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November 13, 2008

Next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: Trends in Real Estate Investing, with ING's Marc DeLuca, Carlyle Group's Hayden Jones, and Meridian Group's Bruce Lane. BLT Steak, Thursday, Nov. 20. Special thanks to Katten Muchin Rosenman, Group Goetz Architects, and Forrester Construction. Sign up here!


Thank goodness gas prices are plunging, because we ran all over the region covering events yesterday.


We snapped this last night at National Building Museum honors for one of the world's most famous architects, Robert A. M. Stern, left, here with Yale University president Richard Levin, who came to pay tribute. When we asked Robert what he's working on, the architect who doubles as dean of the Yale School of Architecture was true to his school: He immediately cited two new residential colleges at Yale. In fact, he told us he and Richard were having a design meeting right before we walked up. You know, with endowment portfolios down, they have to save on meeting expenses.


Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, left, was also among those on hand last night, along with 4240 Architecture's Peter Dominick, Nicholas Stern, Jane Eisner, and gala co-chairs David Schwarz and Carolyn Brody. Peter is the design mind behind Disney World's Wilderness Lodge and the new Animal Kingdom Lodge. Quick Fact: Robert Stern designed Eisner's home in Malibu. We gather Eisner likes it, unless he was tracking Stern down to complain about where he placed the electrical outlets.



Also yesterday, at the Bethesda North Marriott, we found a solution to a problem plaguing millions of Americans: A desire to see all the important properties in Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties. Answer: We joined 500 of you for NAIOP Maryland/DC's Virtual Bus Tour 2008. The third annual event was themed "The Winning Ticket," which meant election-tinged clips from SNL and The Daily Show were mixed throughout. Some other things we learned: Montgomery County has the highest concentration of life sciences firms in the US; the FDA's 130-acre campus on New Hampshire Ave will deliver in 2012; and practically all new retail in the coming year will have a Harris Teeter. Above, Transwestern's David Popp looks presidential with those flags, perhaps because he's a former NAIOP chapter prez. Yesterday, he was workin' the wallets as sponsorship chair. As he put it, "After seeing the news, it appears we're the only organization not in line for a bailout."


BP Realty's David Duncan, Heritage Properties' Stephanie Davies and Peter Waldron, and First Potomac's Tim Zulick. We interrupted Stephanie while she was courting tenants for Ballenger Center in the City of Frederick, so we'll compensate with a plug for the 120k SF Class A office, planned as the city's first LEED building (Silver). They broke ground Oct. 30, and it should deliver in one year. Tenants: Make your offers soon; Stephanie is off to Boston this weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday.


Willco's Jason Goldblatt joins Tyler Donegan's Chad Tyler and Brian Duncan. Chad's currently leasing Knowledge Farms, a 450k SF tech park in Urbana. The first 40k SF building is complete and the second, 50k SF, begins in mid '09. Chad's celeb status was elevated (in our opinion) because he was one of the event's guides, narrating the virtual fly-by of Frederick County. No wonder we felt safe: He's a certified pilot.


We also were in Frederick yesterday, except on real tour, not virtual, to see Matan Realty break ground on the National Cancer Institute's new digs at Riverside Research Park. Above, we snapped Mark Matan and Frederick County Commissioner Jan Gardner making their way from the reception to the ceremonial shovels. NCI hopes life science and tech R&D orgs will choose to co-locate at the 330k SF. If they come in droves, the site can expand another 470k SF. Matan is developing the entire 177 acre park, which can yield up to 1.8M SF, and they're targeting other Fort Detrick transplants. (Charles River Labs, which now has 53k SF at Riverside, relocated from the base just a few miles away.)


NCI-Frederick's Craig Reynolds and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) were also on hand. Craig reminds us that NCI's 68 acres at Ft. Detrick, with 3000 employees, will continue to operate. This is an expansion, not a move. NCI has been at the fort since President Nixon signed an executive order outlawing biological warfare research in the United States in 1972. The site was turned over to accelerate progress against cancer.


While heading home, we noticed a light on at the 10th floor of 455 Mass, so we popped in to find a Jones Lang/ASB-sponsored brokers' event. ASB's Wes McAdams, Cresa's Aaron Berkey, JLL's Dave Bevirt, ASB's Mandi Wedin, and Cresa's Andy Corno were mixing it up at 242k SF A+ office building. Dave tells us they've signed two 15k SF leases and will ink another two in the coming weeks, and first move-in is Feb'09. Dave also hinted at a big announcement about a big name national restaurant that will sign for 11k SF in a few weeks and open next year. As for the rest of this group, rumor has it a fix was in during the raffle, as Cresa took home 3 of 5 prizes, including a trip to NY for Aaron.

Event Alert: On Nov. 20, the DC Preservation League is hosting a panel discussion on ways to evaluate the historic significance of architecture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, with Christine Madrid French, US DOCOMOMO's Theodore Prudon, and GSA's Beth L. Savage and Kristi M. Tunstall. Click here for more.

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