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October 22, 2008

Next Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze: JBG’s legendary Mike Glosserman. Please note the date has changed to Fri., Oct. 31, 7:15-9AM, at BLT Steak. Thanks to great sponsors LandAmerica, Arent Fox, Davis Construction and Kling Stubbins. Sign up!


Friends, if you’re feeling down about the economy, please put it in perspective. On Sunday afternoon, our friends at Total Engineering invited us to their Redskins box (where we watched our 14-11 nail-biter over the Browns). Also in the box: 28 severely injured combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, whom TE hosted as part of the Wounded Warriors program they support. 


Maybe you can’t tell, but many of these guys have a major disability, like artificial limbs. To think what they’ve been through on our behalf, yet here they were enjoying the football game and acting pretty darn normal. It’s a real inspiration, and we are grateful.


Marine Commandant (and General) James T. Conway, center, with Springfield Marble & Granite’s Bill Yalcin, Total Engineering’s Pablo Osorio and Greg Deweese, and Wellingford System’s Joe Yang. Other friends from Balfour Beatty, Clark, Foulger Pratt, Hensel Phelps, Tetra Tech, and Turner were also on hand. Total Engineering has been quite involved with the Army recently: They’ve done excavation, site preparation, and underground utility infrastructure for the Walter Reed amputee training center in DC and are planning for the new Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda off 355.  The Lanham-based firm, founded in 1999, does $50M a year in revenue and now also maintains satellite offices in Norfolk, Salisbury, and Ft. Benning. 



With lenders clamping down, the ability to get federal tax deducts can advance a deal more than ever. Arent Fox’s Robert Honigman, who joined the law firm in March after seven years at Ernst & Young and six at the IRS, ought to know. One of his specialties is facilitating the use of charitable deductions available for firms that agree, for example, to forgo development rights or preserve historic facades. He also defends against challenges, which he says the government is stepping up, for overstating the value of development easements donated to charity (eg, agreeing not to build condos at a historic site).  Another thing he’s working hard on: with his wife, house training their new white and tan puppy, Stella, a so-called Cavachon: half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and half Bichon Frise. We believe they lost their chance for a tax credit when they changed those historic facades.


Many of you remember Ken Luchs as CEO of the storied Shannon & Luchs, founded in 1906 by his grandfather Morton. It grew to be 3,000 employees in 60 branch offices; then in the 90s, it sold the residential side to Weichert and the commercial division merged with Pollinger.  Ken, however, is not living in the past, but the future. We ran into him the other day and he told us about his Potomac-raised son, Jay, 36, who last year was top west coast retail broker for CBRE and number two nationally. We talked to Jay today on the phone (in this economy, we’ve sold the Gulfstream), who tells us in the last three years he’s done 15 deals on Rodeo Drive and Robertson in “the BH,” like Jimmy Choo, Etro, Missoni, Harry Winston, and David Yerman, not to mention other stuff in Malibu. But the UVA grad hasn’t forgotten dad: Jay sent him a referral for the cool Nanette Lapore store, which Ken located at the Chevy Chase Collection and just had its opening.


Many of you will know that subhead is the name of the company run by John Mason, whom we snapped last night at the unveiling of his latest project: 16 ultra-luxury condos at 2501 Penn.  He lives up to the name, taking the property to market in these times.  But they definitely have a “wow” factor, and we love the marketing slogan:  “Now you can live on Pennsylvania Avenue without having to campaign to get there.” We toast to his success—which will be good for all of us.


The Design Leadership Council of DC recently honored the Third Annual Dream Team for Design Excellence, some of the winners pictured here with our sponsor Hilary Fordwich, President of Strelmark business development consultants. In back, WFT Engineering founder Sully Sullivan, CBRE’s Jerry Reich, Rand Construction’s Howard Chapman, Studley’s Art Greenberg, and J Street’s Jay Bothwell. The actual third annual awards presentation will be at NEOCON East in Baltimore on October 29, given for outstanding professionalism and support of the architectural/interior design community in the Washington area. Congrats!

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