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August 5, 2008

Next Bisnow Schmooze & Breakfast:  top developers John Shooshan (Shooshan Companies), Bob Buchanan (Buchanan Partners), and Bruce Baschuk (J Street/Hagner/Woodmark). August 21, 7:15-9:00 AM, BLT Steak. Thanks to great sponsors Seyfarth Shaw, Dietze Construction, and FOX Architects. Sign up!


We know Mayor Fenty has one, but it seems like the gas-saving little Smart Car may become the rage on the real estate scene as well. Yesterday we went to Rockville to tool around with Bresler & Reiner CEO Sidney Bresler in his brand new 8-foot long vehicle. Not only did he buy one for himself, but the development mogul also had the idea of using the hard-to-get cars as an incentive for purchasers of remaining units at his luxury Philadelphia condo building, Symphony House.   


Sidney shows off the spiffy wheels which get him around town on 40 mpg. He says they're not only giving them away (condo prices range from the $600s to $2M) but buyers also get a free parking space. Because the wait list for Smart Cars is sometimes almost one year, he says there's been a huge amount of media and buyer buzz. Our question: Are there enough to go around for DC condo buyers? (Sidney is not buzzing about how he avoided the long wait.)


Bresler & Reiner is also in the throes of working on Waterfront Station in SW with partners Forest City and Vornado. Sidney tells us the mammoth 2.5M SF Shalom Baranes-designed revitalization [Shalom—we just drop that in gratuitously to keep you reading] of the old Waterside Mall is well underway with "lots of holes and cranes." Waterfront isn't the only thing Sidney has in common with Vornado regional head Mitchell Schear. Mitchell also recently got a Smart Car of his own. 


For those of you who haven't seen the Mayor pull up to events lately (he's evidently ditched the usual security brigade), here's a recent pic of him driving his son through the city.


We went to a screening last night with some fellow real estate types at the E Street Theatres of a new movie called Red, co-produced by Norman Dreyfuss and John Cecchi, who by day are execs with real estate developer IDI; then an after party hosted by Washington Life. Above, John with Leeanne Decker of Robert Andrew Salons and Spas, Advanced Plastic Surgery Center's Kelley Cornwell, and Choice Hotels' International's Sarah Wingfield. Leeanne and Kelley were Redskins cheerleaders for many years, and Sarah was a Washington Redskins Ambassador. But John didn't just have fun last night: Last week he was with friends in St. Tropez; he came back Friday for a weekend in Dewey; and this week he'll be in Vail.


It's been 100 days since Cresa Partners' new downtown DC branch opened shop at 701 8th St. NW. Above, office leader Gary Stein, with Bethesda office managing principal Tom Birnbach. Cresa's subleased 3500 SF of space from their client Thelen Reid in the Portrait Building and is looking to have around 15 brokers in the space by year end. 


Tom, Chris Finley, Jonathan Glass, and Gary outside what they tell us has become one of their favorite lunch-time restaurants: Proof (we hope so—they’re located right next to it). They also say that since opening up the DC office, they’ve secured 100k SF of new deals in addition to their steady clients like Oracle, EMC, Sheppard Mullin, Spriggs and Hollingsworth, and BAE Systems. Though Gary just got back from golfing in Pebble Beach for a client appreciation weekend, he tells us his number one sport is basketball; he officiates in local area high schools. In 2006, he coached the AAU team, Bethesda Magic, when the 16-year-olds won the national championship in Vegas.


Tom's still sporting a nice tan from his July vacation to the British Virgins with his family. He's not done relaxing yet; in a few weeks they're going to Lake Winapasaukee (you know, the What About Bob lake) in New Hampshire, followed by a week in Telluride. See, he doesn't hang with LeBron all the time.


The DC CREW programs committee (ie, the gals behind the CREW lunch presentations) got together for happy hour at the Park on 14th: Marsh's Kathy Barlow, ForrestPerkins' Barbara Silverman, Hagner/Woodmark's Ashley Blum, Monument's Clara Brenner, Nelson Architects' Susan Strohm, Monument's Tasha Stancill, WDG's Beth Ring, Elizabeth Tuico, ForrestPerkins'  Ruth Jansson, Leo A Daly's Caki Diehl, Hickok Cole's Vanessa Bridges, and Vivian Chang de Ramirez. They remind us to mark our calendars for the September 17th lunch, "World Class Projects in Other Cities" featuring Rand's Linda Rabbitt as moderator and speakers from Brookfield Properties and Gensler.

Goulston & Storrs
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