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November 12, 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.Thanks to great sponsors Katten Muchin Rosenman, Group Goetz Architects, and Forrester Construction. Sign up here!


Do we enjoy going to parties even more in challenging economic times? Whatever the reason, crowds were booming last night, and that’s a wonderful thing.


1000 turned out last night at the Washington Hilton for the annual Lab School fundraiser. Here we ran into Councilman Jack Evans, left, with local media king Robert Albritton (WJLA, Politico). Jack says in two weeks Kwame Brown’s Economic Development Subcommittee will pass necessary legislation for the Southwest Waterfront, signaling development there is for real and will be starting in visible motion. He says the same about groundbreaking by Hines and others in April for the Old Convention Center site.


We snapped this not because it features the Washington Post’s most famous couple, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, left; but because we wanted Ruth and Richard Rogers, right. Lord Rogers (how come he doesn’t wear a crown, or even a lapel pin?) is of course the renowned London-based architect who designed 300 New Jersey (the adjunct to the Jones Day 51 Louisiana) and has been engaged by JBG on 1201 K. He holds a drink in his hand presumably because he’s on an around the world jaunt and just came in from Korea. You may also know of his wife, who owns the famed River Café on the Thames and does lots of cookbooks and TV.   


Neil Cullen, center, CEO of Bethesda-based Cullen Companies, which has $33 million under management for private equity investments in leveraged acquisitions of commerial real estate. With him, from left, Mary Ann and Ned Krause (he’s CEO of EJ Krause Communications, which puts on lots of trade shows around the world) and our old friend JD Murphy, CEO of Computech, who’s been going back and forth a lot to his home in Boca Raton though made a point of seeing his fave BC beat Notre Dame for the sixth time in a row on Saturday in Chestnut Hill.


Arent Fox’s Peter Macleod and Kalbian Haggerty’s Chipp Sandground. Chipp not only does legal representation and transactions for restaurants, he’s an investor in them, like Centrale, Beck, Belga Café, and Et Voila. He reports that former 1789 celebrity chef Ris La Coste has raised money to open her own new “neighborhood gathering place” type restaurant at 22nd and L next spring or summer.


Also last night, maybe you couldn’t find any Pilgrims at Clyde’s East End, but there was a lot of thanks being said, as Boston Properties extended its gratitude to the brokers who have gotten them nicely through many a winter. If any of the folks above desired a photo in Bisnow, then Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus came early for Manekin’s Greg Masi, Studley’s Lois Zambo, Uniwest’s Ken Goldberg, Cassidy’s Darian LeBlanc, and Studley’s Neil Levy. Greg is just back from a scuba dive 70 miles off the coast of Virginia, where he tried to identify a shipwreck. You can tell he’s an honest man because most brokers would refer to shipwrecks as "slightly submerged oceanfront properties."


Rappaport’s Bill Dickinson, JLL’s Skip Orr, CBRE’s John Kerr, and Grubb’s Tom Rodgers show off their raffle winnings. Skip’s prize came in a special category just for veterans, and we’d also like to extend our thanks to him, and all vets, for their service. (No joke here.) Bruce tells us he recently repped a tenant at 505 9th, Zola Wine and Kitchen, to BP’s Greg Storrs. He tells us the celebrity chef kitchen (complete with cooking classes from the culinary stars) could open by the end of this month.


Not that we don’t trust Bill’s word in the last picture, but we just so happened last night (busy night, yes) to meet Zola executive chef Bryan Moscatello at the Reagan Building serving up dishes for the Capital Food Fight, a fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen. (See The Scene Bisnow for more detail.) He confirms Bill’s story, which is more sourcing than we usually do. Above, with help from assistant Bali, he served up rabbit pot roast with butter poached carrot, caramelized onion, celery leaf, and parsley potato sauce.


BP’s Jon Kaylor and Greg Storrs flank Cushman’s Susan Thomas. If you see Jon, wish him a belated happy birthday. Last night, in addition to celebrating a good year of leasing, he celebrated a good year of living.


We’re not the kind of publication to make the easy joke about someone’s age, but all we’re saying is Jon is to the point where he appears to forget that utensils are needed before attempting to cut the cake.


Well, close enough: on East 52nd St. in New York. We were there yesterday at the Colliers ABR offices (for our New York edition) when we thought someone looked familiar. Yep, they imported Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers’ Bill Collins from DC to talk to their market conference. Above, Bill (right) with ABR chair Mark Boisi. Bill said that as of four week ago, 75% of YTD transactions were cash buyers, with the remaining involved in assumptions and new debt deals. Price adjustments are around January 2007’s level, down from the mid-2007 high-water market. New investors are opportunistic, and those who jump into the market now will be winners. (Although Bill’s headed off to golf in Palm Springs.)

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