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April 14, 2011  

Don't miss First Potomac chief investment officer Nick Smith, ProLogis' Mark Levy, Transwestern's Caulley Deringer, and others at our April 25th NoVa Industrial Summit. Sign up now!


Sherry Cushman’s 20th year of heading up the JDRF Real Estate Games will be her last. So let’s make the 22nd games on June 9 at American University a great one!

Sherry Cushman, Brisa Baron, Adam Singer, and Steve Conley at American University in June 2010

Among all the grand openings, closing dinners, and Bisnow Schmoozes, the games have proved that DC’s power players prefer cross-dressing bathing suits and goggles over tuxes. But they've also raised $4.2M for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Here's CBRE’s Sherry with HFF's Brisa Baron, Studley's Adam Singer, and HFF's Steve Conley (last year's honorary chairman and a Type 1 diabetic) at last year's games. Sherry hopes to bring in $500k this year from sponsors like die-hards Vornado, Monument, Tishman Speyer, Boston Properties, and HITT, plus newbies ING and Skanska; these companies pay for their employees, $30 per person, per sporting event (more than 65 teams compete in 36 events); and the golf and auction event for sponsors (May 2 at the Mt. Vernon Country Club).

JLL (Project) Mini DCRE
JDRF Real Estate Games basketball tournament at American University in June 2010

Adam founded the event 22 years ago, playing basketball with some buddies at Catholic U. B-ball remains one of the marquee events (look at this picture and tell us these players don’t mean business). Bragging rights for the 32-team, single-elimination tug-of-war is important enough to merit recruiting for the eight-person teams. (Sherry tells us construction companies usually dominate this one.) What makes it her favorite event, though, is that it brings everyone back together in one place to cap off the games. (Is it the camaraderie—or the pizza and beer?)

Bldg Museum Mini DCRE
mystery game at JDRF Real Estate Games in June 2010 at American University

Something tells us this is harder than it looks. You can find a tentative schedule of events here, and go here to sign up as a Real Estate Games sponsor. You can register at that link, too, but don’t get too eager; it doesn’t open until May 10.

Michael Darby, Toby Bozzuto, Sherry Cushman, Tim Helmig, and Rob Ward at the Capital Hilton, DC, on April 13, 2011

Sherry also moderated yesterday's CREW DC panel of Monument Realty principal Michael Darby, Bozzuto Development prez Toby Bozzuto, Monday Properties chief development officer Tim Helmig, and Skanska USA Commercial Development regional manager Rob Ward. The question is whether the DC metro area has reached the tipping point on spec development, and it just might be there considering Monday's 1812 N. Moore in Rosslyn, Skanska's 10th and G, and Monument's work in the Southeast. Another topic: Class-A office rents. In the District proper, they average $57/SF to $67/SF, significantly higher than Rosslyn, Tysons, Crystal City, and Bethesda average (mid $40s) and Silver Spring (low $30s). Will that spread drive tenants out of the District?



David Wolff, John Cushman, and Lou Cushman, 2011

We always enjoy running into living legends (running into dead ones freaks us out a little). Our Houston reporter snapped this dapper trio: Wolff Cos.' David Wolff and Cushman & Wakefield twins John and Lou Cushman at last week’s Commercial Expo. David says chairman John’s sense of competition began when he and Lou were in the womb and he pushed his way out first. John’s four sons are the seventh generation of Cushmans to work continuously in New York real estate, “the genetic imbalance in the family.” John coasted through high school but learned the value of working hard after receiving poor grades his freshman year of college. He used that lesson in his early days as a tenant rep broker canvassing parts of NYC nobody wanted, knocking on every door and getting kicked out of buildings and locked in elevators by irritated owners.

John Cushman in 2011

John’s still churning away, averaging 7,000 miles per week in the air for the past 38 years. Among John’s career highlights is negotiating the world’s largest office lease, Merrill Lynch’s 4M SF world HQ in NYC. But his favorite client was Atlantic Richfield, which treated him exceptionally well as a young broker. He opened C&W’s Los Angeles office in ’67 so he could manage the development of ARCO’s 2.6M SF office there. At the time, it was the most office space available for lease in the world. His most exciting transaction, though, was moving Boeing’s HQ from Seattle to Chicago with Houston-based colleague Tim Relyea in 2001. Some fun facts about John: After college, he ran a cement plant on the Spanish Riviera, then did a two-month expedition in Angola.




We feel a little like the old Art Buchwald column that was rerun every Thanksgiving. As the great GWCAR annual awards dinner approaches, we are asked by a number of you whatever happened to that video we did for the dinner two years ago. Okay, one last time: Link is above. Academy Award performances by Schear, Zambo, Baranes, Abdo, Ritchey, LaBelle, Klein, Connolly, Liss, Santry, Frankel, Schneider, Fulcher, Begelman, Darby, and Olson. Thanks to our editor Curtis “Spielberg” Raye for his moviemaking. It’s important to remember this was made in the heart of the recession. Just a distant memory, right?



Buwa Binitie and Bob Youngentob at the Willard InterContinental, DC, on March 14, 2011

We got so swept up in March Madness and then pitchers and catchers that we almost forgot! At our Development Frontiers event a month ago, we asked our panelists their picks for NCAA champs. Two of them, Dantes Partners’ Buwa Binitie and EYA’s Bob Youngentob, proved to have just the kind of foresight a development pioneer needs, both picking UConn. Others on the panel—Holland & Knight’s LaFonte Nesbit, Jair Lynch Development’s Jair Lynch, Abdo Development’s Jim Abdo, William C. Smith’s Brad Fennell, Donatelli Development’s Chris Donatelli, Mosaic Partners’ Calvin Gladney, and Reznick Group’s Jim Martinko—went with the likes of Kansas, Villanova, Duke, Ohio State, and Syracuse, though we can't remember who picked which teams exactly. We think these gentlemen should have to pay up, but we’ll come up with a prize of our own, perhaps our Bisnow (Almost) Never Boring umbrellas for rainy days when Bob and Buwa aren’t quite so lucky?



Kevin Thorpe in DC in 2011

Moving in the right direction. That’s Cassidy Turley chief economist Kevin Thorpe’s proclamation. Net absorption in 52 of the nation's 82 office markets increased in 2010. The return of demand concentrated in DC (where Kevin is based), New York, and Dallas and is now spreading more evenly across the US, Kevin tells us. The DC metro area continues to rank close to the top by nearly every economic measure, Kevin says. Job growth, coming largely (and encouragingly) from the private sector now, remains robust, and the retail sector is exploding, thanks in no small part to one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Who are your picks for Real Estate Games winners? Let the trash (or tranche) talking commence! Email amanda.metcalf@bisnow.com.
Reznick Tile DCRE
JLL (Project) DCRE
Ruth\\\\\\\'s Chris DC1
Holland & Knight (Neil)
DPR Construction w/o
Vanguard Realty DCRE2
BMS (Green) DCRE
Reliquid DCRE
TEEL (Client Relations)
Porcelanosa 2
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