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July 16, 2008

Ballard Spahr Report: Lawyers like to talk about their green credentials, but of all the attorneys in the U.S., fewer than 70 can call themselves LEED Accredited Professionals. One such illustrious lawyer is at our great sponsor Ballard Spahr. Keith McGlamery represents building owners, lenders, and developers involved in the critical LEED process. Congrats!  READ MORE


No, the title above is not a Jeopardy answer. It's the answer to the first part of our Brookfield Challenge yesterday asking the identity of the DC patent attorney who in 1911 offered $10,000 to an aviator who could fly the 1,062 miles from Milwaukee to New York. His 22-town puddle-jumping feat included stops in (answer to the second question) Ashtabula and Albany. But the answer to the third part lays the predicate for our issue today: Victor J. Evans worked, of course, in the Victor Building! He built it in 1909 as a smallish 6-stories purposely close to the patent office. Now it's been greatly expanded (to 346k SF), and Brookfield and Principal own it. Brookfield's made it their local headquarters, as has CBRE; and because the previous owner, the Smithsonian, has repositioned staff, 99k is newly available for lease. (See, Brookfield had a purpose in sponsoring this challenge!)


Next question. Who is Keith Lavey? Why, of course, that's the Grubb & Ellis star who submitted the first correct answer, within 3 minutes of the time we pulled the trigger on the issue, and who therefore wins lunch for four at BLT! We are truly blown away at how many brilliant readers got it—even though we sent it out with utterly no notice and during lunchtime. Here are the first 25 entries with times (keep in mind, not every one opened the email right away):

12:23:  Keith Lavey, Grubb & Ellis
12:26:  Nathan Beach, CBRE
12:29:  Jonathan Price, Guardian Realty Investors
12:29:  Michael Segal, LandAmerica
12:30:  Marc Balamaci, EDGE Commercial
12:31:  Matt Cooper, Grubb & Ellis
12:32:  Jeff Locke, Perseus Realty Capital
12:34:  Brad Dwin, Stonegate Associates
12:34:  Gregg Zike, US Coast Guard HQ
12:35:  Alison Brennan, Hilton Washington
12:35:  Stacy Rappaport, Rappaport Cos.
12:36:  Scott Meyer, Hines
12:36:  Robert Newman, Potomac Capital Advisers
12:36:  Chris Thomas, Edgemoor Real Estate Services
12:37:  Beth Ring, WDG Architecture
12:37:  Michelle Melvern, ING
12:38:  Brian Ashin, Dewey LeBoeuf
12:41:  Lauren Dean, Transwestern
12:42:  Jodi Woodside, Lerner Enterprises
12:42:  Steven Blumberg, Jones Lang
12:43:  Philip Kroskin, Bos group
12:45:  Patrick Williams, Moody Nolan
12:45:  Bruce Rosen, Akin Gump
12:47:  Steve Hittle, Grandview Commercial Real Estate
12:47:  Thaddeus Minshall, Minshall Stewart Properties

Tower Oaks

We took this last week of the Victor Building, on the right, looking south on 9th Street; it's on the SE corner of the old convention center site, two blocks from Verizon Center, and in a three block radius of five subway lines via Metro Center and Gallery Place. Akridge re-developed it in 2000, squaring off the original L shape, and sold it to the Smithsonian, from which Brookfield purchased in late '05. Brookfield recently spent $2.5 million, under the guidance of SmithGroup, renovating the lobby and common areas. It's got 20k SF retail including Ruth's Chris, with Citibank coming in; 9k SF retail is available. The Smithsonian agreed to stay for 15 years on floors 2, 3, and part of 4, but gave back 5 through 9. CB took 8 and 9 in December; Bechtel gov't affairs will take space shortly, and Brookfield took much of 7. Floor plates are 29k to 36k SF.


No, this is not Victor, but Brookfield's Eddie Trujillo. He says the 2500 SF fitness center features "Art Santry Yoga Balls." We saw the huge rooftop terrace with views of the monuments and old convention center site, which many expect to become a new center of gravity in 3-4 years. Already major law firms have moved around its perimeter (eg, Jenner & Bloch, Dewey LeBoeuf, and Finnegan) and Secret Service HQ is across the street. Lehman Smith McLeish and Bognet did the Brookfield interior (submitted for LEED-CI Silver), and CB used LSM and Rand (getting one point away, we hear, from platinum). Eddie says the building's perfect for mid-size non-profits and law firms as well as gov't affairs offices. As for summer plans, he's going to Bethany, with a stop in Rehoboth's "Funland" for his three young kids. They like the boat swing. What does he like? "To watch." Random factoid: Eddie was a two sport athlete at Georgetown, and you are not going to believe this: Neither sport was lacrosse!  (Football and baseball.)


This is CB's "Leasing Lady," Roberta Liss, in her office at the Victor Building yesterday. Convenient, because she's the landlord rep leasing up the building—who, by the way, researched the origin of the the name Victor, which outside of the ownership she said almost no one knew. She's also leasing Louis Dreyfus' Lafayette Tower and 700 2nd St. which both deliver around March next year. She says the 244k Lafayette Tower is perfect for white shoe law firms and that they have their first lease out for part of the second floor; but she says she can't comment on the rumor a 100k SF lease is out for 700 2nd St's top two floors. On the tenant rep side, Roberta's working with Acacia Life Insurance and the Calvert Group looking for 100k RSF. 


Here Roberta shows us her best hockey pose with an autographed Caps' stick. She's also working on 401 M St. for Forest City's Yards which is targeting 2011 delivery and will be part of the LEED-ND (neighborhood development) pilot program. Finally, she's repping Meridian's 3 Bethesda Metro Center and their potential future development at 4 Bethesda Metro. And though this doesn't seem possible, Roberta says she just got back from spending some family time at their house in Wintergreen with her, count 'em, seven grandchildren, and also on a study trip to Spain with her husband focusing on the history of religion there.

Did you miss the Ballard Spahr report?  Read here.
Reznick Group
Arent Fox
Tower Oaks
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