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February 5, 2009  
Commonwealth Title

Our Feb 12 breakfast at BLT, with USGBC founding chairman Rick Fedrizzi, is just about sold out. Thanks again to our great sponsors Pillsbury and Calvert-Jones. Come prepared for a nice, hot breakfast and extra networking time. Sign Up!


Here's an inspirational fact: Even in this lousy economy, developers are lining up to submit their visions for building out another big DC parcel, Hill East. What's Hill East, you ask? A country singer? A bomb shelter for Senators? No, it's 67 acres along the waterfront, right below RFK, that DC's wanted for years to make into 2M SF of office, 3M residential, and 100k neighborhood retail. Developers seem to realize that, one day, we'll be a vibrant civilization again. Yes!


We found our way over to the DC Planning & Economic Dev downtown M Street office, where project mgr Genevieve Hanson showed us, whiteboard style, how only 50 acres will be developed because the DC Jail stays put. Four teams are seeking development rights and awaiting the Mayor's decision sometime this spring. 


For visual learners: It's bounded by Independence Avenue on the north, 19th Street SE on the west, Congressional Cemetery on the south, and National Park Service land on the east. Stadium Armory is the closest Metro, and that closest-thing-DC-has-to-a-crop-circle is RFK Stadium. The four development teams are:

  • HDG Waterfront Partners, led by Hunt Development and Mosaic Urban Partners. The team includes Abdo, William C. Smith Cos., EYA, and Jair Lynch Cos.
  • New Hill East Joint Venture, led by Urban Atlantic. The team includes Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Trammell Crow, Jones Lang, Elm Street, Blue Skye, Brickstone, Eagle Vision Ventures, Dynamis Advisors, Sun Edison, and Ellis Denning.
  • Hill East Development, led by the Franklin L. Haney Co. the team includes Donatelli Hill East, Chapman, Combined Properties, Banneker Ventures, and Tudor Holdings.
  • East Banc

Since the EastBanc team seemed the simplest, we promptly stopped by its office to find founder Anthony Lanier and colleague Joe Sternlieb, who have a somewhat different approach. Their suggestion is that, during current market uncertainty, DC partner with EastBanc to plan and build infrastructure, selling pads only for immediate development, not speculation. Anyone could purchase a parcel when market demand and financing return. In the interim, EastBanc would help find temporary uses, like a bazaar, sporting event, or concert. Anthony told us his inspiration for a slow-and-steady growth proposal is the marketplace at Camden Lock in London. We'll visit other bidders in coming days.


Our friend Angie Fox, Crystal City BID president, was walking by Ted's Montana Grill near her office yesterday at lunch time, when who should she see eating in the window but.Ted Turner (who owns the chain). Being an Atlanta girl, she (with colleague Rob Mandle) went in and got this. She and Rob were working on Crystal Couture, the Crystal City fashion/retail event of the Century (Lowe's Century Center, that is) and didn't miss the chance to tell Ted about it. She reports that Ted, king of cable TV, listened dutifully, then, seeing stocks being talked about on the restaurant TV, said to her, "Where's the clicker?" 

On Monday, Long & Foster realtor Amy Levin's Mt. Pleasant home became DC's first LEED Platinum residence, after a 1.5-year gut and rebuild. (We're running out of green milestones. Once we hit LEED Treehouse and LEED Cardboard Box Fort, it's all over.) Naturally, she celebrated at Founding Farmers, DC's first LEED Gold restaurant, with Southface's Asa Foss, who shepherded the process and certified the home on behalf of the USGBC. Since Amy GC'd the project, she can account for every inch—from the trim made from Montgomery County trees, to the acrylic roof, which never needs replacing. And the money? She says its value rivals new homes and her highest utility bill. . .$189 for 3200 SF.
Commonwealth Title
Arent Fox
Total Engineering
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