Pity the power brokers. They are not looking so mighty these days.
In late September, the Washington Business Journal wrote a piece about office developments trying to obtain construction financing. The lede in the article referenced the project-in-waiting slated for the crossing of K Street and Connecticut Avenue downtown. According to that piece, the building would contain “369,725 square feet of trophy-quality space.” The building’s promotional materials called it the “Intersection of Influence and Power.”
“But so far the partners have not secured financing,” the article states.
Now fast forward almost a month, and there’s an article out today in the Washington Post about the same parcel of land. Given the attention, it seems this project has now come to embody the entire area’s greater financing troubles. Oh yeah, building’s coming, the developers say. But, for now, they’d like to turn it into a parking lot. Why? No money now? No way! Let the “It’s all good” dance commence (this is an excerpt from the Post story):
Developers, ever mindful that potential lenders can become squeamish even at the hint of a risky bet, are loath to acknowledge turbulence.
Bernard Gewirz, a partner in the project on K Street, at first said he didn’t know anything about building a parking lot on the parcel, across from Farragut Park and one of the city’s busiest Metro stations, and a block and a half from the White House. Later, his son, Steven, confirmed the plan.But Steven Gewirz disputed their attorneys’ assertion that the financial market’s situation was a factor in the decision to build a parking lot.
He said that the development team’s negotiations to obtain bank financing for the project are proceeding “swimmingly” and that he expects the loan to be finalized next month. The construction delay, he said, is necessary because the main tenant, a prestigious law firm, cannot move in until 2013.
Note to Gewirz: use a word like “swimmingly” and you sound like you’re in serious trouble.