1788, Lantian Change Plans For Shady Grove Mini-City

Oct 27, 2016 Jon Banister, DC – After buying a 31-acre site along Shady Grove Road in Rockville last year for $50M, 1788 Holdings and Chinese-backed Lantian Development had discussed plans to build a 2M SF “mini-city.” 

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A taste of Manhattan in Bethesda

When arriving home from a vacation means tossing your keys to the valet parking attendant who greets you by name, chatting with the concierge about your theater tickets and walking into a freshly cleaned home with a restocked refrigerator, you may feel as if you’re a chic New Yorker living on Manhattan’s East Side.

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Condominium Buyers Increasingly Specifying Domotic Systems To Remotely Control And Monitor Internal Environment For Comfort And Safety

“Smart Home” technology brings state-of-the-art advances to security, entertainment and alarm systems, as well as thermostat, lighting and cooking devices

Bethesda, MD (March 8, 2016) – Condominium buyers - ranging from millennials to empty nesters and retirees - are increasingly specifying the inclusion of domotic systems integrated throughout their living spaces to remotely control and monitor their internal environment for increased comfort and safety. Leveraging “smart home” technology that continues to grow in popularity throughout all residential product types, this new trend touches nearly every section of the interior space including the thermostat, lighting, window shades, cooking devices and security, entertainment and alarm systems.  

“Maintenance-free living is among the primary reason why consumers gravitate towards condominiums, and the demand for user-friendly technology that improves the functionality and comfort of the living space is the next trend we are closely tracking,” explained Larry J. Goodwin, Principal, 1788 Holdings, the local company that is developing The Lauren Residencesin the Bethesda section of Montgomery County. “Sophisticated buyers are aware of the state-of-the-art technology now available, and we have integrated cutting-edge systems into our product in response to this movement.”

Each unit within The Lauren is equipped with a home automation system powered by Control4 that enables residents to control interior temperature settings and lights remotely through mobile devices, as well as home entertainment and theatre systems, window shades, security systems and the door locks. Also included as a part of the system is The Nest Learning Thermostat. This device “learns” the patterns and behaviors of the occupants and adapts to the different seasons recognizing when residents are away and adjusting temperature for maximum energy efficiency.

In addition to being able to easily control the homes temperature, the home automation system comes equipped with a SONOS smart speaker system that provides residents with the ability to seamlessly stream music through multiple devices in the condominium home using state-of-the-art wireless streaming technology. The SONOS amplifier allows residents to wirelessly play their favorite music from their preferred mobile device from anywhere in their residence.   

“Rapidly advancing technology is changing the way residents interact with their living spaces,” stated Michael Snyder of Persimmon Capital Partners. “Our team carefully researched the availability of the latest advances in home connectivity to ensure our residences were able to efficiently control every aspect of their home form one centralized platform.”

“Because many residents are down-sizing to move into The Lauren, every space becomes precious and even the media cabinet that houses the homes audio and visual systems can translate to the loss of living space,” explained Michael Wilson of Bethesda Systems, a local company that is specifying lighting, entertainment and control systems in The Lauren. “This is why we created centralized IT closets in all units that allow all audio, video, and control systems to be located efficiently in one centralized location, removing the need for bulky audio visual equipment to take up space in the main living areas. Condo buyers are becoming more mobile and more sophisticated and development teams need to embrace technology and respond to this shift.”      

1788 Holdings and Persimmon Capital Partners are co-developing The Lauren Residences, a luxury residential project situated at the intersection of Woodmont Avenue and Hampden Lane. The seven-story condominium building, which features twenty-nine units ranging from approximately 1500 square feet to 7300 square feet of space, is expected to be delivered and ready for residential occupancy in spring 2016.

1788 Holdings, LLC is a Bethesda-based real estate investment company with a focus in the Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland region. The company’s capabilities include the acquisition, development and strategic oversight of commercial office, residential and industrial properties including boutique residential properties. Visit  

Persimmon Capital Partners is a diversified alternative investment company focused on direct, private investments primarily equity, real estate and alternative classes. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and was founded in 2008. Visit

Sales At The Lauren Residences Eclipse 30% Nearly Three Months Prior To Projected Delivery Date

Nine of twenty-nine condominium units now sold at project in downtown Bethesda    

Bethesda, MD (January 6, 2016) – Approximately three months prior to the projected delivery date of The Lauren Residences in the downtown Bethesda section of Montgomery County, condominium sales have eclipsed the 30% mark, according to 1788 Holdings, LLC and Persimmon Capital Partners, co-developers of the luxury residential project situated at the intersection of Woodmont Avenue and Hampden Lane. The seven-story condominium building, which features twenty-nine units ranging from approximately 1500 square feet to 7300 square feet of space, is expected to be delivered and ready for residential occupancy in spring 2016.

“Considering the typical extended buying cycle for condominium homes in this high-end category, coupled with the comfort factor most consumers demand by seeing, touching and experiencing finished units, achieving this pace on this date has exceeded our initial expectations,” explained Larry J. Goodwin, Principal, 1788 Holdings. “We attribute this pre-delivery success to the vision of our buyers to recognize the unparalleled luxury amenities and premium services that will be provided at The Lauren, the limited product availability and the project’s distinguishing location within walking distance of downtown Bethesda.”


 A granite facade with stucco balcony surrounds will highlight the exterior of The Lauren, punctuated by a five-story glass curtain wall with backlighting that will glow at night. The two-story lobby will be adorned with a floor-to-ceiling glass sculpture that, given its visibility from the streets surrounding the residential project, will serve as an iconic landmark in downtown Bethesda. Both the curtain wall and the sculpture were custom-designed and manufactured in Portland, Oregon by Savory Studios which focuses on the fabrication and installation of specialized architectural pieces.

 The condominium units feature direct access from private elevators; nine foot ceiling heights; a Control 4 home automation system that enables smart phone and tablet control of the thermostat, speakers and window shades; vented fireplaces, thick slab stone or granite countertops and a high-end fixture and appliance package featuring Wolf, Thermador and SubZero appliances.

 Spa-style master bathrooms will be equipped with natural stone flooring, natural stone tiling along the walls, an over-sized soaking tub, ceiling-mounted rain shower heads, Waterworks fixtures and mirrors embedded with high definition television sets.

The Lauren will also feature private rooftop residences for select units that range from 500-1000 square feet of space that give residences access to outdoor living in an urban setting. Five private guest suites ranging from 595 to 695 square feet of space and including a kitchen and full bathroom, are also available for purchase with select units.    

Residents will have access to a 1500 square foot Wine Lounge on the garden level that is outfitted with a private climate-controlled wine storage unit, large-screen television set, separate bar area, catering kitchen and seating areas that is suitable for multiple-use functions. The Lauren also features an underground parking garage with valet service, 24/7 concierge and a fully-equipped fitness center.

The concierge amenity will focus on providing personal assistance services, event planning, travel arrangements and leisure and entertainment reservations.  “Our Concierge Class service at The Lauren has been designed to become an extension of the resident,” stated Michael, Snyder of Persimmon Capital Partners. “Services will be closely tailored to each resident to add value and lift the burden from daily activities and special occasions. This includes booking a getaway weekend, catering a holiday party in the wine lounge and everyday tasks such as picking up dry cleaning or making a reservation for dinner.”

The Sales Model is on track to officially open at The Lauren in March, at which time the current Sales Center will relocate to the building on-site. The first sales closing are expected to begin in April. 

The Lauren was designed by Robert M. Swedroe Architects & Planners, a Miami-based firm that has also created residential projects for The Trump Group, Turnberry Associates, WCI Communities and Coscan. Representative local projects include the Parc Somerset in Chevy Chase and the Kennedy-Warren in Washington, D.C. Akseizer Design Group, based in Alexandria, VA, handled the interior design work.

1788 Holdings, LLC is a Bethesda-based real estate investment company with a focus in the Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland region. The company’s capabilities include the acquisition, development and strategic oversight of commercial office, residential and industrial properties including boutique residential properties. For additional information, visit

 Persimmon Capital Partners is a diversified alternative investment company focused on direct, private investments primarily equity, real estate and alternative classes. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and was founded in 2008. For additional information, visit

How Much More Development Can Montgomery County Stand?

Feb 05, 2016 David Hubler, Bisnow, DC – via Bisnow

Bethesda Lane

Bethesda Lane

Montgomery County is sometimes viewed, even by its residents, as a fully developed suburban community with little opportunity, or need, for more growth. Bisnow last week reported plans to form a coalition of Bethesda-area residents who want to retain the county’s large stock of single-family homes and are opposed to increased density from new housing construction. That will certainly come up on Feb. 17 at 12435 Park Potomac Ave for Bisnow’s Montgomery County State of the Market event.

Residents, of course, don’t see the county through the eyes of professional developers like Doug Firstenberg (snapped above at another Bisnow event), principal at StonebridgeCarras, who has more than two decades of development experience in the county.   “It’s a place where people want to live,” Doug says, with outstanding schools, retail and excellent infrastructure. “It has been an urban infill, transit-oriented development area before all those terms were coined.” In Bethesda, StonebridgeCarras recently completed the Flats, a seven-story, 162-unit apartment building, and the Darcy across the street, nine floors of condos that range from 835 SF one-bedroom units to a 2,935 SF penthouse. Next up for delivery is 8300 Wisconsin Ave with 359 residential units and a Harris Teeter. Doug is bullish also on White Flint, once a prime shopping area that’s beginning to undergo a major redevelopment. Once Lerner Enterprises, Tower Cos and Lord & Taylor resolve their multimillion-dollar legal dispute, other redevelopment will follow, he predicts. “You’re starting to see these other areas really start to transform and become dynamic,” Doug says. Commercially, however, one wonders about the future of the office parks along I-270 and elsewhere that aren’t Metro accessible and have never been viewed as dynamic.


1788 Holdings principal Larry Goodwin says the volume of planned, intense mixed-use development in the White Flint area will create a more robust live/work/play environment, and that will be good for the county. That said, he concurs that the office market overall hasn’t been vibrant in recent years. “When I see only two new buildings being delivered in this cycle in downtown Bethesda,” Larry says, “and they have been slow to lease up despite being the only new product recently built, that would suggest the county’s office market is not a robust environment.” Perhaps to show its faith in MoCo’s viability—and to get a close-up perspective of the lay of the land—1788 recently moved its HQ to downtown Bethesda from downtown DC. Last summer, 1788 and Lantian Development purchased the Shady Grove Office Park, in the heart of North Rockville, with plans to entitle and redevelop the park into a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use town center over the next five to 10 years. “We felt like we could create a compelling environment in that area and not be competing” with so many other people looking to develop elsewhere, Larry explains.

Foulger-Pratt president of development Brigg Bunker likes the county precisely because of its multi-tenant residential development. “There’s new product in different price points like we haven’t seen in Montgomery County for quite some time,” he says. The demand is across the board, stoked in part by Baby Boomers moving out of their single-family homes and into smaller apartment units with less maintenance. Given the demographics of the area, Brigg says, expect to see more such downsizing in the future. In December 2015, Foulger-Pratt and partner Willco broke ground on Core, a 16-story, 292-unit apartment building at 8621 Georgia Ave, in Silver Spring’s business district. The building will include 52 affordable units and about 1,500 SF of ground-floor retail space.   But even with Montgomery’s strong professional job base, Brigg is not as enthusiastic about the county’s commercial market, especially when it comes to “elephant hunting”—finding tenants to pre-lease large spaces. “There’s not a lot of 30-plus-thousand SF tenants looking to locate in Montgomery County,” he says. “And if they are [looking], they’re staying in the county, moving from one building to another. We’re not getting a large base of tenants moving into the county.”  Brigg and Foulger-Pratt will have to hunt smaller game at their new 12435 Park Potomac Ave office building—the firm’s new HQ and the location of Bisnow’s Montgomery County State of the Market on Feb. 17 at 7:30am. 

The Lauren Condo Project Targets March 2016 Opening

Developer says nine units are under contract

BY AARON KRAUT • Published: 2015.11.11 05:25

Nine of the 26 residences at the lavish The Lauren condominium building are under contract and construction is set to be completed by March 2016.

“At this point, we’re sort of where we wanted to be,” said Larry Goodwin, founder of Bethesda-based developer 1788 Holdings. “What we have done is we’ve engineered this project way past what the standards are in the market. There’s a lot of talk about our prices. For us, it’s not about the prices. It’s the value we’re delivering for those prices.”

The prices—the $10.5 million penthouse could end up as the most expensive condo unit ever sold in the Washington, D.C., area—have generated much of the buzz surrounding the project.

Pre-construction signs announcing “Homes from the several millions” turned plenty of heads.

One-bedroom units at the project start at $1.5 million and a roughly 3,400-square-foot three-bedroom unit will be priced at about $4.5 million.

Goodwin and Michael Snyder, vice president of project partner Persimmon Capital Partners, said they’re confident the remaining units will sell because The Lauren’s building finishes, private elevators and amenities will surpass what’s offered by other condo projects in the region.

“Frankly, if [the concierges] don’t have your Black Card and they’re not taking care of things for you every day, that isn’t what we intended and they would be changed out,” Goodwin said. “Our view is we want these people to be an extension of your home office, someone who’s going to take care of the details for you.”

Renderings of the penthouse kitchen and basement Wine Lounge at The Lauren, via Akseizer Design Group

Goodwin compared the project to the high-end Somerset House condos in Chevy Chase, where he said most new residents are paying more than the sales price because they’re doing major renovations of older units after closing.

“Most people don’t want to go through renovations,” Snyder said.

Goodwin said the target residents for the building are “working wealthy people,” who are likely to travel frequently, who might own their own business and who have nine-digit bank accounts.

Those under contract before construction of the building is finished are from the Washington region, with a few future residents looking to downsize from bigger single-family homes in Potomac.

In addition to the 29 residences, there are five guest suites and six moderately-priced dwelling units (MPDUs), as required of all new major residential development in Montgomery County.

At The Lauren, those six MPDUs will average about 1,400 square feet and cost about $170,000.

The units will be sold through the county to qualified buyers closer to the project’s delivery date. Owners of the MPDUs will have the option to join a separate condominium association with nominal monthly fees.

Goodwin said one or two qualified buyers are expressing interest every week.

As for the $10.5 million penthouse, the 5,700-square-foot, three-bedroom unit with its own maid’s suite and a private 1,300-square-foot outdoor terrace, Goodwin predicted it will sell shortly after the building opens, like many of the other units.

“With where we’re at now, if [a potential buyer] isn’t pushing to have a meeting with us, we want to deliver and put the wrap on it,” Goodwin said. “We really feel this is a product that people really need to see.”

Quarry Springs’ First Residents Set To Move In

Concierge team, building manager, valet and gate attendants ready for first resident move-ins

Bethesda, Maryland (October 2015) --- Quarry Springs estate condominiums, located at 8101 River Road, Bethesda, Maryland, recently announced the first residents will move into their estate condominiums in Building Four during the weekend of October 23.  The concierge team, building manager, and valet and gate attendants are ready to provide world-class concierge services, valet parking, and 24-hour access monitoring within the gated community. The Quarry Springs sales center and clubhouse will reopen November 13; however, tours are available by appointment. Building One is expected to receive residents by the end of November.

“At 1788, our focus is on the homeowner,” says John Fitzgerald, managing director of development at 1788 Holdings, which, along with IHP Capital Partners, is developing Quarry Springs. “We work closely with each new resident to deliver an estate condominium that is unique to his or her lifestyle, just as Quarry Springs is unique within the marketplace.”

Quarry Springs includes 50 residences in the first two boutique buildings with expansive two- and three-bedroom floor plans ranging from 2,200 to 4,500 square feet with garage-to-foyer private elevators, ten-foot ceilings, hardwood flooring, gas fireplaces, climate-controlled storage areas, Waterworks spa bathrooms and sunrise-to-sunset views. The top-of-the-line kitchens offer Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances including a wine cooler. 

Quarry Springs offers a resort-style swimming pool, winding walking trails, casual and formal lawns, and a dramatic three-tiered waterfall within the 13-acre community. A 15-foot fountain in the entry circle leads to the clubhouse featuring a library, catering kitchen, grand salon, and bar/lounge on the main level and a large fitness center with yoga studio and spa with steam room, sauna and shower facilities on the lower level. A private underground passageway connects homeowners to the clubhouse.

Convenient to the Washington, DC Metro region with easy access to shopping, dining and golf courses, Quarry Springs is designed by Robert M. Swedroe Architects & Planners and Trimbach, and built by James G. Davis Construction Corporation. The model’s interior design is by Akseizer Design Group.

David DeSantis, partner at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “With the luxury of an estate-style home and the conveniences of an all-inclusive condominium setting, Quarry Springs is a one-of-a-kind community.”

For more information about Quarry Springs, contact TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s Christine Basso at 202.302.2508 or Chris Kopsidas at 202.270.1488.

In the Washington suburbs, the march of the mini cities

The Washington Post • By Jonathan O'Connell

The Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s B Side restaurant, in the Fairfax’s Mosaic District, is adjacent to offices, apartments, condos and shopping. (Kate Patterson for The Washington Post)

The Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s B Side restaurant, in the Fairfax’s Mosaic District, is adjacent to offices, apartments, condos and shopping. (Kate Patterson for The Washington Post)

Last year, managers of Merrill Lynch’s Rockville location had to make a decision about whether to move their offices as the end of the company’s lease approached.

Vacancy in the area was on the rise, creating a renter’s market. Owners of outer Montgomery County office parks like theirs were struggling to retain tenants and dramatically dropping prices. They could probably negotiate a favorable lease to stay put.

But Merrill Lynch had another option that wouldn’t have been available a few years prior: new offices being built nearby at the Pike & Rose development. Unlike Merrill Lynch’s location at the time, Pike & Rose offered a slice of urbanity, featuring an emerging grid of streets lined with restaurants, shops and apartments, all withing walking distance of a Metro station and near Rockville Pike.

Merrill Lynch went with Pike & Rose, despite paying what some experts said was 40 percent more per square foot than it would have if it had stayed put.

The premium that companies and apartment renters have begun paying to move to walkable places with restaurants and public transit has developers and investors from as far away as China scouring the Washington landscape for spots to build their own mini cities akin to Pike & Rose or the Mosaic District in Fairfax County.

A rendering of plans for the Pike & Rose development in White Flint. (Jenna Billingsley/Rendering courtesy of Federal Realty Investment Trust/Neoscape)

A rendering of plans for the Pike & Rose development in White Flint. (Jenna Billingsley/Rendering courtesy of Federal Realty Investment Trust/Neoscape)

The next one may be in Shady Grove. On Thursday last week a small Bethesda firm partnered with Chinese investors on the $50 million purchase of seven older office buildings along Shady Grove Road in Rockville that the companies envision as the next mini city in suburban Washington.

Larry Goodwin, managing principal of 1788 Holdings, founded the company after working at Goldman Sachs and says he “likes to be associated with differentiated product” — meaning high-end work. The holding company has built some of Montgomery County’s priciest new condos, including the Estate Condominiums at Quarry Springs and the Lauren Residences in Bethesda.

In Shady Grove, 1788 is acquiring property that at the moment is far less exclusive. Along with Chinese-backed Lantian Development, which has local offices in Bethesda, the two companies are acquiring the type of lower-grade office buildings that have not fared well in recent years as the vacancy rate in North Bethesda  and Rockville soared.

The portfolio they are buying consists of nearly 450,000 square feet of space in seven buildings along Choke Cherry Road, Gaither Road and Shady Grove Road.

For decades as Interstate 270 expanded, the buildings performed just fine with occupancy well above 90 percent, said Goodwin.

But that’s no longer the path to success around the Capital Beltway. Like much that has been developed in Shady Grove, the properties represent something that companies like Merrill Lynch are fleeing: an isolated suburban location surrounded by traffic. The offices are bunched together with nothing to do around them. Shops are sprawled along major roads. Homes are off cloistered in other areas altogether.

“You really don’t have any live-work-play projects in that area,” Goodwin said. “There’s just not a lot of mix of uses.”
In Shady Grove, Goodwin said there was an opportunity to create a neighborhood so much more attractive than its surroundings that it can suck up all the nearby companies, apartment renters and condo buyers.

He took particular note of Merrill Lynch’s decision. In announcing the company’s move, Carol Nevins, director of the Maryland region for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management issued, a statement saying the company was “thrilled to consolidate and relocate our regional offices to the vibrant mixed-use environment of Pike & Rose.”

“Located just steps from the White Flint Metro, Pike & Rose will offer our clients and employees an exciting, convenient and amenity-rich environment that sets a new standard for Montgomery County,” she said.

The plans still require approval by the City of Rockville but Goodwin is already talking about trying to attract a high-end grocer and smaller foodie spots akin to those in the District’s Union Market.

His idea calls for initially tearing down the two buildings at 2 and 4 Choke Cherry Lane, which have nearly emptied, and building 900,000 square feet of new offices mixed with shopping, apartments and probably condos as well.

“You win every tie no matter what the use is when you’ve got a mixed-use environment,” he said.

When the project is completed, according to Brian McLaughlin, chief executive of Lantian Development, in a press release, "it will be pedestrian-friendly, encourage audience interaction and engagement, and establish a sense of place for the local community."

That’s a lot of real estate buzzwords, but 1788 and Lantian are following a path that has so far proven lucrative. Federal Realty Investment Trust, the Rockville-based company behind Pike & Rose, owns 90 shopping centers around the country but has made that project one of a handful aimed at becoming a mini city.

South Carolina-based Edens, which built both the Mosaic District and Union Market, landed $1.5 billion from investors in 2013, including $718 million from private equity giant Blackstone Group. About a quarter of the property it owns is in the Washington area and it has just begun its latest mini city venture in Alexandria, where it is trying to overhaul a shopping center that had been anchored by a dated Giant grocery store.

As the march of the mini cities continues, not all of the grandiose visions are likely to succeed. There is considerable risk, time and cost associated with demolishing existing buildings and re-working them as something completely different.

Goodwin thinks the jury is still out on a lot of the mixed-use plans in Tysons Corner, particularly given how successful Reston Town Center has been in creating a lively urban environment.

“My hunch is that after all of this Reston will continue to outperform Tysons in many ways,” he said.