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July 10, 2008

We're pleased to announce the addition of Bob Kettler, yet another legendary panelist, to our Bisnow discussion next week on regional development, joining Tower Companies' Jeffrey Abramson, Duball's Marc Dubick, JM Zell's Jeff Zell, and Jones Lang's Chris Molivadas. Noon, July 17, Tower Club. Special thanks to great sponsors HITT, Pillsbury, and KGD ArchitectsSign up here!


Right now, the tallest building slated for the DC area is Monday Properties' impressive 1812 North Moore in Rosslyn. Jeff Zell of JM Zell is eyeing them: He wants his to be taller. Ladies and gentlemen, do we have a skyscraper battle on our hands?  


Yesterday we visited Jeff at his 1900 K Street office where he told us about plans for Alexandria's Carlyle Plaza Two, which he says would ideally tower 320-350 ft. above the ground and offer spectacular views of the Potomac, Washington Monument, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge. He says next week they're starting the process with the city of Alexandria to up the density of the site. It's currently at only 60K SF, and they'd need to be cleared for upwards of 1M SF for the mixed-use tower that would be anywhere from 31-35 stories.


Jeff shows us a rendering for Carlyle Plaza One on John Carlyle Street. He says the proposed plan for Carlyle Plaza Two shouldn't face too much opposition because the land parcel doesn't have any residential neighbors; the site is on Eisenhower Ave and is bordered by a cemetery (well, at least no live residents) and office users. If all goes as planned, Jeff tells us it's still a two or three year process to go through entitlements and zoning, but he'd hope to be in the ground by 2011.

CB's Multi-Housing Mavens

Here's how we know these guys are good: They're standing outside in the hot sun in coat and tie and don't break a sweat: CBRE's Mike Muldowney, Andy Boyer, Maury Zanoff, and Bill Roohan. Of course, they're also in a good mood: They say the multi-housing market's done pretty well in recent weeks and gone from being 80% off in '07 to only 55% now, thanks to a big swing in volume. Year to date, they tell us the Mid-Atlantic region's done about $1.6B in closed deals with over 70% of that since mid-June. Why the sudden swing? They say sellers have finally adjusted expectations; thus, deals are moving forward. Their group is responsible for about $600m YTD, and they credit available debt from Freddie and Fannie. Last year, CB's 22-person team (founded by Bill and Andy in '92) sold 65 communities comprising 19k apartment units; they say the team standing alone would be the fifth largest multi-housing brokerage firm in the world.


Outside, inside, they just remain so well-composed. Of the group, Maury and partner Joe Donato (who was playing hookey in the Outer Banks) head up the debt, mezzanine, and equity financing practice while Andy, Mike, and Bill handle sales. Maury and Joe were the #1 and #2 multi-housing debt originators in the company and Bill, also a CBRE vice chair, is affectionately known around the office as "Godfather of Multi-Housing Sales," consistently the firm's top producer in the region since '02. Right now, they have about $100M of land deals and $400M in apartments under contract with finance assignments on the deals right around $200M. You know, guys, you can celebrate and take your coats off!


Oh, good, now we feel cooler. When the guys aren't in the office, you'll find Bill deep sea fishing in Stone Harbor, NJ (shown here with his two sons and the 168lb mako shark they caught a few weeks ago; you thought it was a surfboard?). Maury will most likely be running to Home Depot since he and his wife just bought a home in Bethesda, Mike's chasing after his three kids (5, 3, & 1), and Andy's busy sailing his 38' Hunter on the Chesapeake Bay.


Old Town Alexandria's new restaurant, Jackson 20, named after President Andrew Jackson (and, we believe, his appearance on the 20 dollar bill) is low country food with highbrow attitude. We snapped pastry chef Derek Simcik (whom some diners call the "Biscuit God" by the end of their meal) and GM Avi Rathnakumar, in the bar of the new eatery innt to Kimpton's Hotel Monaco. We liken Jackson 20 to East End's Acadiana, a place where diners can get good-old fashioned Southern comfort food, but in this case, without the hassle of downtown parking. Fried chicken never felt so classy.

Story ideas?  Contact Stacey Pfarr: Stacey@Bisnow.com.


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