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March 13, 2008


Big shout-out to new sponsor The Rappaport Companies.  With a portfolio of over 13M SF, they are one of the region’s leading retail real estate companies.  Welcome aboard!


We took this picture this morning of Bill Gates getting into his car (well, a black Escalade) at the Capital Hilton.  This is the reason Washington real estate prices will remain high:  The rest of the world has to beat a path to DC.  He spoke to an overflow crowd from the Northern Virginia Technology Council which also crossed the bridge to town for the occasion.  (One of Bill’s confident predictions:  We’ll all be using electronic tablets in 5-10 years, not paper and pen.  We journalists say, it can’t come too soon.)


Hey, what were these real estate types doing at a tech event?  Did they get a work visa?  Actually, Randall Hagner president Petch Gibbons, right, is a good friend of NVTC chairman John Lee. With him, left, Washington Real Estate Partners Chairman Dave Camalier, and Randall Hagner’s Tom McHugh. 


Last night at an Economic Club of Washington dinner at the Fairmont, Staubach’s Bob Peck points out birthday boy Gerry Sigal, founder of Sigal Construction, here also with colleague Rich Goldberg.  It was a big birthday for Gerry, and for the first time in print we are going to reveal the number: [national security deletion].  He celebrated with a party at the Newseum Saturday night!


Also last night, Economic Club President Vernon Jordan, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Kastle Systems owner Mark Ein, and WETA President Sharon Rockefeller.  Dimon said he pretty much assumes America’s in a recession, but suggested perspective:  He pointed out that the tech bubble wiped out four trillion dollars of value and the subprime collapse “only” three hundred million


Also on hand last night:  Riley Mortgage founder Jack Riley (who sold his well-known multifamily housing business with a huge national base some years ago to Wells Fargo); our fine friend Reznick Group founder Dave Reznick; and Eugene Ford, founder of both Mid-City Financial (development) and Edgewood Management (property management) and one of the very early developers of affordable housing both in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and nationally.  Dave is getting psyched up to go to his eighth annual Jazz Fest in New Orleans in April.  (Favorite jazz artist:  the late Miles Davis.)


On Tuesday night we went to the Georgetown cineplex for a Washington Life-sponsored preview of “Under the Same Moon,” a movie produced by Brian Dreyfuss.  The movie has a Washington real estate connection:  It was funded by IDI EVP Norman Dreyfuss, left, here at Mate after the movie with IDI founder Giuseppe Cecchi with wife Mercedes.  (IDI developed Leisure Worlds in Virginia and Maryland.)  Today Norman’s in Mexico City for the premier there of the terrific Spanish language film (obviously subtitled, folks).  And Norman invested well.  Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein bought the distribution rights for a bundle at Sundance.

Reston Limo
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