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February 4, 2008

Last chance:  RSVP for LandAmerica's upcoming Going Global event. More info here. Feb. 6, 7:30am, Capital Hilton. We'll be there!


What can we say about last night?  We love scrappy underdogs—that's kind of our business model.  Nonetheless, we were too busy eating Doritos to be out and about with our camera, but here's some other action from this weekend.


This picture from Saturday night's Capitol File party at Decatur House has utterly nothing to do with our usual subject matter, but 2007 Best Actor Oscar winner Forest Whitaker told us it was his dream in life to have his picture in a "Bisnow."  (There's a slight chance we misunderstood him; it was a noisy room.)  Also, the three of us here discovered that we have the most amazing thing in common:  Forest makes movies, Georgetown art gallery owner Marsha Ralls should be in movies, and your humble publisher, right, goes to movies. 


Also on hand, uber-real estate financier Joe Robert (who tells us he's working as hard as ever in this market, gathering up distressed properties) and host and Capitol File publisher Jason Binn.


And what kind of party would it be without more real estate celebs:  PN Hoffman's Alanna Doczi Deal, new Capitol File editor-in-chief Sherry Moeller, and Randall Hagner's Valerie Covarrubias.


We've written a lot about Reston Town Center lately; let's not forget the other side of the Toll Road. The other day JBG's John Schlichting and SmithGroup's Andy Rollman showed us renderings for JBG's 35 acre, 16-building development, Reston Heights.  While a 191-room Westin Reston Heights delivers in April, SmithGroup is still designing three buildings with 900k SF office space and 130k SF of retail fronting the Toll Rd. John tells us Fairfax supervisors just approved density and usage for another 498 residential units, 210k SF of office, and 145k SF of retail.  Although five of 16 buildings are already built, JBG has committed that everything going forward will be at least LEED Silver.



In 2007 we probably ate our weight in Dixie Bones BBQ at all the ground breakings and topping outs.  On Friday, we had our first BBQ of '08, with Intrepid Real Estate at the topping out of their swank residential 2501 Penn Ave. Above, Urban Pace's Michele Topel, Tompkins' George Kreis, Intrepid's EVP Ed Gosselin and Prez John Mason, and BB&T's Howard Dymond.  John tells us that in the last 14 years, he's the sixth person to own the property and the first to get zoning changed to allow construction.  Though the original façade of the 1865 building was preserved, John says they completely rebuilt the dilapidated interior. The 16 units are priced from $1.8 and to $4.5m—with one already under contract.  


The Duke Ellington School of the Arts is getting an interior facelift for the first time in 20 years, courtesy of Davis Construction, Precision Wall Tech, and Envision Design.  The three companies have organized $100k of at-cost materials and labor donations to spif up the space before the school's opening performance of "The Wiz" this Thursday.  We snapped this Friday of Floor Solutions Javier Mier, Davis' Dave Boyland and Melissa Burneston, and school principal Rory Pullens in the midst of a massive carpet install in the school's front lobby (which doubles as an art gallery).

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