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February 15, 2008

Next Bisnow Hip Happy Hour! Free to all Bisnow Real Estate readers (sign up here).  Wed. Feb 20, at Teatro Goldoni (whose chef was recently chosen to cook for the celebs at the ChefDance competition at Sundance). Special thanks to our great sponsors US General Contracting and Leo A Daly!


At least that's how Arban & Carosi Precast in Woodbridge looks at it, providing these nifty pink Barbie hard hats to deter visitors from walking off with them.  Apparently bubble gum pink isn't the color of choice in construction zones.


And these fine folks donned them yesterday, no questions asked:  JM Zell's Jeff Zell, Scott Kaufmann, and Sharon Dougherty, Alder Branch's Joe Henderson and Reagan Duncan, and SmithGroup's Andy Rollman.  They were reviewing mock-up samples for Carlyle Plaza One's façade material. The building breaks ground later this spring, with Davis doing pre-construction.


Doing something just as innovative is our friend Jonathan Hipp, founder of the Calkain Companies, here in his Reston office this week. As Fortune Magazine wrote about him in December, he's a leader sale-leasebacks for firms that want to unlock the value of their real estate to get cash for expansion. Jon tells us the net lease industry is no longer niche but the fastest growing segment in investment real estate; he himself has done $2 billion in net lease investments in his career and currently has 22 employees and counting. How's he celebrating President's Day?  Going to his house on Deep Creek Lake with his wife, two kids, and rescue dog Roscoe.  (He just bought a van for the National Humane Society to use rescuing animals in disasters.  Thanks from all us pet lovers.)


Tuesday evening we stopped by the Fidelity Bank branch at 1725 Eye Street for an evening reception not just honoring Councilman Kwame Brown, center, but marking the recent merger of Eagle Bank and Fidelity. With Brown:  Fidelity founder (and local banking legend) Bob Pincus, Eagle Bank founder Ron Paul, Fidelity CEO Barry Watkins, and Eagle's Maryland head Tom Murphy.  The combined bank will have 15 branches in all three jurisdictions, $1.5B in assets, and expects to change its name to Eagle in June.


Yes, how about a Porsche Cayenne?  We went to a luncheon hosted Wednesday by Donohoe Real Estate Services, which upped the ante for broker incentives by offering a lease on the car behind these folks to the broker who brings in a tenant for at least 57K SF of the Maryland Trade Center III in Greenbelt. Here we snapped Donohoe listing brokers Tom Long and Jean Keogh flanking building owner co-owner Tony Rocks outside the 187k SF Class A office building that they tell us goes for $21.50/SF full service. Just for showing up, brokers got little mini-champagne bottles with straws thoughtfully attached.


Morton's is one of our favorite restaurants, but you'll just have to imagine the succulent steaks and yummy salads we had at their Connecticut Ave. location last week. Our photographer (ooops, that's us!) forgot to snap a picture while we were so busy eating. We got some friends together to discuss real estate (and some politics):  Here Cardinal DC president Kate Carr makes a point to Monument co-founder Jeff Neal, Reznick real estate practice head Dave Kessler, and Land America regional head Chris Naughten.  Please admire our evident self-discipline:  that big loaf of bread remains untouched.  Oh, wait, that might be seconds.


And still more friends at our lunch:  Ballard Spahr managing partner Roger Winston, Kane Companies CEO John Kane, Banner Associates founder Dan Banner, and Clark Construction Chief Acquisition Officer and General Counsel Becky Owen. Again, we apologize for being so engrossed in eating that we forget we're on duty. That is a danger at Morton's.


Last night, HarVest Bank of Maryland president Jack Hollerbach, center, hosted a bunch of us at Strathmore for a great Art Garfunkel concert, complete with backup of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  Here with Jack are orchestra CEO Paul Meecham and Montgomery County Economic Development head Pradeep Ganguly. Garfunkel was great, but can you believe he's 67?!


We had lunch Wednesday at Bobby Van's with former AOL EVP George Vradenburg, now on a mission to create an official Maryland/DC/Virginia entity to improve transportation, environment, and global competitiveness. See www.TheChesapeakeCrescent.org.


DPR Construction joined in the Polar Bear Plunge. We're getting cold just looking at this.

Reznick Group
GVA Advantis
Arent Fox
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