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February 6, 2009  
Commonwealth Title

Bisnow Valentine party! (We try to take care of you in all seasons.) Friday, Feb. 13, from 5 to 9 PM at the very "in" Lotus Lounge, 1420 K St. Half-priced drinks and free sushi buffet. Only $10, but you must register in advance.


This morning, we were on the scene at HITT Contracting's Fairfax HQ after a mysterious tip from president Brett Hitt that his 7:30 AM project management meeting would feature a great way to reduce the tension of our trying times.


Brett was true to his word, allowing employees to give this salvage yard special a makeover. Each HITTster had the option of spray paint or sledgehammer. Most went with hammer, though some took pleasure painting names of disfavored sports teams. Brett says he thought it would bring levity and relief to a tense economic state, though he reports HITT hasn't had to lay anybody off this year. Too bad HITT isn't an auto repair company, or this could be considered job-creating economic stimulus. 



We snapped this as proof that no one is rushing to the Exit, even though it is conveniently located behind the illustrious panel gathered last night at the Park Hyatt to talk about the scary market: Cushman's Audrey Cramer, CB's Pat Marr, Tishman Speyer's Brian Berry, Studley's Art Greenberg, and Cassidy's Darian LeBlanc. The good news? A record turnout of 280 for "The Real Estate Group," an imaginatively named organization for commercial real estate types under 40, though pity is taken upon alumni, who are allowed to come back. One eternally young person is Audrey, who, even though we have personally seen her on 312,422,587 panels, tells us this was her very first time acting as moderator.


We gather Audrey would rather not be invited as a moderator again, because she asked some pretty tough questions, like what the TI allowance should be. (Brian said $80, to which Art needled, "That's a good starting point.") Overall message: Washington's in pretty good shape, "considering." An observer who'd been with mortgage bankers hours before said the contrast was night and day. At least when someone in the audience asked panelists to explain what a Rolodex was, the crowd was relaxed enough to laugh.


Commonwealth Land Title Insurance's Michael Segal, PNC Realty Investors' Carlos Bonner, Kastle System's Lorenzo Davis, and Hines' Alba Perez-McBurney and Thor Headley. Carlos just saw Revolutionary Road ("intense, great acting") at AFI 's great Silver Spring theatre, as well as Slumdog Millionaire, which Alba also just saw (she's seen 3 of the 5 best pic nominees and on a mission to see the rest). Lorenzo could do a home movie: He's recently back from a whirlwind to Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.


Standing (besides the helpful server): Clark's Donald Gibson (busy on their JV with Duke for the Army), Arent Fox's Gene Tibbs (working on loan sales and workouts), Crae Ramsey (formerly of Wrightwood Capital, who tells us he's looking for a job while waiting for sailing season, and will take the Bisnow crew to the Palm if we get him one: craeramsey@comcast.net). Seated: Meany & Oliver's Martin Griffin (his first night out since his five week old baby was born), GGA's Tony Brannon (taking his seven year old daughter to her first Wizards game this weekend), Holland & Knight's Chad Tiedemann (going to Curacao—only, he insists, because it's on "miles and points" and he's got a lot of sports magazines to catch up on), and Lowe's Hamar Thompson (doing an LDA with DC on Ft. Totten).


These guys should take a bow for the sold out crowd, especially Real Estate Group president Adam Walsh, second from left, by day an attorney at Seyfarth Shaw, repping DC at the Old Convention Center where they're close to finalizing terms with Hines/Archstone-Smith to lease additional land for a hotel. With him, his program committee: Cassidy's James Cassidy, Carr Properties' Scott Nudelman, and Tishman Speyer's Amy Kaufman.

Reznick Group
Washington Property Company
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