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Real Estate Bisnow
January 14, 2013  
Walker LTile DCRE

Retro Is In

Need a jumpstart in 2013? Join us for a Back to Business Schmoozarama on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 6 to 8pm at Fujimar. Open bar and top networking. Sign up here!

If you live long enough, everything comes back into style—that’s why we’ve kept our sportcoats. Vinyl records, thin ties, and burgers are enjoying boomlets. (Just not hard copy newsletters, please.) And so it goes with the newest, coolest hotels—at least in NY, which is setting a style we may soon see in DC.
Excelsior - NYC

Our publisher has been on a binge tour of NYC’s hippest hotels—he’s compiled a list of 70 candidates and aims to identify the top 10 or 20 for our NY readers. Here’s the front desk he snapped today at the jam-packed Ace Hotel on 29th and Broadway, outfitted with lamps, bookcases, and signs from early last century.

Porcelanosa MDCRE
Ace Hotel room

Rooms are small (we didn’t say inexpensive) but charming—yes, that’s a coat rack in place of a closet, and a steamer trunk with refrigeration. Okay, the flat screen and Frette linens might be new.

Bisnow (Sales) Jumbo

You thought everyone had become a vegan? Not the crowd at the Breslin restaurant off the lobby where lunchers today were deciding among the lamburger, guinea hen, blood sausage, and pork pate. (Of course, they also have kale.)


The outside of the 1904 building has a simple HOTEL sign without even the name Ace, like you might have seen in Paris or Portland 100 years ago.


A block away at the equally hip NoMad Hotel (for North of Madison Square Park, a newly popular area), one of the key common rooms in this converted sewing factory is “the Library,” with thousands of real books and a spiral staircase allowing you to check out the volumes on the second level. (How do you read in the dim light? A backlit iPad might help.)


And in the middle of a guestroom? Why the claw-footed bathtub.   

CityCenter Condo Sneak Peek

Howard Riker - Hines

The DC region eagerly awaits CityCenter and its game-changing office, retail, and residential portions. Condo sales for the project are well under way, and Bisnow got a sneak peek at a model unit Friday from Hines’ Howard Riker. Howard (with a scale model in the sales office at 901 New York Ave) tells us the 216 Foster and Partners-designed condo units will welcome their first residents this October and contribute to CityCenter’s “celebration of the evolution of downtown.”
CityCenter condo

Here’s a two-bedroom (they’re also offering one-bedrooms), which Howard tells us incorporates a distinctly Euro-vibe, from the clean design lines to the cabinetry made by Italian company Molteni. (Those cabinets can fit two Greek protestors. Or one in the smaller unit.) He also says the kitchens were designed as “extensions of the living room,” and notes that Foster and Partners made a point to include as much natural light as possible (highlighted by that floor-to-ceiling glass on the right).

CityCenter DC construction

Howard says there’s tons of pent-up demand for condos locally, and with few other condo projects under construction inside the Beltway, CityCenter’s units are in a unique spot in the marketplace. While in the neighborhood, we made sure to check out how construction was going, and it’s amazing to see what two years ago was a pick-up spot for the Megabus. Oh, and as for those rumors of a certain Cupertino, CA-based retailer moving in to the CityCenter retail space? Howard wouldn’t confirm any new deals, but says the retail space is 30% committed with more to announce this spring.

Bob Pincus, Bryan Voltaggio
Suburban Maryland has long lamented the lack of business restaurants. Could it be that role is being filled by one actually across the line in DC, Range? And not just during the day but at night? Saturday evening we ran into EagleBank vice chairman Bob Pincus and coaxed him into the kitchen with chef, founder, and bank client Bryan Voltaggio.
Range - DC restaurant
Nearby we ran into others like Sunrise Senior Living CEO Mark Ordan and Cassidy Turley's Bobby Schwartz. If others of you were there, sorry, we're not so bad that we nose around every single table.
DGS GM Brian Zipin
On Friday, for nostalgia's sake, we walked up Connecticut Avenue to visit the stretch where our last, smaller office was located. When we blink these days, it seems new places suddenly appear. This is the new DGS, a hip, artisinal Jewish deli, whose initials stand for District Grocery Stores, apparently a chain many decades ago that one of the owner's grandparents used to operate. Showing us around: partner and GM Brian Zipin, who some of you may recognize as the former GM at Michel Richard's Central.

What a wild weekend of NFL playoff games. Which one was your favorite? Email chris.baird@bisnow.com

Prudential (Jan) DCRE
WS (Barcelo) DCRE
CREW (Mika) DC
Red Coats (Squeegee) DCRE
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SportsClub (Jan31) DCRE
DC Central (Sips2) DCRE
NewAcre (300k) DC
Reznick (CohnDebut) DCRE
Bisnow (NoMa) DCRE
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