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January 30, 2009  

Please mark your calendars for our March 2 morning economic and real estate conference. We don't want to cut into other events great local groups are having, so we will do our topic with some twists.  Also, we are sensitive about the economy and will offer recession-busting low prices, because we think events have become too expensive. More details coming.


We may be in hard times, but yesterday no one was sitting on a beach. We went to three breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners, all full of real estaters doing serious stuff, even if it involved a fair bit of food.


What is this, a chorus line? A police line up?  No, these are real estate's finest, at lunch yesterday at 1130 15th St., talking about the virtues of office condos. Richard Newman, center, of Arent Fox, here does a Dancing with Stars number with, from left, Transwestern's Tom Hilley, Sandy Springs Bank's John Golsen, Akridge's Gene Kenney, CB's Bruce Pascal, and J Street's Jay Bothwell. Richard says there's lots of financing available for non-profits at favorable rates for purchase of DC real estate in every submarket. It's via tax-exempt bonds and SBA programs, so you can now do downtown what dentists and accountants have long been doing in the 'burbs, and at seven year fixed rates under 4.2%.


Some of the office condos discussed: 1016 16th St (Akridge), 77 Eye St, SE (DRI/Transwestern), 111 K St, NE and 100 K St, NE (J Street/CB), and 1510 H St, NW (Lafayette Realty/Lincoln). Richard says he personally has closed three non-profit bond transactions this month of $100 million!  Poke Richard with inquiries.


And speaking of our friends at Arent Fox, we snapped this yesterday at their big Debt Work Out and Estate Planning conference at the Hyatt in Bethesda. Man, they are so learned our heads are spinning: Section 1231 treatment of the sale of depreciable property held for more than a year, abandonment of property subject to debt being treated as a sale at ordinary income tax rates, unrecaptured Section 1250 gain, etc. Once upon a time, your publisher admits, he took corporate tax in law school; yesterday the mixed memories flooded back. Bottom line: You should all feel lucky if you are not in this field and should pay any amount of money to have smarter people do it. Panelists above: the utterly brilliant Joe Reiser and Earl Colson with Grossberg experts Paul Wilner and Jack Croarkin.


We snapped this last night at Duke Realty's broker appreciation dinner at 2941 Restaurant of local Duke head Peter Scholz with Raleigh-commuting regional head Andrew Kelton. They tell us they just broke ground this month on the Army's 1.7M SF Washington Headquarters Services in Alexandria that we wrote about some months ago when they got the call. It's a $1B BRAC build-to-suit office, with Clark as contractor and co-architects HKS and WBA. Congrats to Peter on getting a raise. Well, not exactly; he tells us two of his three kids are graduating from college in April.


BremnerDuke's Ed Woods (that's the healthcare division), JLL's Jeff Groh and Kim Burke, and Duke's Jerry Dawson. Kim heads the Public Institutions group, so following the passage of the stimulus bill, she's ready to help the government best allocate the money. It sets aside $7.7B for GSA—$6B for repair related to sustainability, and $950M for VA medical facilities. She also advised us to check out the Kennedy Center website, where you can see her daughter's oboe performance with the DC Youth Orchestra.


Don't know the name? INOX hasn't opened yet, but is likely to move to the top of the charts in Virginia (esp. now that Maestro and Colvin Run aren't around anymore). We snapped this last night of our old friends Jonathan Krinn, left, and Jon Mathieson, second from right, the former star chefs at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, here with their sous chefs and beverage director. You heard it here first: They are opening this new place (that they co-own with investors) sometime in the next 10 days in the PwC building in Tysons. 120 seats, contemporary American, upscale but relaxed, great party rooms, in the planning for 18 months. We'll see you there!  

Reznick Group
Washington Property Company
Cardinal Bank
Reznick Group
Forrester Construction
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