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December 20, 2007


Sponsor Update:  Our friends at ONCORE Construction just signed a new contract for a St Albans School project with Coakley Williams.  They now have 9 projects in various stage of design with their Infinity hybrid concrete frame. Congrats!

This deal is so new they haven’t even had time to write a press release.  Last night we stopped by Indebleu as Trammell Crow celebrated its sale (with partner Mass Mutual) of 777 6th Street in East End to the American Association for Justice.  Of 191K SF, Cooley Godward has taken 30%, AAJ has taken 65k SF, and 40k is still available.  Trammell dealmaker Tom Finan tells us the $123M transaction (the figure includes money to build out vacant space) that’s been in the works since March defied the capital markets; no one thought it would (or could) happen after August’s credit meltdown

Staubach’s Greg Lubar (representing AAJ), CBRE’s Scott Frankel (handling leasing), AAJ’s Alexis Bataillon, Staubach’s Steve Ranck, AAJ CEO Jon Haber, and impresario Tom Finan raise a glass.  The early Christmas made everyone merry; apparently an owner-occupied deal with an "11th hour equity partner” to replace previously committed debt will make you guzzle dirty martinis like Gatorade.  We are told that everyone went above and beyond on this one; on closing day, Steve personally drove the documents around the city with a notary in tow.  Tom told us even Roger Staubach himself "would be proud of how this team successfully ran the two-minute drill."

Buch Construction


Have you ever seen such happy dirt diggers?  We were on hand yesterday at 111 K Street, NE, for the groundbreaking of J Street Development and Westbrook Partners’s new 90k SF office condo building in NoMa.  Folks gave a chuckle when Congresswoman Norton said “let no corner go un-built upon” during her pre-dig comments, and it’s true that the LEED certified, 90k SF project designed by Gensler and built by Clark sits on a unique triangular plot of land abutting the historic Burnham Wall.   From left, J Street founder Bruce Baschuk, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, National Association of Personnel Administrators president Gwen Dungy, Commerce Bank SVP Jay Arvai, J Street co-founding principal Jay Bothwell, NoMa BID president Liz Price, and Westbrook’s John Wolf.

What are these people doing?  Practicing for a retirement life of sitting on park benches?  Naw, this is a charming trolley that J Street used to transport groundbreakers from the NoMa M Street office to the site—complete with mugs of hot cocoa, which we think some of them are hiding to look more distinguished.  From left, Clark’s Brian Abt, Randall Hagner’s Jim Falconi, Steve Schnippel, and Petch Gibbons, and J Street’s Jay Bothwell.    


Cardinal Bank CEO Kate Carr may be the only person we know who could make a Santa suit look stylish.  Yesterday we joined more than 400 well wishers at the Fairmont Hotel for Kate’s inauguration as the DC Chamber of Commerce chairman.  Here she’s chivalrously flanked by brother Dan Walsh of Thos. D. Walsh Inc. and husband Keith Carr of Smith Barney.  Dan’s one of the original members of the “Millwood Mob” and now heads up their father’s real estate company that turns 100 in ’08. Kate’s one of our favorite people and we wish her the best delivering presents to her members all year long!


Here is a slice of life at Bisnow—eating, as usual.  Best of all, at one of our favorite places, Il Mulino, which we have used for our law firm managing partner roundtables but actually like to eat at ourselves, when we can focus on food and not have to take notes!

One thing our friends at the restaurant would like you to know is that, even though the place is famous for extravagant 3-hour dinners, lunch is different:  they purposely make it “fast and affordable” for downtown execs.  (Seafood risotto:  $20!) 

Some of our Bisnow crew, from left:  About Town editor Stacey Pfarr; Yours Truly (Mark B.); Graphics Guru Mounir Salhi (we’re teaching him to smile); Legal and Association Correspondent John Ford; and Washington Women editor Karin Tanabe

Stacey’s off to Captiva Island in the Florida Gulf with family including husband Grey; Mounir is sunning himself in Orlando in between our idiotic tech queries to him; John is on a tear to turn in last edits for his first novel, The Morgue & Me, to be published in ’08 by Viking; Karin is getting in some horseback riding between glamorous music award events: She was at the VMA’s in September, the CMA’s in November, and will be at the Grammys in February. We wish we could say Bisnow was responsible for that glamor, but it's another set of connections.

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