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April 6, 2010  

Our next Breakfast & Schmooze, a Medical Office Summit, featuring Inova's Knox Singleton, Adventist's Bill Robertson, Foulger-Pratt's Cameron Pratt, and Trammell Crow's Eric Fischer. April 27. Early bird pricing, sign up today!

Could two recent financing deals be a sign of good things to come?

Cassidy Turley announced today that 3801 Georgia Avenue, a 49-unit luxury Columbia Heights condo project, has snagged $14M for construction. The loan comes from a regional bank and the equity from local investors. "I’m not aware of any condo construction loans that have closed, especially inside the Beltway," Cassidy’s David Webb, who repped Donatelli Development, told us this morning. “It’s a great sign that the market’s waking up.” It also represents the first luxury boutique condo project in the Columbia Heights- Petworth area, and David says more will follow. It’ll rise across from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro. One reason condo projects find financing elusive compared to three years ago: They need to show that numbers work for the development as a potential rental

Structure Tone (Project)

Today’s news comes on the heels of an $80M permanent loan secured with an offshore bank for the still-filling McPherson Building, 901 15th St, NW. It’s hard enough to get a “permanent loan” (ie, the lender can’t seize more than the property if the borrower can’t pay), but it’s particularly impressive when the building isn’t fully occupied. It also speaks to the quality of the asset and points to market recovery, says Cassidy’s David Webb (busy guy), who with John Campanella and Phil Mudd repped owner ING. While “good, nonrecourse deals on partially leased buildings have been tough,” David tells us, the McPherson deal, announced yesterday, was “aggressive” and the terms “great.”

Mack-Cali (Capital - RE)



This afternoon, JBG’s Greg Trimmer told us that a combination of familiarity with the market, proximity to the Twinbrook Metro, and price are what sold the FDA the other day on these digs, dubbed Element 12420, on Parklawn Drive in Rockville. The structure will house FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs once it completes interior build-out (now in the design phase) late this year or early ‘11. The building is LEED Gold and offers the opportunity for high ceilings and unique spaces—the “antithesis” of the standard “vanilla” government office space, Greg says. The deal is a 5 and 5 (ie, a 5-year lease with 5-year tenant extension option).

Crystal City BID (5K) - i

Speaking of vanilla, check out this “before” photo of the same building. (Attention Jenny Craig ad reps, this is how you do a before/after.) JBG renovated it, seeing the chance to deliver new Class A office space without the cost of new construction—and walkable to the Metro, Greg adds. The renovation also allowed JBG to achieve lower rent than doing something brand new.



We asked Pat Rudolph, Director of Real Estate Programs at AU’s Kogod School of Business, how current market conditions affect her students’ career planning. She says the goal of many of them is to become developers someday, but of course given realities today, that isn’t likely to be their first job. So she advises them to “look around,” and realize that “all these buildings and assets have to be managed and have to be valued.” She points out the silver lining: that if they can get these experiences dealing with tenants and management, they will learn the real life of real estate and as a result will one day build better buildings when they become developers. Now that’s inspiration.



Any project that moves forward after 10 years of wanting and waiting deserves a mention—like the Wegmans market set to anchor the The Shops at Seneca Meadows in Germantown. After 10 years of wanting to get into Montgomery County, "We had a site that ended up working up perfect for them," Minkoff Development VP Andy Chod tells us. The store won’t deliver until 2012 at the earliest, so we had Wegmans provide a generic photo of what the store may look like. We prefer the generic brands anyway.

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April 07 - Cardinal Bank - Fairfax: "Our City's Economic Future-Are We Positioned to Compete." Features Steve Fuller and John McClain from George Mason University. Old Town Hall. 7pm Info

April 08 - NAIOP MD/DC - Collegiate Capitol Challenge. National Building Museum. 4-6:30pm. Info

April 21 - International Interior Design Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter - Kennedy Center gala, "The Premiere," 2010 Design Awards honoring the region's finest new projects. Categories: Commercial, Educational/Institutional, Healthcare, Hospitality, Residential, Government, and Retail. 6:00pm-8:30pm Open bar. Price increases after April 7th! Info

April 21 - CREW DC - Monthly Luncheon - Universities Partnering with Developers, featuring teams for Howard, GW and Catholic. Capital Hilton. 11:30am-1:30pm. Info

May 07 - UMd, Colvin Institute - Spring Symposium: "Senior Housing Design and Development: The Next Generation." May 7 - 9. Info

Reznick (We know) #2 - in
Georgetown (RE - Apr 28)
Mack-Cali (Capital - RE)
Reznick (Building) #2
Cardinal (RE) #2
TPSi (Services)
VA (Gold Cup - May 1)
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