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July 18, 2008

Don't forget: The great Builder's Ball is just around the corner!  November 8 at the National Building Museum. More info here.


Continuing here on our fashionable stay-cation, there does seem to be a lot going on even in the middle of July. And we sure do like nice weather Fridays. Take a nice long lunch or siesta outside today; and, yeah, tell your boss we gave you permission. 


Last night Main Man Milt Peterson was among the 250 who gathered on the East Pier at National Harbor for the Associated General Contractors of DC Young Constructors Forum's lobster/clambake and networking. Flanking Milt: AGC-DC CEO Cherie Pleasant and  Exotic Stones' Kathleen O'Leary, with Peterson's David Kersey in tow.


What is this, the south of France? A gaggle of Davis construction folks aren't afraid to dig in and chow down, and that red checked tablecloth is hard for the camera to resist.


Kone Elevator's Sean Zoll, Mike Lyon, James Gerard, and Michael Johnson are looking for ten more friends so they can film Ocean's 14.


Young Constructors Andy Cecere, Brandon Russo, and Patrick Cotter are all on the organizing committee. Don't rest guys; plan the next one.



All is not bleak on the home-selling-front: We took a drive down I-95 to meet with Kettler's Chief Investment Officer Mike Blum and research guru Laura London, who tell us their Potomac Club development in Prince William County is actually the fastest-selling planned community in the the market (#2: Lansdowne, #3: Villages of Urbana in Frederick). Kettler, the project's master developer, is 100% sold to individual homebuilders (M/I Homes, Pulte, and Ryan) for 1,040 units in Phase I with heavy current interest for the balance of the 1,642-unit development. Of those units, they tell us 565 units have been sold to individual home-buyers, a feat they chalk up to the community's readily accessible location (it's visible from I-95 and Rt. 1); amenities like the $12M clubhouse which includes rock climbing wall and indoor/outdoor pools; plus, a price point of $300-400k. 


Laura and Mike in front of the clubhouse for the 135-acre community, which also happens to be right down from Roadside Development's Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center (including new Wegman's grocery store). Mike says Kettler has over 16,500 residential units in Prince William: 6,000 complete, 8500 selling or under construction, and 2,000 in the pipeline. They also have 2.6M SF of commercial, office, and retail in the pipeline with 625K SF already completed. Laura just got back from a 3-week trip to Australia with hubby (who recently returned from a year in Afghanistan) and two children. Mike tells us he and his wife are content at home while the 9 and 12-years olds do sleep-away camp.



PN Hoffman's Shawn Seaman and EVP and internal legal counsel Mark Dorigan show us the model of the Hoffman-Struever SW Waterfront project the other day at their Wisconsin Ave office. As of Wednesday, $198M in public financing was approved by the DC City Council which will allow them to move forward, paying for infrastructure, utilities, roads, parks, promenades, waterside improvements, and public parking for the 2.4 M SF development slated to break ground in 2010. Once complete, it'll have 770 residential units, 700k SF of office, 476k SF of hotel, 280k SF of retail, 150k SF of cultural space, 5 new parks, 4 new piers, and a half-mile of promenade and bike trails, as well as a renovation of the existing Fish Market. Would be nice to visit on a day like this.



After 18 months of credit market turmoil, let it be known that some deals (well, in this case in Colorado) are still getting done. Above, Transwestern's Al Missirlian and Cliff Mendelson, of the firm's Bethesda-based structured finance group, tell us they just closed $325M of construction and mezzanine debt for Vail luxury Solaris Residences. Cliff, who heads the group (we call him "The Boss" due to the extensive Bruce Springsteen collection on his office walls), tell us they finance  product all over the country. Says Cliff: "It was a long haul but in this market any closing is a good one."  

Opportunity Knocks for Young Gun


How's this for a dream scenario for a young lawyer? Just seven months after Jackie Williamowsky, 27,started her transactional real estate career at the Leibner & Potkin firm, a book of business for some of DC's biggest-name developers, including P.N. Hoffman, Abdo Development, and Keener Management, fell right into her lap. It happened when Lane Potkin left for in-house work (the law firm is now called Arness & Associates), and actually the scenario could have been a nightmare for someone not up to the task. But Jackie ran with it and now, a year later, has actually tripled her client base. She specializes in condo conversion projects like Abdo's transformation of the old Children's Museum into the Landmark Loft development at 3rd & H. Bonus factoid: she's also an expert make-up artist. During her days at NYU undergrad, Jackie prettied up Rudy Giuliani for a few TV spots, Bon Jovi and Counting Crows for videos, and down here has done up some members of Congress prepping for the Senate recording studio. Oh, and her new husband, Adam, is known to BLT Steak aficionados as its know-everybody GM, and we trust can provide nice libations, and certainly good seating, when she celebrates closings.



Hundreds of architects flocked to the Reagan Building the other day for DesignDC '08, the area's largest conference and tradeshow for designers.  Above right, Nats stadium guru and American Institute of Architects prez Marshall Purnell joined by Mary Fitch, executive director of DC AIA, and member Edward Johnson. Marshall keynoted to the crowd of 300 about building designs that have been a catalyst for change in DC.



Happy hour for Georgetown's MPS in Real Estate program last week at Old Ebbitt let faculty and students mix in some fun: Shardin Capital Holdings' Joanna Girardin Shapiro, Gtown recent college grad Mark Dickson, Buchanan Partners' Brad Yetman, GU Associate Dean of the MPS in Real Estate Program's Charles Schilke and program manager Jill Phaneuf; and Cassidy Pinkard's Chris Lucey and Michael Burke.  

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