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June 5, 2008

Big shout-out to new sponsor DC United. Don’t miss the soccer event of the summer: United v. the LA Galaxy and David Beckham. Sunday, June 29. Tickets on sale now! 


Hope you’re all safe from those torrents of rain. Although we got caught in it during events last night, at least the outdoor activity below was in the sunny part of the day.  


Ballston’s new urban center! Yesterday we were on the scene for the Shooshan Company’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for 1.1M SF, two-tower Liberty Center on N. Quincy Street. Above we snapped John Shooshan, right, with top reps of his investment partners: Clark Enterprises COO Larry Nussdorf and Fred Schnider Investment Group’s Martin Schnider Sr. and Jr.  Shooshan’s first mixed-use project includes 500k SF in two Class A commercial buildings, 25k SF of retail space, and 468 residential units.  


21 stories up, Shooshan’s Katie Ward, Kelly Shooshan, and Gina Lee show us rooftop amenities including pool and fitness center, not to mention the great views. Kelly, who oversees residential development, tells us the 235 apartments (which opened in March) are 26% leased and the 233 condos are already 68% sold.  The project was designed by SmithGroup and built by Clark Construction. 



Last night we were on hand for the 22nd annual National Building Museum Honor Awards at which 300 paid tribute to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which reps 32,000 general contractors, specialty contractors, etc. Above, we snapped honoree Steve Sandherr, CEO of the AGC, with National Building Museum president Chase Rynd and iSqFt CEO Dave Conway. Steve tells contractors are really getting into “building information modeling,” ie, following the entire process of construction on a computer screen. Steve and Dave are headed to Vegas today: Steve for a Chamber of Commerce meeting and Dave for a CSI Convention (not Crime Scene Investigation, but the Construction Specifications Institute).


Turner’s Nicholas Makes, Shannon Eckhart, Susan Boggs; and Tompkins James Tolbert at the VIP reception pre-dinner. It was a fitting venue for the Turner/Tompkins folks since the Building Museum also serves as HQ for the Martin Luther King Foundation and both construction companies are part of the design-build team (along with McKissack & McKissack, and Gilford Corp.) for the MLK Jr. Memorial, set to begin construction this fall on the National Mall



We were on hand Tuesday at the Grand Hyatt for RealShare’s Green Buildings conference, and here caught speakers Steve Hubert of Buchanan Partners and Doug Gatlin of the USGBC. Doug says that though LEED has been around since 2000, it’s ever growing in popularity with over 4B SF currently in the pipeline.  


Transwestern’s Al Skadowski, CBRE’s Sally Wilson, BOMA International’s Brenna Walraven, Liberty Property Trust’s Shelby Christensen, and moderator John Salustri of Real Estate Media. Though most of the day’s conference centered on new construction, the panelists agreed that the biggest impact will come from greening existing buildings, since they account for more than 95% of commercial buildings. 


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