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January 20, 2010  

We’re donating a portion of proceeds from our Women’s event Friday to the American Red Cross for Haitian relief. We’ll be presenting a check at the Heart for Haiti fundraiser tonight at the Hyatt Regency, co-hosted by MOI, Arent Fox, Vornado, Jones Lang, OPX, Skanska, and others. Thanks to all for their help.

There was a lot of security on hand at the Four Seasons this morning, but even though aficionados suspected it was for the heavyweight panel at GWCAR, it turned out it was just Secretary of State Hillary Clinton getting her hair done at the hotel salon.
Boston Properties EVP Ray Ritchey and Vornado's Mitchell Schear

Boston Properties EVP Ray Ritchey said this is the “most confounding market” he’s seen in 35 years in real estate, but that the CBD is still hard to beat as a long term investment. He noted that law firm Skadden has been “struggling” to find the right space for its 250k SF needs. Vornado/Charles E. Smith chief Mitchell Schear thinks rental rates have bottomed out downtown and expressed the hope (to laughter) that “we’re done with concessions.” Ray said “a lot of capital is sitting out there” and that he’s even heard of a suburban property that’s had 40 tours. Mitchell said he’d “buy the CBD all day long” if prices would come down. 

Chance (5th) - in-text or
JBG managing partner Mike Glosserman and Jones Lang CEO of Brokerage for the Americas Greg O’Brien

JBG managing partner Mike Glosserman, left, says he’ll know recovery has begun when he sees friends in the design, legal, and leasing communities hiring again. (He’s smiling as Ray Ritchey comments that at least Mike has the best hair.) Jones Lang CEO of Brokerage for the Americas Greg O’Brien (whose hair is also better than Ray’s) said he’s beginning to see new confidence in corporate boardrooms. He told us he just calculated he was out of town 130 of 250 business days last year on 75 separate trips to see clients, employees, and recruits. He told the audience his travels confirm how good the fundamentals are in downtown DC and the RB Corridor.

GSA Assistant Commish Bart Bush

GSA Assistant Commish Bart Bush says GSA’s lucky to have been given $5.5 billion for shovel ready and energy efficient buildings under the stimulus program. He says he hopes that spending in this region will reach a “crescendo” in the next six months as funds are obligated and bids go out. He said he spends a lot of time discussing space implications of prospective legislation with his agency customers, and cited HHS, FDA, a new Consumer Protection Agency, and the FBI as likely to have big new requirements. By the way, this caption is just blatant product placement: Please come see Bart at our Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze, on Working with GSA, a week from Friday. More info.

Here’s a pantheon of brave GWCAR directors—brave because once you serve on the board for “a year,” they try to wring five years out of you: First you’re treasurer, then president-elect, then president, then immediate past president, then previous past president. To wit: previous president Tom Fulcher of Studley, Treasurer Moe Hamilton of Cushman, immediate past president Chris Sowick of Cassidy, current president Susan Pepper of Grubb & Ellis, and president-elect Gary Cook of Vornado/Charles E. Smith.

GWCAR Director of Programs Charmaine Flanigan

We asked Chris and Susan what number GWCAR summit this was and they were a bit fuzzy on it, debating whether it’s been 10 or 15 years or something in between. Finally needing an expert, they called in Director of Programs Charmaine Flanigan, who of course immediately knew the answer: the 14th annual summit.  


January 21 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - 2010 DoD Outlook - 7-9:30am - Fairview Park Marriott - Info

January 22 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze, What do Women Want? (Part II) - 7:45-10:00am - Sequoia Restaurant. Info

Reznick (We know)
Arent Fox (RE DC) #2
Rappaport (Hungarybrook)
Metro (MoCo)
Reznick (Building)
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