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October 21, 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!


In the middle of world financial meltdown on Monday afternoon, September 29, local Duke Realty head Peter Scholz had one more thing to worry about. He cleared his calendar and started waiting. DoD had said that was when it would announce its decision on where to relocate 6400 employees under BRAC for the Army’s Washington Headquarters Services. 1:00 PM came and went, then 2 PM, then 3 PM. Finally a Corps of Engineers contracting officer called. It was good news. So much so they all went across the street to celebrate at the Hilton lobby bar where Peter treated himself to a…diet Coke.


Duke, a publicly traded REIT based in Indianapolis, had won the competition among a dozen contenders that started late last year and narrowed to three finalists; the Army selected its team (also including Clark as contractor and co-architects HKS and WBA) to build two towers and 1.7 million SF at the firm’s Mark Center near 395 and Seminary Road in Alexandria. They’ll break ground in January or so and deliver in September 2011. We stopped by Duke’s own offices there last week to snap their pic above: (standing) John Bumgarner, Mark Koppenhaver, John Van Vilet, William Frye, Scott Rabin, Andrew Kelton, Jennifer Cronin; (seated) Nancy Miyahira, Battista Orcino, Sharon Roach, and Peter Scholz


VP of leasing and development Battista Orcino and Peter point at a spaceship that just flew by. Actually, that patch of trees represents the site for the new DoD facility. Peter still keeps three binders on his shelf from the GSA’s planned building on the same site in 1992 that was cancelled. Duke owns and controls 120 million SF of office and warehouse in 25 cities and entered this area in early ’06 via acquisition of the commercial assets of the Mark Winkler Company, which included Mark Center (1.3M SF of existing rentable space), Westfields Corporate Center (1M SF and 64 acres in Chantilly), and TransDulles Centre (896K SF and 36 undeveloped acres in Sterling). Although Duke declined to comment, speculation is that the Army development is a billion dollar project.


Peter and eastern region EVP Andrew Kelton, who keeps busy with five kids and a one-year-old granddaughter, not to mention commuting from Raleigh every day. As for Peter, if you really want to see him get his game on, drop by Chantilly’s Hoop Magic courts and watch him dunk on the “Grumpy Old Men” team. (He’s the oldest on the team at 49.) Peter says if he weren’t “buried so deep on the bench” when playing college ball in the late 70s at BYU, Boston Celtics GM and former teammate Danny Ainge would never be what he is today.


Before you go, don’t forget to say au revoir to Paulette Higgins, who’s been serving Duke and Mark Winkler for 21 years. You wouldn’t be the first American she’s ever seen, though; that honor goes to a bayonet and grenade wielding American soldier who made the 3km walk from Omaha Beach to her village on June 6, 1944. Initially thinking her family was German, the soldiers gave her and her siblings candy. Now, you can too, and wish her luck on getting American citizenship, which she applied for in February.


You wouldn’t know things have slowed hanging around BLT Steak at lunch on Friday. Not only was it jammed (though we forgot to aim the camera with a crowd in the background to impress you), but our guests rushed in from busy mornings: from left, Prologis regional head Mark Levy, Grunley’s Joel Zingeser, Vornado leasing head Brendan Owen, WorkSpaces, LLC’s Khalid Itum, and ONCORE Construction president Bob MacDaniels. Mark says Prologis is a “balance sheet” player focused on growing its large industrial base while looking for retail/mixed use. Joel says Grunley has been applying its experience in federal projects to repositioning commercial buildings; on the federal side they’re now seeing 12-14 bidders where there were once just a couple. Brendan reports downtown DC vacancy is still just 6.5% and for trophy product “business as usual.” Khalid just won the Foreign Service Institute HQ account to provide furnishing and design services for its 250 employees. And things roll on for Bob’s concrete business; they just won the new Residence Inn project in Hunt Valley.  

Crystal City
1909 K
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