ARCHITECTS, WIRRE HEAT UP
Nope, that's not a tie around the neck of SmithGroup ChairmanDavid King, left, but a sling to nurse his arm and shoulder hurt in a little skiing mishap two weeks ago in Snowmass--naturally on the last run of his trip. Of course, that didn't stop him from devouring a yummy salmon dish at lunch yesterday at DC's Primi Piatti. With him were colleague Coke Florance, right; restaurant owner Sevino Racine; and this unseen publisher/photographer who will use any excuse to eat. SmithGroup, at 850 architects and staff, is now the nation's fourth largest design firm. David tells us his latest gig is doing the splashy new "Silver Place" up the street from Discoveryheadquarters (which he also designed) in Silver Spring. Fortunately he can draw by mouse and not have to grip a #2 pencil.
Everyone knows CREW, but there’s a new buzz in the air about another, more specialized women’s organization called "WIRRE,"for Women in Retail Real Estate. Last Thursday night we thought we'd go find out for ourselves at Chevy Chase Pavilion, where they were doing their monthly networking and hearing from guest restauranteurs. We'll say this, the group certainly looked more colorful than many real estate gatherings.
WIRRE president Stephanie Gallagher, second from left, joined by JK Commercial Services' Laura Ware, Banner Associates' Dan Banner, Petrie Ventures' Marilyn Coolidge (founder of WIRRE in 1986), and Tysons Realty's Pauline Thompson.
WIRRE president-elect Clair Coolidge of Victor Stanley is joined by other women in retail Diane Sappenfield of McEnearny Commercial and Maria Brudish Emami of Thur & Associates, and restauranteurs Joe Hospital and Marty Ryan of Dogfish Head Alehouse of Gaithersburg.
450 "hysterical" preservationists (hey, they affectionately call themselves that) gathered last night at the Willard for the 35th anniversary gala of the DC Historic Preservation League. I thought developers liked bulldozers, but the ballroom was full of sentimental titans citing all the old buildings they've saved and restored.
Developer Richard Ruben, Vornado's Allison Asplin and Dan Karchem, Sigal Construction CFO Richard Goldberg, and ubiquitous architect Shalom Baranes have done a good job of preserving themselves from aging given all the years of they've devoted to preserving buildings. Shalom told me he's busy finishing up a $1 billion renovation of four of the five "wedges" at the Pentagon. I don't think he needs more clients.
League Trustee Connie Maffin (Coldwell Banker) and PresidentEd Fountain (Jones Day). I asked Ed what kind of real estate law he practices, and he replied that he's actually a corporate litigator and just does preservation just for fun. And he calls himself a lawyer, without a business development angle?