remembers doing 450k SF deals with Jim Clark based on only a smile and handshake, traveled all over the world getting ideas and came back from the Las Ramblas main street in Barcelona saying, "I want one of those."  Milt even brought in 90 towering trees from Pennsylvania to give the main street an older feel. And with restaurants like Ashton Kutcher's Ketchup, Rosa Mexicano, MCormick and Schmick's, and Bowie-based Grace's Mandarin, National Harbor won't just be a feast for the eyes, but for the belly too.


Even though WDG's Beth Ring was up late rocking out at Thursday's Bon Jovi concert at Verizon Center, she appeared chipper at 7:15 AM with Clark's Jay Grauberger at our pre-breakfast schmooze. Beth says the 70-year-old architecture firm started working with the Peterson Companies more than a decade ago when they designed an office building at Fairfax Corner.  Now WDG is working on four buildings at National Harbor—including two Clark-built condos that she says are almost sold out.  


WFT's Marty Silver, WDG's Sean Stadler, WFT's Reardon "Sully" Sullivan, and Eller Group's Wade Eller.  Wade tells us the company recently celebrated its one year anniversary and that Eller Group is managing four ground-up Marriott projects around the country.


Sigal's Richard Goldberg, Reznick's Jim Martinko, and Washington Fund's Maria Clarke. Richard says Sigal was just awarded Reagan's new airport parking deck and is working on the Jefferson Hotel renovation on 16th Street.  Rich and Jim have instilled healthy competitive streaks in their kids: This weekend Rich was accompanying his 16-year-old son to a robotic competition (did you know there was such a thing?) for his original robot design while Jim was at the Junior Olympics in Laurel with his 14-year-old daughter. 


Kettler's Asheel Shah and Clark's Bill Magruder. Asheel headed to his alma mater, St. Joseph's in Philly for a basketball game this past weekend while Bill ate, slept, and breathed construction.  With the new ballpark and National Harbor both coming online in the next 30 days, he says it's going to be one heck of a month.


HITT folks stick together:  Ross Rebraca, president Brett Hitt, Jim Landefeld, Dave Gibbons, Kim Roy, and Jason Whiteman drink their morning coffee in a pack.  Brett tells us HITT is starting the Hotel Washington transformation into a swanky W Hotel just in time for next January's inaugural soirees. Kim, project manager for HITT's work at National Harbor, tells us she's scheduled to deliver a baby girl in three weeks—right around the time she hopes to deliver HITT's buildings.   


ECS Mid-Atlantic prez Leo Titus, Clark's Adam Rosmarin, Laura Dunham, Hani Alawneh, ECS' Pete O'Hara, and Clark's Jim Calvo have also been working on—you'll never guess—National Harbor.

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