SCHEAR, RATNER SALZBERG, ABDO, BARBER...
1) Neal, Darby, and Hoskins breakfast (originally scheduled for Dec. 13th) postponed until late Jan or early Feb — stay tuned. 2) Second installment of top real estate lawyers coming soon. 3) Bisnow on Business wants your news and press releases: contact Emily.Schneider@Bisnow.com.
DCBIA annual meeting:
GW's Charles Barber elected to second year as president.
Several of Bisnow's Power 50 were on hand for symposium on future of DC development. Yours truly forgot to recharge his camera battery, so used a cell phone for the following picture of Vornado's Mitchell Schear moderating a panel with top developers Jim Abdo, Debbie Ratner Salzberg, and Bruce Baschuk. Came out okay, eh?
The Gist: Everyone agreed Washington's gained an amazingly positive reputation compared to pre-Williams era. Abdo said he had seen overwhelming interest at ICSC. Baschuk recalled the days "you couldn't have a serious conversation with retailers, who had redlined the place."Ratner Salzberg said they all want to locate in DC now, but "don't want to be first and still need incentives." As for their own current projects, Abdo says he's turning his attention to his 16 acre New York Ave./Bladensburg Road parcel, that a Nov. 9 hearing on the rezoning from industrial to mixed use went great, and that he's hoping to get final approval Jan. 9, then get it fully entitled and start demolishing everything in preparation for groundbreaking in early '08. He hopes to lure 3600 residents, a high profile Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, and offer moderate income housing next the Arboretum, what he calls the "Central Park of Washington." Ratner Salzberg is working on 42 acres now called The Yards (a/k/a SE Fed Center) between the Navy Yard and new baseball stadium, which will be 1.8 m SF of office, 2800 residential units, and 200k feet of neighborhood and destination retail, with lofts created out of old artillery and ordnance factories. Baschuk says next year NOMA, the area he focuses on, will have two million SF of office product under construction, 1700 residential units, 370 hotel rooms in 3 hotels, and that Tishman, Brookfield ING, Dreyfus, and Stonebridge/Karras are already actively developing. Biggest challenge? Ratner Salzberg says areas are seedy now, and they will require imagination and infrastructure: "It's really important that when people come to their first ballgame, they have a good experience." Abdo joked that area seems like Boardwalk and Park Place compared to his.Baschuk said at least NOMA is becoming third generation ownership and not spec anymore.
Goodbye to Steve Clineburg:
Boston Properties' longtime regional general counsel is retiring, and four top real estate lawyers threw him a party at Acadiana Wednesday night. Why Acadiana? Besides being a great restaurant, it's pretty much the executive dining room of BP, which owns the building.
Hosts with the Most. Outgoing BP General Counsel Steve Clineburg, center, is flanked by the most excellent party-arrangers: Goulston & Storrs' Shelly Weisel, Land America's Stuart Levin, Pillsbury Winthrop's Wendy White, and DLA's Fred Klein.
The Bosses. The muckety-mucks Clineburg has made look even more brilliant over the years: Boston Properties' Mitch Norville, Ray Ritchey, and Peter Johnston.
Lawyer Pals: Also on hand for Clineburg party, Spartin-Planning's Anne Planning and Debbie Spartin flank Boston Properties' Yuchong Yi.