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The Suite Life with the Lerners and Abramsons
October 9, 2013
Manhattan (Sports)

The Suite Life
of the
Lerners & Abramsons

CohnReznick and Nixon Peabody present Outlook 2014: What's Next for the Historic Tax Credit (Oct. 17-18 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row). Connect with leaders, avoid troublesome IRS areas, learn exit strategies and more. Register here.

Two of DC's biggest real estate families are putting their full weight behind spec suites in an iconic downtown property. (Please tell us the Clintons and Bushes get along so well.) We caught up with them yesterday to get an inside look.

Yesterday at Washington Square at Conn and L, we snapped brothers and Tower Companies execs Jeffrey, Gary, and Ronald Abramson flanking Lerner Enterprises founder and Nats owner Ted Lerner. Tower and Lerner (which developed the property together back in '82) have created four eye-catching spec suites on the 10th floor totaling 23k SF. They have ultra modern, high-level design, with tons of glass, and modular walls allow two suites to be combined for a big tenant. (The families have known each other a long time; Ted's mom lived at The Blairs in Silver Spring, built 50 years ago by the Abramson kids' late dad, Sonny.)
CohnReznick (Think2) MDCR

DEP's Chuong Cao designed the suites and tells us laying out spec spaces can often be a challenge, since the finished workspace has to be appealing to a wide range of users. (Just put a few bowls of candy inside. Everyone loves candy.) Chuong and his team capitalized on Washington Square's strengths like long window lines, and added features like the marble reception desk and sleek wood floors that he says are inviting to both touch and feel.

Here's Ted with Cushman & Wakefield's Brian Tucker, who's handling leasing with colleagues Brian Raher, Michael Katcher, John Dragelin, and John Skolnik. There's already been strong interest from several groups, the brokers report, even though the suite were finished just last week.

Bialek Environments installed the DIRTT modular wall system, and here the firm's Georgina Toth shows us the "breathe wall," a mountable plant shelf that helps infuse offices with oxygen—and net some coveted LEED points, as the owners are seeking Silver for the "Ultimate Suites."

Speaking of which, Bialek founder Joan Bialek, in another heartwarming family moment, was on hand with son Jeremy Levitt.

What Dune Paid For 1101 Connecticut

Market sources tell us what Dune Real Estate Partners paid for FCP's 90% stake in 1101 Connecticut Ave. The NYC-based firm forked over $63.6M for the big slice of the 188k SF building (co-owned with Penzance), which FCP bought in to in 2010 for $51M. FCP put select capital improvements into 1101 Connecticut after buying in, and as we reported last week, decided to exit the asset after executing its strategy and bringing occupancy up to 95%. (You hear that kids? It pays to clean up your room.)

Northern Virginia's Hottest Industry

dcnova-dave richey
Asia Pacific and Latin America are quickly becoming major global markets for data centers (and Little League baseball). We learned this from CBRE first VP David Ritchey at Bisnow's Data Center Outlook event in Reston yesterday. The firm is tracking 137 megawatts of additional supply in areas like Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, and Hong Kong. Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Mexico are grabbing the Latin America market and will become major players in the next 12 to 14 months. In the US, North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, and Wyoming are grabbing some data center business. David adds that absorption in Northern Virginia has outpaced new supply, which is a "very good sign."


Not all data centers are created equal, and the design and function of data centers occupied by enterprises tend to be driven by the IT side of the company, says HITT Contracting tech director Ross Rebraca. Since it's their data center, enterprises tend to go with a robust design, whereas colocation sites back down a bit or wait to build an infrastructure suited to the client. Businesses with a huge number of applications to manage, like a financial firm, will put a lot into the data center infrastructure.


One of the biggest trends in data center design and operation is efficiency and modularity, says KTA Group SVP Kevin Brightwell. Some enterprises are also pushing the limits on temperature within the data center because they're so in tune with what kind of equipment they're putting in. (Beats trying to find a fleece that fits your server.) The strategy helps lower costs. Digital Realty Trust sales engineering director Rob Bruno (left) says they're also saving on costs by using cooling technologies that use more outside air. Some enterprises are going to lower-tier data centers because they have a better solution on the data side, added WB Engineers+Consultants principal Tom Doherty.

Our Eds & Meds Event Next Week!

Healthcare and higher education are a big driver of commercial real estate in the region—especially out in Maryland. At next week's first-ever Bisnow Eds & Meds event at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, you'll hear how some of the region's biggest employers are keeping the sectors growing fast. We'll have a conversation with two of the top hospital CEOs in the region (Adventist HealthCare's Bill Robertson and Children's National Medical Center's Kurt Newman), Prince George's County economic development chief David Iannucci, top officials from many local colleges, and key brokers, architects, and contractors. Sign up here!

Come to Our National Data Center Event!

We're holding our big national data center event this year at the Ritz Carlton in Dallas on Nov. 13—350 top data center users, owners, developers, investors, lenders, and designers from around the country. (We call it DICE, which stands for something with the words "data center" in it.) Hear amazing speakers from Digital Realty Trust, T5 Data Centers, QTS, Compass Datacenters, Carter Validus, Cisco, 451 Group, and many others. Oh, and a Casino Night thrown in! Sign up now.

Tania Anderson contributed to this issue.

Send story ideas, hot tips, and hummus recipes. chris.baird@bisnow.com

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