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Peebles Opens New D.C. Office, Hires Monument Realty VP To Lead Mid-Atlantic Development

Two decades after Don Peebles closed the D.C. office where he founded his development company, Peebles Corp. is back in the nation's capital.

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The co-leaders of Peebles Corp.'s new D.C. office, Terry Fortune and Donahue Peebles III

Last week, the company opened a new office in Downtown D.C., where it will run its Mid-Atlantic regional operations, Bisnow learned exclusively, and hired a D.C. real estate veteran to help lead those efforts.

Terry Fortune joins Peebles Corp. from Monument Realty, where he worked for 19 years and served as vice president of construction. He will lead Peebles Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic development and construction team, overseeing its projects from Philadelphia to D.C. to Charlotte.

"We have not been very active as a company in D.C. for quite a while," Peebles told Bisnow. "We're getting busier there and want to expand, and there is no substitute for experience. We were looking for someone who could lead our construction and development that is a seasoned person who is an expert in the space. Terry is very disciplined, thorough and talented, and he has a good working relationship with the industry." 

Donahue Peebles III, the 24-year-old son of the company's founder, will lead the firm's D.C. development activity, focusing on identifying future opportunities and putting together deals. The company plans to invest $1B in D.C. developments, spread across three or four large projects throughout the area, Peebles said. 

The company is working on one ground-up, mixed-use project in Mount Vernon Triangle and one renovation of a building it owns in Anacostia. Peebles III said it is actively pursuing new development opportunities.

"We want to re-establish ourselves as a major player in Washington," Peebles III said while sitting at the Compass Coffee across from his new office. 

Peebles Corp.'s new, 4K SF office on the third floor of 1750 H St. NW currently consists of Fortune, Peebles III and an administrative assistant. The company is looking to hire two project managers and a development associate, and expects to make more hires as it grows organically.

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A rendering of Peebles Corp.'s planned SLS Hotel at 901 Fifth St. NW

Peebles III has spearheaded the planning of a mixed-use project at 901 Fifth St. NW that will feature a 198-room SLS Lux Hotel and 69 condo units. The development, expected to break ground by September, will also include 61 units of affordable housing to be built off-site. 

The 24-year-old, who spent much of his time while he was at Columbia University working on projects for Peebles Corp., said leading development in the city where his father founded the company is especially meaningful to him. 

"It's about carrying on my father's legacy here and continuing to perpetuate what he's done" Peebles III said. "I have big shoes to fill."

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The office building at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE

Peebles Corp. is undertaking a tenant-in-place renovation at 2100 Martin Luther King Ave. SE, the first project that Peebles completed in 1989.  

Before getting involved in that original deal, Peebles had run an appraisal and consulting business out of Georgetown. The company was subleasing part of its office to a real estate broker who, upon hearing that Peebles was interested in getting into development, recommended he bid on a deal the District was looking to do in Anacostia. The District was seeking a developer to build a 100K SF office building for its Department of Human Services, which still occupies the building today. 

After completing that project, Peebles ran his real estate company out of a D.C. office at 14th and F streets NW until the late 1990s. He closed the D.C. office in 1998 and moved the company's headquarters to Miami, where he and his wife had a vacation home. There, he completed the development of the Royal Palm Hotel, which he sold in 2004 for $127.5M. 

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The Peebles Corp. CEO Don Peebles and Peebles Corp. Senior Associate of Development Donahue Peebles III

In 2011, Peebles opened the company's office in New York, where it is now based. It still maintains its Miami office and has some financial and administrative functions there. As the company continues to grow, Peebles decided to restructure the organization to have regional offices. It will run its Northeast operations out of New York City, its Mid-Atlantic operations out of D.C., its Southeast operations out of Miami and it plans to open a new West Coast office in Los Angeles. 

The founder and CEO will still be based in New York, but he has a large office in the company's new D.C. space, which he intends to visit occasionally. 

"D.C. is an incredible city," Peebles said. "My mother was born here. I was born and raised here. Donahue was born here. There's a lot of nostalgic, long-term, legacy connection to the city itself. I love Washington, D.C., personally and it's an outstanding real estate market." 

Peebles said he plans to pursue signature developments of at least $150M each. He is seeking opportunities to pursue mixed-use projects near Metro stations and is looking throughout the region, but said he is particularly interested in one suburban Maryland county. 

"We're certainly looking in Prince George's County," Peebles said. "We think that is the most underdeveloped county in terms of commercial, large-scale development. It has a lot of Metro stations available with limited development. We see that as a growth opportunity for us."