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January 8, 2010  
 
 
RECLAIMING THE CROWN

What’s on the calendar of Mitchell Schear, Ray Ritchey, Mike Darby, Maureen Dwyer, Jim Davis, and Tom Fulcher for next Wed, Jan 13? Why, the Bisnow “Back to Business Total Schmoozarama,” at one of America’s great clubs, the Park at 14th. Open bar and dinner buffet, crazy low price. Sign up now!

 
Five years and five lawsuits after the inception of the Crown Farm project, the massive 182-acre development in Gaithersburg is back on track, led by one of the project’s original supporters.
 
Sunbrook’s Steve Coniglio

Westbrook Partners/Sunbrook, KB Home, and Pulte Homes settled on a joint venture Dec 29 to pull the development out of bankruptcy and back into business—just a year after Gaithersburg Planning Director Greg Ossont said Crown Farm was “officially going nowhere.” We snapped Sunbrook’s Steve Coniglio, who’s heading up development of 2,250 residences and 320k SF of retail on the farmland. Purchased for $137M by KB and Centex Homes in ’05, the team filed for bankruptcy after a failed attempt to sell the property in ’08. A handful of lawsuits followed until the recent agreement last month. The next step: moving forward aggressively with approval of plans, starting infrastructure improvements by May or June, and adding residential units by 3rd quarter ‘11, says Steve.

In addition to the residential units, Crown Farm will feature 30 acres planned for a Montgomery County high school, two clubhouses, a five-acre park, and high-end restaurants and shops. Steve says while KB and Pulte will build the homes, the group will definitely consider outside help for other aspects. A proposed rail line will feature a stop at Crown Farm in the future, and Steve says they plan to offer shuttle service to the Shady Grove Metro station in the interim.


300K THINGS TO CELEBRATE

 
Studley’s Angela Cordovez, Todd Valentine, Neil Levy, and Mett Miller, Grubb & Ellis’ Kurt Stout, DLA Piper’s Kim Pagotto, and Jeff Keitelman, Studley’s David Lipson, and Monday Properties’ Tim Helmig

Last night at Bourbon Steak, we snapped Studley’s Angela Cordovez, Todd Valentine, Neil Levy, and Mett Miller, Grubb & Ellis’ Kurt Stout, DLA Piper’s Kim Pagotto and Jeff Keitelman, Studley’s David Lipson, and Monday Properties’ Tim Helmig as the group celebrated their combined efforts to close 293k SF of DoD renewals at five Monday buildings in Rosslyn last month. Grubb & Ellis repped Monday, Studley the DoD. Tim is ditching the wimpy inch of snow we got this morning for a weekend of heli-skiing in British Columbia with 2-feet of fresh powder. This may look like enough people to stage a “Last Supper,” but we think 2010 holds many more celebrations (aka more excuses for open bar). 

Monday Properties’ Rob Bowman, John Wharton, Joy Kerin, and Wil Machen

Monday Properties’ Rob Bowman, John Wharton, Joy Kerin, and Wil Machen toasting to Monday’s successful quarter in the R/B Corridor, with 13 leases. This group also loves to ski (although not from a helicopter) and racked up trips to Deep Creek and Snow Shoe over the holidays. Joy quickly realized that drinks and heat make for a comfier New Year’s and spent hers jamming with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings at the 9:30 Club.


GREG AND BEN
 
Akridge, VP Greg Tomasso and managing director Ben Meisel

We told you yesterday about the tenants’ side of the big Sutherland deal at 700 Sixth St. As for the owner, Akridge, VP Greg Tomasso and managing director Ben Meisel, snapped yesterday, helped the team accomplish the near impossible: less than 40 days between signing a letter of intent Nov 23, and closing on Dec 30—with all those holidays in between. And further congrats to Akridge for getting certification of LEED Platinum just a few weeks ago. 50k SF remains in the building, 15k of which has been partially built out in reclaimed barnwood floors (in keeping with the eco emphasis). Oh, and the duo adds there may be another “market making” deal for a different Akridge building in the next 30 days; stay tuned.


DOUBLE HIRE FOR GRUBB & ELLIS

 
Grubb & Ellis Paul Adkins

Two familiar faces will be joining Grubb & Ellis. CarrAmerican and FBR vet Paul Adkins (photographed this morning) takes over as managing director of the DC region; ironically, he’s landed back at a building he initially leased more than 20 years ago. With many of the same people (and the good ol’ Bottom Street Bar still standing on Eye St), Paul says it’s like a time warp. To celebrate the new gig, he planned a 3-day getaway to Naples with his wife—one last hurrah before getting back to our weather. And that wasn’t the only new hire this week—the company says Rob Meeks will join as SVP of retail, after nine years with Next Realty.


UPCOMING EVENTS
 

January 12 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - Event Strategies -Driving Attendance and Managing Costs." BLT Steak - Sign up now!

January 13 - Bisnow Back to Business Total Schmoozarama - Park at Fourteenth - 6-8pm - Network with top level business execs, enjoy open bar, and gourmet buffet. Crazy low price. Join us!

January 19 - CREW DC - "Roadmap to Economic Recovery" featuring Marci Rossell, former CNBC Chief Economist and Co-Host of Squawk BoxInfo

January 19 - CREW NoVa - State of the Real Estate Market - 6-8:30pm - Steve Fuller, Wendy Feldman Block, Kathy Keller, and Cathy Delcoco - Fairview Park Marriott - Info

 
 
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