The Family That is Northern Virginia
Maybe there's some truth in the slogan that Virginia is for lovers--even in technocratic Northern Virginia. Despite the slings and arrows of federal budget cuts and office vacancy, the commercial real estate community is as alive as ever.
Nowhere is that more evident than the annual NAIOP awards gala at the Tysons Ritz, which swarms with warm bodies and cheer every year, no matter what the economic climate. Last month, a record 800 were on hand to salute the skill, creativity and unflagging determination of their membership to keep building a greater region. We're going to be writing in coming days and weeks more about what makes NoVa tick, and this seems a good place to start: Here's Member of the Year Barbara McDuffie and NAIOP Northern Virginia Chairman Mark Hassinger at one with the crowd.
Barbara, dubbed by her colleagues their energizer bunny and cheerleading captain, didn't come from out of nowhere, but has been helping to build the chapter since the 1980s. (Recognize some of those young people? Is that Brian McVay on the far left?) While we weren't there quite as early as these folks, we've reached back into our archives and found coverage of the annual NAIOP awards for at least the last eight years (walk down memory lane and see 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013).
Anyone who's taken the remarkable NAIOP NoVa annual bus tour will know what this picture is all about. (And if that's not what this picture's about, then Barbara will have some "s'plainin" to do, as Desi Arnaz would have said.)
Also to great acclaim, Buchanan Partners was named Firm of the Year. The company's posse included Kingsley McAdam, Charlie Turner, Russ Gestl, Steve Hubert, Brian Benninghoff, Bob Buchanan, Theresa Scafate and Jimmy Roembke. The company was recognized for service in the chapter leadership, helping grow its Developing Leaders program, and advancing government initiatives, economic development partnerships and local entrepreneurship and education. Of course, namesake Bob Buchanan has been prominently leading the effort to crystalize a regional vision for 2030.
The award for the "Best Building, speculative office, 15 stories and above" category went to 1812 North Moore St. from Monday Properties. Since the building couldn't be there to accept, it sent the team behind it: Monday's John Wharton; Davis Carter Scott's Chris Garwood and Jennifer Burns; Monday's Melissa Clark and Adam Kirson; and Clark Construction's Alison Wertzler.
Vornado took the award for "Best Marketing Project" for its DesignLab in Crystal City. The project is a full floor of six tech-focused spec suites to showcase the future office space. Vornado's Bruce Pascal was the mastermind behind the project, here with colleagues, Mara Olguin, Deanna Schmidt, Mike Weiss and Emily Dryfoos.
Best Master Plan went to Georgelas Group and Moriarity's Spring Hill Station in Tysons. It opened this summer and has several mixed-use projects around it, including 7.6M SF of office, retail, residential and hotel. The Ascent at Spring Hill Station, the tallest apartment building in Tysons, opened in October.
As usual, the ballroom was exquisitely decorated and ready to receive a horde (who, at this point, were still busy networking in the other room). Other Award of Excellence winners included 1776 Wilson Blvd., for Best Real Estate Transaction-Sale; WeWork for Best Real Estate Transaction-Lease; Crystal Tech Fund for Best Interiors, Tenant Space Under 14,999 SF; Bailey's Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences for Best Building Repositioning Adaptive Re-Use; 3001 & 3003 Washington Blvd, for Best Building, Speculative Office 7-14 Stories; and Tysons Tower for Best Building, Speculative Office 15 Stories and Above. Big thanks to Warren Mattox for some of the excellent pictures above. Click here to see all 27 awards.