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December 18, 2007


Sponsor Update: Our friends at K3 Construction recently delivered a new prototype lobby and fitness center renovation for the Courtyard by Marriott in Fairfax and was awarded the build-out of developer Jerome J. Parks Companies' HQ in downtown Annapolis. Congrats!

We went downtown this morning to the nerve center of the Hines and Archstone-Smith joint venture that will be developing the old convention center site.  Yes, there was fanfare yesterday when Adrian Fenty announced the closing (it technically took place Friday). But now it seems real—and the real work begins. 

This was the scene two hours ago at the Hines office at 555 13th, where the senior team tends to meet (when they’re not running over to the District building to see city pointmen Neil Albert, Konrad Schlater, and Mike Krainak).  With all those pretty pictures on the table, it may not look like hard work, but actually the closing involved 23 different agreements on legal, design, and financials that stacked up 33 inches high.  Captaining the effort since the RFP in 2002 have been Hines SVP Bill Alsup, standing; Archstone-Smith VP Daryl South, right (technically of Charles E. Smith Residential, the high rise division of Archstone); and Hines VP Howard Riker (who was away on what Bill assured us is a “constructive mission,” ie, not vacation quite yet).  Archstone development VP Rafael Muniz, left, joined the team six months ago from California.  Although they all do strategy, Hines zeroed in on the office portion, Archstone on apartments, and both jointly on condos and retail.  

Here they show us the schematic site plan.  What happened Friday (in law firm Powell Goldstein’s offices at 1 PM) was the signing of legal documents like reciprocal easement agreements.  The crew worked like crazy every day starting Thursday, December 6 for a week, from 7 AM to 8 PM, when lawyers started drafting overnight and PoGo’s Adam Walsh seemed to do his best work at 3 AM.  Their secret of stamina?  Bill handed out power granola bars, though Rafael stuck to pretzels.  Now the joint venture can proceed to complete working drawings, and designers, as Bill says, “can run as fast as they can.”  Bill and his team will also be focusing on financing, marketing, and bidding contractors (phased between March and November of '08).     

The power behind the scenes, communications manager Dawn Marcus helped Bill open the office in 1983, when it was just the two of them and they were subleasing 500 SF from Squire Sanders at 1201 Penn.  Now the Houston-based developer has 200 employees here.


Santa Claus got an early start last week at the Associated Builders and Contractors holiday party at Strathmore.  Coakley Williams Construction CEO Pat Caulfield and Grunley’s Ken Grunley, above, told us they’re excited about partnering on the 800k SF renovation of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  Ken and his wife just got back from Rome, Florence, and Venice, and Pat’s busy checking the X-mas list twice for his 16, 14, 11, and 6 year-olds. 

Also at ABC, Anne Arundel’s minority/small business coordinator Joanne Jackson, Tradesmen International’s Lawrence Finney, and Eminence EGroup CEO Delores McKinney.  Lawrence was marveling at the fast pace of construction at National Harbor where he has a team of 20 doing the woodworking at the Gaylord Hotel.

Miller & Long’s John Windsor, Harris Rebar’s Rob Hartzell, Miller & Long’s John Anders, Brett McMahon, and chairman John McMahon.  John tells us that M&L is staying busy working on Foulger Pratt’s massive Park Potomac project.  Brett says he’s hoping for some snow to do a little bit of local skiing at Deep Creek Lake this holiday season with his 8, 5, and 3-year-olds. 



Buch Construction
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