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January 8, 2008


Sponsor update: Leo A. Daly has appointed Janis Saltans, as VP and director of design in its DC office. With 25 years experience, Janis comes from Epstein International Design in Beijing. Congrats!

Some days we must not have enough to do, so we just go around popping into offices to see what’s up.  Be sure to dress well, in case we show up unannounced.

We popped into HITT’s Fairfax office yesterday to congratulate Steve Richbourg, promoted Jan 1 to EVP of HITT Interiors, here with company president Jim Millar.  Steve tells us they’re the largest interior contractor in the DC area, and getting ready to wrap the base buildings (650k SF) for Boston Properties’ South of Market out in Reston in the next 30 days.  And they’re about to break ground for their own new LEED certified, 3-story, 120k SF HQ headquarters in Fairview Park, consolidating 675 local employees who are now housed in four different buildings off Lee Highway.



We also popped in recently to Lowe Enterprises’ offices on Connecticut Avenue, where  Eastern Regional president Mike Balaban, above, told us about their big January plans to acquire 500k SF in Crystal City:  the two-tower Jefferson Plaza (seller is Equity Group Investors) which will put their portfolio in that neighborhood over the 1M SF mark.  They’ve also started on the renovation of the Washington Hilton, and here Mike, a die-hard Red Sox fan, shows us an 1889 team picture he found in the basement of the hotel, which they bought with Canyon Johnson last June.


Although Lowe’s Harmar Thompson has now used up his 2008 quota for pictures in this publication, we popped into his office to see plans from their NY-based architect, Beyer, Blinder, Belle.   The $140M 1,100-room Hilton makeover will also add a new junior ballroom, 170 condo units that back Florida Ave, and a possible cool new rooftop terrace.


Just like US Weekly shows pictures of celebrities doing ordinary things like jogging or pumping gas, we would like to show that “real” estate people are real.  Here, at their December Book Club, discussing Holidays on Ice are Washington Group Sales’ Michelle Fair, Akridge’s Katie Burton and Mary Margaret Hiller, KTA Group’s Amy Talton, HNTB’s Carrie Cooke, and Bisnow’s Stacey Pfarr.  This picture conclusively demonstrates that they are all very intellectual, with the possible exception of Katie, who seems to be holding her book upside down.


If you haven’t seen BLT maitre d’ Adam Williamowsky lately, it’s because he’s on his honeymoon in Cambodia!  Just to remind you what he looks like, here he is a few weeks ago with patron Becky Owen, general counsel and head of acquisitions of Clark Enterprises. Becky was dining with CBRE's camera-shy Scott Frankel to discuss leasing opportunities at the great Capitol View—which you would all be foolish not to take advantage of.


This is a little extraneous, but thought you’d enjoy it.  Our own Elliott Bisnow is in Las Vegas this week, reporting for our Tech publication on the amazing Consumer Electronics Show.  He took this picture of Bill Gates giving his eighth annual presentation there.  It’s also Gates’ last, because he’s retiring this summer from Microsoft.  As part of his speech, he showed a pretty hilarious video.

You can also read Elliott’s coverage:

Day One coverage link
Day Two coverage link

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