FOR THE WANT OF VETTING PEACE IN THE CLEVELAND PARK/FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS COMMUNITY WAS LOST:

2 Aug

[ Data was culled from public information or from public persons non confidential communications ]

ImageFOR THE WANT OF VETTING PEACE IN THE CLEVELAND PARK/FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS COMMUNITY WAS LOST:

Mayor Vincent C. Gray was pleased to hear Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) decided to handle issues pertaining to the District before the entire committee in the 113th Congress. In prior Congress’, only a subcommittee oversaw issues impacting DC. Issa chairs the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. Gray is seeking autonomy for the 630,000 plus residents of the District on important matters like changing the 100 year old law, the Height of Buildings Act, limiting the height of buildings across the District and other issues like DC’s budget, all the while the Committee is working on matters like Health Care, the Census and the National Archives. DC Mayor Gray’s ally in Congress is DC’s Democrat Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Holmes Norton, a juggernaut is focused on DC achieving autonomy and voting rights, has been quiet on DC’s disappearing bottom line, vanishing, seemingly into politician’s pockets. And elsewhere.

While America was teetering on the Fiscal Cliff, while Sequestration’s chilling effects are undetermined at this time, while globally, government agencies and employees are careening in attempts to avoid the bankruptcy Greece and Detroit slipped in to, there is a fix. Unavoidable? Yes. Easily in many cases.

One word- Enforcement.
Two more words- Collecting fines.
Three words- Do their jobs.
A Fourth word- Do your job precisely
A few more words- Do the oversight that comes with doing jobs and overseeing workers.

Without connected dots, a ‘city’ engine, like a car, runs until it stalls. It may look sleek and good on the outside, but it collapses, first behind the scenes. People who rock boats, usually don’t get hugs or thanks.

Gray’s administration has been dogged since before his inauguration. Ward 3 Council woman Mary Cheh was the second DC Council person to ask Vince Gray to step down from his role as Mayor three years after endorsing him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXTvGRZzcoc. David Catania was the first. Federal prosecutors laid out details of DC election shadow campaign city contractor Jeff Thompson was supposedly funded by to help win the 2010 election. Catania, who’s clashed with Gray frequently, wasn’t much of a quiet one.

Gray wont step down.

No one seems to care. Laws are created as the machination of government blindness pushes past. Either a person or business entity is licensed OR they are not. As the expression goes, ‘you cant be a little bit pregnant.’ As long as the check clears at the end of the week, they are happy. If it doesn’t, in the mindset of paycheck people, they move on. There is always a safe THREE S’ somewhere- Shower, S%*T and shave- for someone who wants a safe life with benefits and a pension, job well done or not.
Laws are passed every minute around the world. Laws are broken equally as fast not only by the people laws are designed to protect but by the people entrusted with oversite. Sometimes overlooking “i”s dotting and “t”’s crossing is intentional. If caught, repercussions can be criminao or a slap on a socially connected wrist. Sometimes overlooking laws is accidental but ignorance of the law is not an answer, moreso, when it comes to the people, politicians (volunteer or otherwise) from whom constituents rely on for “the straight scoop.”

Revenue collected from enforced violated laws is significantly greater than revenue collected from entities and persons paying the registration fees, license fees, and other fees, needed to operate businesses in the District of Columbia. To some, violating licensing laws is a calculated risk, an adrenalin rush if they don’t get caught, stories they tell over drinks or towel swacking in the locker room after a steam. If they get caught, though, they are subject to fines, penalties and other repercussions that was clearly stated on paperwork they signed, like the District of Columbia’s BBL license application. That application is made under the penalty of perjury “ penalty for a conviction of perjury in D.C. is a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years. D.C. Criminal Code § 22-2402. The penalty for a conviction of perjury in D.C. is a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years. D.C. Criminal Code § 22-2402 “[koehlerlaw.net/other-offenses/perjury/] Pursued and collected? Rarely.

Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D–Ward 3) introduced, several bills in the Committee of the Whole. Two of them, the “False Claims Act of 2013” introduced February 2013 and the “Nurses Safe Staffing Act of 2013,” were assigned to the Committees on Finance and Revenue and Health, respectively.

“Under current District law, the False Claims Act does not apply to violations of the tax code. Therefore, the District cannot obtain information from whistleblowers that may be relevant to the investigation and prosecution of tax evaders. This bill would allow the District to use the tools of the False Claims Act against the District’s biggest tax evaders in a manner already authorized for other applications of the Act…. Under this bill, whistleblowers would be eligible to receive a reward for providing information that helps the District collect money that it is owed. As with all other applications of the False Claims Act, the whistleblower would only be eligible for a reward if the District recovered money from the tax evader, the recovery was based in part on information supplied by the whistleblower, and the supplied information was non-public information that the government did not already have. Thus, people with information that could actually help the government would have an incentive to come forward, but those who just have a hunch or hold a grudge would not… The bill would only authorize whistleblowers and the government to bring tax-related claims under the False Claims Act when the claims are worth $350,000 or more and are brought against persons or entities that have an income above $1 million. “ (http://www.marycheh.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=365:cheh-introduces-bills-to-increase-quality-of-health-care-in-dc-curb-tax-evasion&catid=37:press-release&Itemid=68}

The False Claim Act addresses a person who (7) Knowingly makes or uses, or causes to be made or used, a false record or statement to conceal, avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the District; (http://dc.gov/DC/OAG/Publication%20Files/DC_False_Claim_Act.pdf) Under this Act, c) (1) No person may bring an action pursuant to subsection (b) of this section against a member of the Council of the District of Columbia (“Council”), a member of the District judiciary, or an elected official in the executive branch of the District, if the action is based on any official act occurring during his or her term of office.

§ 2-308.17. Limitation of actions; burden of proof.
(a) A civil action brought pursuant to § 2-308.15 may not be filed more than 6 years after the date on which the violation of § 2-308.14 is committed or more than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by an official of the Office of Corporation Counsel, but in no event more than 9 years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last.

The District does have an anti-fraud fund § 2-308.17. Limitation of actions; burden of proof. (a) A civil action brought pursuant to § 2-308.15 may not be filed more than 6 years after the date on which the violation of § 2-308.14 is committed or more than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by an official of the Office of Corporation Counsel, but in no event more than 9 years after the date on which the violation is committed, whichever occurs last. False_Claim_Act.pdf

Locales, counties and countries around the world, to make up budget shortfalls, continue to turn to increasing the burden of existing taxes on the usual suspects- easy to locate (because they are in compliance) tax weary residents, visitors to the area and business entities who are in regulatory compliance when in reality the locales, counties and countries should create a Reward Program for information, for example on landlords, contractors, managers, etc. in the District who are licensed. A BBL license fee is paltry compared to the $2000 plus in fines the District would collect from an unlicensed landlord, a windfall that would alleviate the financial stress on compliant constituents. The matter is more costly if the violator, business, landlord, etc., brings on board a lawyer hired because her or she knows how to work the judicial system from a violators point of view, after all everyone is entitled to a day in court even if represented by a lawyer whose specialty is making bad deeds go away at mitigated cost to their client. The Government Agency general counsels time invested in a case against a habitual violator is time lost spent on another matter. Put up the penalty money or potentially pay a lot more in legal fees. This is a dollars and common sense business decision. Answers.yahoo.com says “The doctrine is known as ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’; ie. ignorance of the law does not excuse. This is made obvious on policy grounds; that is. the law cannot permit ignorance as a defence, otherwise accused person’s will argue ignorance to avoid liability, even if they had the knowledge of the law.” (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081006003718AAcklMY) Putting money up front, similar to escrow or bail posted, is a speed bump towards bringing change in the system by mitigating the expense of multiple mediations, clerk time, Judge time, etc. which is a further deficit to, in this case, the District of Columbia.

Legislators on many levels, in Administration including Federal government, local government or community oversight volunteer positions, come from legal backgrounds. Presumption is these lawyer legislators, know laws better or, in the least, how to research what the legislator can do or cant do, know or don’t know when it comes to regulations. If the legislators doesn’t know the do’s and donts of their role (or how to research it or ask for guidance) then the inarguable challenge is, why are the persons in the role of being resident community facilitators if their competency is limited to pointing fingers at anyone but themselves in blame or in a way to divert blame from themselves. The loser is a no-brainer answer, the constituents paying increasing taxes when Mayors and other legislators junket off to China for cab color inspiration or are planning trips to Qatar, in the blush of the rapid reconstruction of City Lot in to multi-use property.

The point to be focused on is that there is Uber money if legislators do their jobs by enforcing and collect fines, penalties, jail time or such. Hence, the premise of this blog is now stated.

“For the want of a nail a kingdom was lost- for the want of License
Vetting, a community’s history may be lost- a review of Royal
Aholds Giant Foods LLC Giant-Carlisle.” Pick a name, any name
as it seems the prominent parties have multiple hats to hang
on their heads or to tuck under….

And so we begin…..

DC has multiple layers to vet through. Landlords must be licensed. Property managers must be licensed. Apartments must be licensed. Licensing in the District of Columbia is simple enough to vet in DC. A person can call in to through 311 to the DCRA to confirm a license. A person can go down to the DCRA to confirm a license. A certification of a license must be processed in person. Payment is required. The DCRA staff are wonderfully patient in assisting the multitude of requests they facilitate daily. In the alternative a person can go on line to ( http://dcra.dc.gov/DC/DCRA) For real estate licensing online queries, the site visitor would go to “Featured Services”, click “PIV” (http://pivs.dcra.dc.gov/PIVS/Search.aspx) then in the “Property Information Verification System” input the street number, street name, street suffix and quad, accessing within minutes who owns a property and its history. It is as simple as that to vet licensing of entities participating on Committees or in conversations involving business in the District of Columbia. It isn’t much to expect that all parties brought to the conversation to assure parties be vetted, before they join the conversation before CMA’s are negotiated and tear downs start to make sure they are in compliance with DC regulations. For example, contractors must be licensed to work in the District of Columbia. If the contractor is not licensed as a contractor in the District of Columbia, the contractor cannot sign a Construction Management Agreement until they are licensed and until prior properties have been evaluated for compliance. If prior properties the contractor worked on or manages are not in compliance with DC licensure, then contractor is subject to the Enforcement. Fines must be paid before joining the conversation. As said earlier, one cannot be a little bit pregnant. One is either in compliance or not. Pay the District.

March 26, 2013, Phil Mendelson and Muriel Bowser were in their hearing broadcast on DC TV. Harriet Tregoning testified on the Georgia Avenue construction. Mendelson sits on the Council Judiciary. Mendelson challenged Tregoning’s answers. James Wright of the Washington Informer D.C. Council member wrote that “Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) announced that she’s tossing her hat into the ring.” Word is Mayoral candidates are more responsive with issues brought public around the time their candidacy is announced. A recommended landlord compliant DC lease was reviewed by Muriel Bowser a few years back. That lease which brings landlords compliant by having a landlord state their BBL and RAD numbers is still ‘out there.’ The lease would mitigate tenant issues with illegal landlords and illegal rent increases. In this particular hearing, Muriel Bowser wanted a large orange sign posted on public areas for residents to know when Input Meetings, to the Georgia Avenue project, were being held. Muriel appears to be aware that social networking is NOT a part of every constituents life. Muriel wanted her constituents to participate in the process hence a big Ol’ Orange sign. ANC3 Nancy Macwood sees things differently relying on a local print paper in a time when print papers are decreasing editions, decreasing distribution or just giving up and going on line. Macwood sees the ANC3 website as a resource for local issues but a September 2011 online article presents a conflicting reality. The article titled “How People Learn About Their Local Community” addressed a survey released by the Pew Research Centers Project For Excellence In Journalism, and Internet & American Life Project and the James L Knight Foundation that said “more Americans report watching local TV news than any other source- which has led to widely held idea that people go there for most of their community news and information” and “the internet is defined here as web-only online destinations. For adults generally, the internet is a main source for information about restaurants and other local businesses…” continuing “print newspapers, online list servs and old fashioned word of mouth are important means by which people learn in particular about community events and local schools.” 12% of the age 40+ group use the internet as their source for information (www.journalism.org/analysis_report/local_news)
Another resource for resolution is the local police. Police recommend calling 911. How the matter is handled- fine or otherwise- will be at the discretion of the responding officer. CCP, the Cathedral Commons Partnership, is included in the Police patrol area overseen by Lt Ralph Neal. CCP’s construction, sits directly across from the Police Stations. MPD Second District Officers were provided a copy of the CMA Construction Management agreement by a local renter, months after the ANCs signed with CCP, the Cathedral Commons Partnership. More ironic is the ANCs signed the CCP agreement steps away from the Precinct desk. The ANC meeting is held in the 2nd District’s Police Station community room. The CMA stated work start hours along with restrictions against vehicle idling that started at 4:00am – 6:30am on Wisconsin Avenue, a stones throw away from 2nd Division. Officers were getting calls on the 911 line. Without having been told of the CCP CMA idling restriction, there was nothing officers could do. It seems the DC ordinance addressing idling is for summer time and heat waves. The CMA Agreement addressed fines for idling in the spring, winter, fall- the duration of the demolition and reconstruct. At a $1000 a pop per truck and up to 20 trucks per morning violating the CMA idling clause, that was a significant amount of revenue loss to the District, with no price imaginable for the loss of sleep to the Mary Cheh’s constituents within whose zone the work was being done.

The inner courtyard of Cleveland Park residents bordering the demolition site report trucks idling, jackhammers, beeps from trucks backing up. Residents report seeing trucks parked in the bus stops. Some residents don’t hear the trucks. Some sleep with fans on. Others sleep deep. Others reported noised construction related, waking up, Unable to return to sleep, their day is disrupted. They are worn. Disrupted sleep is at a cost according to Bethesda, MD’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm)
“Sleep is a required activity. It is not optional. It is not something that you just do when you are inactive. Sleep is important for normal cognitive and motor functions, it is vital to proper functioning and overall health.” (www.allsleep.com/about-sleep/sleep-cycle-stage/ )

In 2008, a “Better Sleep Council article cites studies that estimate that $150 billion per year is lost in productivity and absenteeism due to sleep problems. A Council survey in 2007 also indicated that respondents linked poor performance at work to chronic sleep loss, including poor quality and accuracy of work, trouble with judgment or thinking clearly, and having difficulty with memory for important details.” (www.ehow.com/info_8693267_consequences-disrupted-sleep.html )

The conflict in conversation is at the street front of Wisconsin Avenue between Idaho and Macomb in NW DC.

There are no large signs on the corner of Input and Teardown, site of the former 50 year plus GIANT STORE on Wisconsin Avenue. Friendship Heights Giant was located on Wisconsin Avenue in proximity to the Washington National Cathedral. It was surrounded by retail stores that one by one phased out to new locations. The second floor yoga studio left. Kellogg Furniture left. The East Coast’s first Starbucks hung on until February of 2012. Media reported that locals came in droves during the last days to drown their tears and memories in their last cups of morning java. The oddly round bank at the corner of Idaho and Wisconsin took its canopy down becoming a parking lot for residents until the lot was locked off. Someone took the neighborhood friendly Friendship Heights sign leaving the block, a block with no name. In time, the trees on Idaho Street NW were cut. Stumps with pre-spring branches to nowhere look like an exhibit one would see inside the National Gallery of Art. The bank vault, from inside the now demolished round bank, was brought above ground. Few knew that bank was historic in its being round. It used to be a trolley or bus hub. History preservationists, it seems, fought to make sure the hub remained. They lost. It seems there was no ability for them to win this battle nor for the truists who bought in to a quiet ‘burb’ of DC to thwart the reality of packed streets, more noise and other disruptions, gentrification tends to bring along.

If someone looking to move to the neighborhood was accompanied by a realtor, they might have been forewarned a teardown and rebuild was in the planning- and had been for decades, as one owner said he was when he looked a few years earlier. If someone found a rental ad placed by the buildings leasing office, for example, on Craigslist, there is a good chance the renters learned about the imminent demolition only after having signed their lease, or after the expense of moving in, being assured the GIANT situation has gone no where in 20 years and would no go anywhere any faster. Leases signed in proximity to the Starbucks closing down, the last bastion of hope for locals, made no mention of the imminent construction. There no advisory from the leasing agent. There was no disclaimer new tenants were moving in to months of dust and noise and quality of life disruption. Reality is, new tenants moved in to an unorthodox wake up call, Starbucks was bookin’ it and then the bank and then… a new history was beginning. It wasn’t the Battle of Waterloo but it was a battle. Sadly, the leaders turned out to be on the side of someone other than the residents they campaigned to serve.

Local residents are served by ANCs and Commissioners. ANCs and Commissioners communicate with council people. ANCs are overseen by an individual who answers to a councilman. It is amazing how much one can learn when answers given by ANCs don’t jive, when the inordinate quantity of dirt covering one’s home and inhaled is accidentally discovered to be Concrete Dirt from a 50 year old plus demolished building. When eyes burn, throats burn and sneezing becomes staccato to the point “God Bless You” turns in to “SHHHHHHH” then “Puleeeeeze already.”

The District of Columbia is, amazingly, during a global recession, bumping up “multi-use” buildings almost overnight seemingly on every corner. Once upon a time, people drove in to the District without encountering urban sprawl until the hit the Washington Times building. Now, DC is creeped out almost to where the 50 hits the 295 split towards Annapolis. There is a process to DC development. Most think the District development process moves through the Zoning Commission before the process moves in to the demolition and construction phase. Truth is, even though the GIANT FOOD demolition/reconstruction process took longer than most, near two decades, with a multitude of tenants and owners coming and going before the rancor ran its course, conversations are started it seems with a group with a vision, like a Streetworks type of company that issues their version of “I HAD A DREAM”, in their case, the overhaul and redesign of communities so subtley residents don’t see it coming. Coincidence to Bikeshares popping up overnight? No. Coincidence in car share Zipcars and Cars2go getting preference over taxpaying residents or “Mer-land” residents commuting to the Capitol? No. Coinless parking? No. Bicycle lanes? Multi use buildings (residences on top of retail), upward skyrocketing gas prices? No. No. No, just the manifestation of some consultant’s dream facilitated by leadership who forget money comes in to District coffers only if the laws on the books are enforced or pursued for the monetary penalty, ending up in swift resolution to ‘What to do about GIANT’, an over 20 year conversation.
Just a reality check. The first to be asked to PAY are the last to be told or to realize they may not have been in on the “rest of the story”, as the late Paul Harvey called it.

November 15 2011, The Bozzuto Group, Giant Food of Landover, Md., and Southside Investment Partners held a groundbreaking event for anticipated to-be-rebuilt Giant Food LLC to replace its 50 plus year old grocery at 3336 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Only it wasn’t going to be called GIANTs anymore. The multi use unit was rebranded CATHEDRAL COMMONS. And the newly rebuilt GIANT wasn’t going to be under ownership of the ROYAL AHOLD and/or The Bozzuto Group. The multi use building appears to be owned by Cathedral Commons Partnership coyly known as CCP. Who is CCP?

The answer to ‘who is CCP’ is not written in to the CMA Agreement, Construction Management Agreement, signed June 2011, seven months earlier, before Starbucks, to community sadness, shuttered its doors, squeezing its last drops of Blonde into lattes.

Research processes should always begin with the 411. 411 used to be a quick look-see in the phone book. Phone books now defunct, quick look-sees begin online or in conversations to find a starting point of confirmation that involved parties are who they say they are and are in compliance within DC law and DC requirements. It is presumed that ANCs know DC law. It is presumed that ANCs can predict the impact of their decisions on residents and future residents. It is presumed that ANCs have done more than campaign for ANC office, that they have taken an obligatory test, taken a course in mediation to facilitate dealing with constituents they want to avoid. After all, if a person wanting to become an American must pass a test before they become a naturalized citizen, a local resident could expect the person being voted into office to speak on the community’s behalf along with handling monies, etc, has had to do more than get money tossed behind them or spend their own to hold an office, either because they really want to make a difference or run for higher office. A person who wants to become a Tour Guide in the District of Columbia has to take a test; a person who wants to get their Drivers License to drive on the streets of DC has to take a test; a person who wants to put tags/license on the back and front of their car to drive in the District of Columbia has to take a test. Makes no sense the only test that someone who wants to run for office in DC is whether or not they know which dotted line to sign on or whether or not, the individual holding office actually understands agreements they are signing to on behalf of their residents.

ANC Nancy Macwood took over a year to draft the CMA agreement between CCP and ANC3. The Agreement was signed June 2011. That means negotiations began June 2010. The expectation is that ANCs do take time to confirm the licensing of parties they invite to Committee or negotiate CMAs with, in the least, as a balance in check that should have been performed earlier, possibly overlooked, by other agencies in the process, ie. The DC Zoning Commission.

March 2013, ANC Nancy Macwood emailed “the ANC has no ability to enforce the agreement. It is primarily a voluntary agreement…. the ANC has no authority to force compliance, other than the bully pulpit…There are DC agencies that are charged with handling licensing and permitting. ANCs do not get involved with those matters.” GIANT would not start until the development partner was named. The Bozzuto Group was named, presumably, to be managed by Bozzuto under the partnerships’s name, as appears to be the matter with other Bozzuto multi unit, multi use contrstruction projects located throughout DC. Bozzuto is based out of Greenbelt Maryland. Giant-Carlisle is nearby enough by in Landover MD. Why negotiate a contract there is no ability to enforce the contract, let alone with the “former GIANT-CARLISLE’s new owner” not being named in the unenforceable agreement. Question is will there be an accounting of ANC dollars spent on this bridge to nowhere.

An online site explains that “Advisory Neighborhood Commissions are independent bodies of government that consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting their neighborhoods, including traffic, parking, recreation, street improvements, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, sanitation and trash collection, and even the District’s annual budget. In each of these areas, the purpose of the ANC is to ensure input from an advisory board that is made up of locally elected residents of the neighborhoods that are directly affected by government action. ANC Commissioners are unpaid public officials whose mandate is to represent the constituents of their Single Member District. The ANCs present their positions and recommendations on issues to various District government agencies, the Executive Branch, and the City Council. They also present testimony to independent agencies, boards and commissions, usually under rules of procedure specific to those entities. By law, the ANCs may also present their positions to Federal agencies. Your ANC may take a formal position on a proposed policy, plan or request (e.g., a request for a zoning variance) by taking a vote at a duly noticed public meeting. For example, if the ANC votes to oppose a zoning request that will be heard by the DC Zoning Commission, the ANC is then automatically granted party status and may present reports, testimony and cross examine the applicant and other government agencies at the hearing. The recommendations and opinion of the ANC must be given “great weight” by the agency or commission in such cases.”
(www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/company?companyId=639239&targetid=profile)

ANCs do not have legal authority to regulate or pass binding laws. ANC’s have the role of advising DC’s government agencies and regulatory bodies on issues related to their respective areas and neighborhoods. Hence the name, Advisory Neighborhood Commission.” Example given, “Perhaps the new establishment will agree to shut down its outdoor cafe earlier than it closes its inside business—even though the establishment is under no legal obligation under DC law to do so. Once the voluntary agreement is reached and approved by both the ANC and the business owner, the ANC will vote to recommend that that the establishment gets its liquor license or business operating license. The appropriate DC regulatory bodies are then supposed to take this agreement into account when deciding whether to grant the liquor license or operating license.” Borderstan says “That’s Why They’re “Advisory.” (www.borderstan.com/04/what-do-ancs-do/)

Wisconsin Avenue’s Royal Ahold-GIANT CARLISLE saga evolved over time to include the contemporary ANCs, council people, current Mayor, The Bozzuto Group and Giant-Carlisle, Streetworks, financiers, plus other players. The Giant that began in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, hence called GIANT-CARLISLE, is the not to be “confused with sister company GIANT-LANDOVER.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant-Carlisle) Locals in the “know”, just call it GIANT. Over the final months, Wisconsin Avenue’s GIANT took on the appearance of a community market over the Green Line in the Middle East moreso, thinking back, as the days were creeping closer to destruction. Lovely staff. Apologetic. And sad. They were going to miss their regulars. Some staff knew where they would be moved for work to, others hoped they would have a job. Uncertainty wore on the staff doing their best to follow their customer scripts that conclude with, “Can I help you out to your car? Have a great day.”

GIANT has been a member of the Royal Ahold International Family since 1998. GIANT FOOD STORES LLC operates in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. GIANT FOOD STORES LLC also operates under the names GIANT, FoodSource and Martins.

Giant posts it opened its first store in Washington DC in 1936.
(www.giantfood.com/about_us/index.htm?linkid=F) GIANT stared in 1923 in Carlisle Pennsylvania by David Javitch who called his first store, in Carlisle, Giant Shopping Food Market. When GIANT FOOD LLC was founded, “skeptics said that supermarkets would never catch on.” The Depression created a new consumer seeking to reduce costs for good food. The store founded by NM Coehn and Samuel Lehrman replaced high costs by introducing self-service. (www.giantfood.com/about_us/co GIANT plans 26pany/company_history.htm) new remodeled and expanded stores during the next 12 months (www.giantfood.com/about_us/index.htm) Royal Ahold acquired GIANT Food in 1998 for $2.6 billion. (www.nytimes.com/1998/05/20/business/royal-ahold-set-to-acquire-giant-food.html)

In 2009, DC’s Office of Zoning held five public hearings on the GIANT market site plan before approving the plan in February. Giant was to announce, by year end, when construction was to begin on the estimated two year demolition and construction. The Wisconsin Avenue Giant Project was saddled by at least a decade of delay from planning, zoning and neighborhood protests. Giant Spokesperson Sharon Robinson was quoted saying they were in the process of deciding upon selecting a development partner.

The discussion of GIANT’s future, had not been without controversy. A few years earlier, hundreds of workers in the food industry found themselves caught in corporate crosshairs rallying outside a meeting of several large food and grocer corporations held at the Hyatt Regency hotel near Capitol Hill, across the street from the national headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The warehouse, package and delivery workers were represented by Teamsters Locals 730, 639 and 922. Other GIANT employee protesters were from United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.. Giant Food, Inc., a subsidiary of Dutch-owned Royal Ahold, was seeking to outsource up to 700 local union jobs at Giant’s Jessup Maryland plant and other distribution centers in the D.C. area to C&S Grocers, a multibillion-dollar grocery wholesale company which then was to shutter with most of the low-wage jobs being moved to a non-union facility in Pennsylvania. Ahold had almost 3,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Europe generating over $38 billion in annual revenue. It was reported that in the Netherlands, Royal Ahold was hiring temps who work for lower wages and working conditions than permanent staff.

AHOLD founded in 1887, http://www.ahold.com, is a Dutch International Retailer with over 3008 locations and over 121,000 employees (2011). AHOLD is based in Amsterdam. AHOLD is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. AHOLDs trading symbol is AH. AHOLD reported a revenue of over 30.27 billion euros in 2012 (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahold) AHOLD CEO Dick Boer was the COO of AHOLD Europe and AHOLD Czech Republic prior to becoming the current CEO. Boes is the vice co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum, an advisory member of G-star, and a member of the executive board of The Confederation of Netherlands Industry.

AHOLD acquired Stop & Shop (www.stopandshop.com). Stop & Shop traces its history back to 1914 when the Rabinovitz family founded Somerville, Massachusetts Economy Grocery Stores Company. Four years later, family member Sidney Rabb came up with a new retail concept. Rabb’s concept was self-service. Rabb’s supermarket modernized food shopping. By 1947, Economy Grocery Stores had grown into 86 supermarkets. The company name was changed to Stop & Shop, Inc. AHOLD acquired Stop & Shop in 1996. AHOLD employed 450,000 people, servicing the needs of 40 million customers in 28 countries every week.

March 20, 2000, U.S. Foodservice was acquired by Royal Ahold for $26 per share or $3.6 billion. U.S. Foodservice generated sales exceeding $7 billion, catching the attention of Royal Ahold N.V. To strengthen its presence in the southeastern United States, U.S. Foodservice acquired former sister company PYA/Monarch for $1.57 billion on December 5, 2000. The acquisition meant U.S.
Foodservice’s sales would now reach $12 billion annually. Talk was AHOLD was seeking to avoid the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (www.soxlaw.com). Sarbanes-Oxley, named after its main architects Senator Paul Sarbanes and Representative Michael Oxley, introduced major changes to the regulation of financial practice and corporate governance.

May 3, 2007, Washington Post staff writers omoeh Murakami Tse and Krissah Williams wrote that AHOLD overpaid for US Foodservice, in the transaction, valued at $7.1 billion (www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050202549.html) . In November 2001, the U.S. Foodservice division of Ahold, acquired Alliant Exchange Inc., parent company of Alliant Foodservice. After the Alliant acquisition, U.S. Foodservice was now generating combined total revenues of approaching $14 billion. U.S. Foodservice growth was 600% over the last 6 years, from about $2 billion in revenues in 1995, to $14 billion in late 2001. Ahold had restated more than $800 million in earnings after it was exposed that U.S. Foodservice executives inflated promotional rebates from suppliers to meet earnings targets [ Washington Post staff writer Carrie Johnson, November 3 2005 ] (www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/02/AR2005110202867.html)

The District of Columbia had been in discussion over Royal Ahold’s Wisconsin Avenue GIANT for decades, including in and around the investigation. In 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Royal Ahold and three top executives with Fraud causing violations of Securities Laws (www.sec.gov/news/press/2004-144.htm) The SEC filed its complaints in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. AHOLD’s wholly owned subsidiary US Foodservice was charged with “improper consolidation of joint ventures through fraudulent side letters, other accounting errors and irregularities.” AHOLDs SEC filings from 2000-2003 were “materially false and misleading.” The Netherland authorities, afraid of Double Jeopardy under Dutch law asked the SEC to not seek penalties against the executives. Royal Ahold was charged with massively overstating sales by billions of dollars. There was earnings fraud with US Foodservice. There was Joint Venture Sales and Operating Income Fraud at AHOLD, with its top officers. Two of the officers Cees Van Der Hoeven and Michiel Meurs agreed to never serve as officers or directors of a public company. Ture Roland was the third executive. In 2011, Royal Ahold, GIANT owner, acquired Richmond based Ukrop grocery chain. Three years earlier AHOLD had announced plans to divest Tops and US Foodservice.
http://shaybo-therisingtide.blogspot.com/2011/06/royal-ahold-acquiring… Royal Ahold sold Columbia Maryland based US Foodservice for $7.2 billion in 2007 http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2007-05-03/business/0705030184_.

AHOLD began its international expansion by acquiring companies in Spain and the United States and a new leadership team that did not include members of the Heijn family, a first in the history of Netherlands prestigious company. Ahold had been designated “royal” by the Queen.The same year Dutch Queen Beatrix designated AHOLD NV “Royal,” 1987, AHOLD executive Gerrit Jan Heijn was kidnapped for ransom. Gerrit was murdered.

February 2003, AHOLD had been reported for accounting irregularities at some of its subsidiaries. The 2001 and 2002 earnings, mostly at occurred at U.S. Foodservice and Tops Markets and at the company’s Argentine subsidiary Disco, had to be restated. Both Dutch and U.S. law enforcement authorities filed criminal charges against Ahold and several of its former executives. Ahold paid a fine of approximately €8 million. Dutch federal courts found AHOLD’s CEO and CFO guilty of false authentication of documents and they received suspended prison sentences and unconditional fines. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission settled with AHOLD a settlement of US $1.1 billion (€937 million) in a securities class action lawsuit filed against the company in the United States by shareholders and former shareholders. The SEC filed fraud charges against four former executives of U.S. Foodservice: the company’s former CFO, former chief marketing officer, and two former purchasing executives. The purchasing executives settled. The former chief marketing officer went to prison for 46 months. The CFO was sentenced to six months of home detention and three years’ probation. This was known was Netherland’s ENRON http://aaahq.org/audit/midyear/07midyear/papers/Knapp_EuropesEnron.pdf.

AHOLD launched A ROAD TO RECOVERY and a STRATEGY FOR PROFITABLE GROWTH. AHOLD sold of U.S. Foodservice and TOPS and its business in Poland.

U.S. Foodservice emerged. U.S. Foodservice changed its named from JP Foodservice. JP Foodservice was now trading under “UFS” on the New York Stock Exchange. The new U.S. Foodservice (NYSE: UFS) added Sorrento Food Service, Inc., of Buffalo, Westlund, a Minnesota custom cut meat specialist and a number of other smaller foodservice companies.

March 2011, AHOLD CEO Dick Boer, appointed CEO. Boer announced AHOLDs “Reshaping Retail,” a strategy based on six pillars intended to increase customer loyalty, broaden the offering, expand geographic reach, simplify, responsible retailing, and good people – t designed to create and enable growth.

AHOLD holdings include: Ahold Coffee Company B.V. – (Netherlands); Ahold Czech Republic a.s. – (Czech Republic); Ahold Retail Slovakia k.s. – (Slovakia); Albert Heijn B.V. – (Netherlands/Belgium); Etos B.V. – (Netherlands); Gall & Gall B.V. – (Netherlands); Bol.com – (Netherlands); Gestão de Empresas de Retalho, SGPS. S.A. (JMR) (indirectly 49%) – (Portugal); ICA AB (indirectly 60%) – (Scandinavia).United States- Giant Carlisle; Martin’s Food Markets; Giant Landover; Peapod; Stop & Shop New England; Stop & Shop New York Metro. September 26, 2011, U.S. Foodservice unveiled its new corporate name, US Foods (stylized as US. Foods), and brand identity “reflecting its strategic focus on creating a better food offering and an easier service experience for customers.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Foods

GIANT FOODS LLC or GIANT-CARLISLE, on Wisconsin Avenue in NW DC, disappeared morphed into Cathedral Commons effective September 7 2012, as DC Corporation, L00004621389 according to the paperwork filed with the Government of the District of Columbia http://backoffice.dc.gov/bizentity.aspx/viewentitydata?entityId=4120774

Cathedral Commons Partners is the partnership of Royal Ahold and Bozzuto organized for the development of Ahold’s original GIANT into a multi use project- apartments and retail stores. Clifford Cooks, Program Manager Business Licensings Divisiton for Nicholas Majett, DCRA, Director of the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, “set my hand and caused the seal of this office to be affixed as of the 7th day of March 2013” that a Basic Business License for and General Contractor, General Business, Apartment were not issued from January 1 2009 to present date for BOZZUTO CONTRACTORS INC [Attachment Available] that a Basic Business License for and General Contractor, General Business, Apartment were not issued from January 1 2009 to present date for BOZZUTO Group [Attachment Available] and that a Basic Business License for and General Business, Apartment were not issued from January 1 2009 to present date for BOZZUTO [Attachment Available]. The DCRA certified documents that state Bozzuto, possibly registered as a corporation, is not licensed to do business in the District of Columbia in constructing, management, etc.

An email was sent to Nicholas Majett January 23, 2013 adressing unlicensed landlords in the District of Columbia.

All landlords, according to DC statutes 42-3502.22, DISCLOSURE TO TENANTS, must provide, along with the lease to their tenants, copies of the landlords BBL license numbers and RAD license numbers in order for the tenant to be assured their landlord is a legal District of Columbia landlord. DISCLOSURE TO TENANTS includes requirements (b) (1) when a lease application is filed for a unit, the housing provider shall provide on a disclosure form published by the Rent Administrator… together with any documents corresponding to each item of information, (A) applicable rent (B) prior tenant or other petitions filed (tenant/housing provider) that could affect the rental unit including petitions for further rent increases during the following 12 months (C) surcharges and surcharge expiration date (D) frequency rent increases will be implemented at (E) rent controlled or exempt status along with business license, copy of registration or claim of exemption 42-3502.05(g)(1)(C), (F) housing code violation reports issued y the DCRA for units prior 12 months or violation reports not previously abated (G) Rent Administrator pamphlet detailing lay terminology for laws/rent increases and permitted petitions (H)(i) amount of non refundable application fee (ii) amount of security deposit, interest rate and means by which security deposit will be returned (I) whether the housing accommodation is registered as or is in the process of converting to a condominium or a cooperative or a use that is not a housing accommodation (J) disclosure of ownership information in the form required by 42-35-2.05(f) and (g)(1)(C); (2) housing provider must (A) keep a compilation of (paragraph1) disclosure forms and documents for each unit in the housing accommodation in a publicly accessible area ie reception desk or management office (B) update changes within 30 days (C) give each tenant notice on an RAD form with a table of contents of the disclosures and forms are available, where the forms are (D) make it available (E) provide within 10 business days after requested the disclosures and documents without cost to tenant (c) rent for any rental unit that “shall not be increased if the housing provider (1) willfully violates provisions (2) fails to comply within 10 business days of written notice of any failure to comply with the provisions of this section”

Nicholas Majett, the director of the District of Columbia DCRA never responded to multiple emails asking for the confirmation he said building inspectors do not verify license status.

Most interesting is that DC employees hold meetings with business entities or persons, without first vetting or ‘carding’, as bars do (to make sure a potential patron is legal age compliant) that the business and/or business person is compliant and current with their District business and/or other license. In the example of a bar owner, if they failed to vet an underage non/compliant customer, a bar owners risks getting fined or losing their operative license as would a car driver without a license OR without their license in the vehicle with them. Failing to enforce the BBL and RAD vetting is at great cost of revenue to the District of Columbia. Interesting that Majett’s team in the field aren’t “allowed” to ask for licenses yet Majett’s clerks in the DCRA certify if queried businesses and/or persons are licensed, in this case, the DCRA certified Bozzuto is not licensed for business in the District of Columbia [Attachment Available email Jan 23 2013 ]

ANC Nancy Macwood took over a year to ‘iron’ out the CMA with AHOLD. AHOLD was waiting on a construction partner. The partner AHOLD selected with BOZZUTO. All it takes is one call to find out…………..

Bozzuto, “a privately held, integrated real estate services organization, advertises over 100 communities from Virginia to Massachusetts, with over 35,000 residences to date (www.bozzuto.com) Thomas S Bozzuto is President of the privately held company. Bozzuto lists business categories as Real Estate developers, Property Managers, Home Builders, Mason Contractors. Bozzuto Group also lists Landscape, Mortgage and the Bozzuto Management Company.
( http://www.bozzuto.com/apartments/communities/284-cathedral-commons) using Bozzuto Beat Blog and Bozzuto Social to promote their projects and project progress. (www.bozzuto.com)

The Bozzutos, a closed, private, family business based in Greenbelt, ranked by the Washington Business Journal as Greater eighth-largest company with $1.1 billion in 2011 revenue, were chosen to be Royal Ahold’s development partner, according to son Toby Bozzuto, “I do think we were chosen because we are a family business, we are a local business, we are residents of the area, and they saw in us a partner versus someone who was simply buying air rights.” Toby Bozzuto was profiled in a Harvard publication. Toby, the son of Tom, previously worked for JP Morgan Chases Real Estate Debt Group and Columbia National Real Estate Finance.

(isites.harvard.edu/…/Feb%2024%20Toby%20Bozzuto/Toby%20Boz)
Bozzuto continued “We feel very fortunate, and we’d like to start working on it immediately. ” Bozzuto said he didn’t mean to sound “presumptuous,” but “We competed against many other development firms, and thankfully we were chosen as the development partner.” Bozzuto said, “Giant has owned this site for more than 50 years, and they have a store there that was admittedly getting older. They have been working with the city and the community to plan out this project, a brand-new environment with restaurants and apartments and Starbucks and everything you can image.” Toby Bozzuto, when asked about the connection with Giant Foods, an iconic Mid-Atlantic brand said “it looked like Cathedral Commons will be no less iconic. ” (www.multifamilyexecutive.com)

In 1988, Tom established The Bozzuto Group of companies with John Slidell, Rick Mostyn and the late Bernie Lubcher. Prior to the formation of The Bozzuto Group, Tom spent thirteen years as Mid-Atlantic Regional Partner at Oxford Development Corporation. He also worked for the James W. Rouse Mortgage Company and, prior to that, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal. A graduate of Hobart College, Tom has a master’s degree in Metropolitan Studies from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. A Congressional Appointee to the Millennial Housing Commission, he has served several terms as a Gubernatorial Appointee to the Maryland Housing Commission and is the current Chairman of the Board of the National Multi Housing Council. In 2008, Tom was honored as recipient of ULI Washington’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2010 was recognized as Delta Associates’ Private Sector TrendSetter of the Year, in 2011 was inducted into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame, and in 2012 was recognized as one of The Daily Record’s Most Influential Marylanders (www.bozzuto.com)

It was under the leadership of Bozzuto president Julie A. Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Company, that Bozzuto “twice been named Property Management Firm of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)” has“grown from an organization with 15 employees to one of more than 800.” Julie “oversees a portfolio that includes approximately 30,000 units in more than 100 apartment communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions” also consulting “in the development of new communities both for Bozzuto and third-party owners, providing marketing and management guidance in the planning stages of new projects.” Smith is “Chair of the National Multi Housing Council’s Property Management Committee, a member of the Board of Directors for Victory Housing, a nonprofit developer and operator of affordable housing for seniors and working families, and an adjunct professor in the University of Maryland’s Master’s of Real Estate Development Program.” (www.bozzuto.com)

Bozzuto has over $375 million in annual gross revenue, a portfolio of more than 100 communities, with more than 70% of our portfolio is owned by third parties, many of them repeat customers, a joint venture of some sort, with land sellers, private investors, not-for-profit groups, or institutional partners. Bozzuto Homes Established 1990 “work with public and private partners looking to invest in solid real estate ventures that provide an attractive rate of return.” More than 5,000 homes, valued in excess of $1 billion, five-time Builder of the Year, multifamily Builder of the Year, three-time Environmental Builder of the Year. Bozzuto Development, mixed-use developments with high-end, mixed-income and affordable housing, Senior-living communities was established 1988. Bozzuto Acquisitions has more than 8,500 units bought and sold in the past decade. Bozzuto Construction, established in 1988, has more than $150 million in annual revenue with more than 19,000 housing units, valued at nearly $2 billion (www.bozzuto.com)

Many BOZZUTO names appear in searches. Bozzuto Contractors DC, Bozzuto and the Bozzuto Group. Foreign For-proft Corporations, Buzzoto Building Company, 231658, (founded 2003), Bozzuto Construction Company, Bozzuto Development (290825) (founded 2009), Bozzuto Contractors Inc (290974), Bozzuto Homes, Bozzuto Management Company, 951567) are Connecticut Corporations with the adress 1015 15th St NW, Suite 1000, in DC. Bozzuto Landscaping, 201755, withdrew its application in 2009. Bozzuto Mortgage Company 242881, withdrew its application in 2006. Bozzuto Management Company’s registered Lobbyist was Holland & Knight LLP- Norman Glasgow Jr. The 2013 Lobbyist Activity report indicates “terminate” Bozzuto Construction Company donated $500 to “Re-Elect Yvette Alexander 2012” (receipt dated 8/18/2011). Bozzuto Development Company donated $500 to “Re-Elect Yvette Alexander 2012” (receipt dated 8/18/2011).

Bozzuto has been actively developing sites in the District of Columbia. Cathedral Commons is one in a long line of quite a few, enough to know the players in the District of Columbia politics, Commissions, Regulatory and Compliance. Bozzuto lists their luxury apartments, locations listed below, on the Bozzuto website Concierges, receptionists and/or leasing office staff answer phones “A Bozzuto Community” :

Allegro
(3460 14th Street NW [ PR Allegro LLC ] )
866.350.6668 [ A Bozzuto Community ]

Capitol Yards
(100 I Street SE [ 100 I Street LLC expired October 31 2012 ] )
888.301.9204

Carver 2000 Senior Mansion
(4800 East Capitol Street NE [ Carver Senior Apartments Limited Partnership ] )
202.388.5252

The Ellington
(1301 U Street NW [ TIAA CREF INS LLC ] )
866.501.0933

Flats at Atlas
(1600 Maryland Avenue [ 1600 Maryland Avenue LLC ] )
888.821.6654

Flats 130 at Constitution Square
(130 M Street NE [ CS Residential 1, LLC ] )
877.799.5078

The Grays on Pennsylvania
(2323 Pennsylvania Avenue SE [ 2300 Pennsylvnia LLC ] )
888.412.7129

Griffin Apartments at Petworth Metro
(850 Quincy Street NW [ Petworth Metro Ventures LLC ] )
888.810.5256

Highland Park
(1400 Irving StreetNW [ no landlord license ] )
877.510.2980

The Lexington at Market Square
(400 8th Street NW [ Lexington-407 LLC ] )
888.296.8969

The Loree Grand at Union Place
(250 K Street NE [ no landlord license ] )
888.380.4008

Lotus Square
(800 Kenilworth Avenue NE [Kenilworth Avenue Apartments LLC])
202.388.3901

Monroe Street Market
(716 Monroe St NE [ no license ] )
877.237.6961

Newseum Residences
(565 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) [ Newseum Residences LLC ]
866.416.5962

Park Place DC
(850 Quincy Street NW) [ Petworth Metro Ventures LLC ]
877.636.6822 [ answers a Bozzuto Community ]

Residences On the Avenue
(2221 I Street NW [ Square 54 Residential Owner LLC ] )
888.554.1089

Rhode Island Row
(2300 Washington Place NE [ RI STATION LLC ] )
888.775.8077

Senate Square
(201 I Street NE [ LPF Senate Square LLC ] )
866.964.9162

Yale West
(443 New York Avenue NW [ GIBG YW Partners LLC ] )
888.898.6298

2401 Pennsylvania
(2401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW [ no license ] )
888.750.6018

3333 Wisconsin
(3333 Wisconsin Avenue NW [ TC 3333 Wisconsin LLC ] )
888.858.8466
(www.bozzuto.com/regions/washington-dc-apartments)

With more sites coming. There are over 67 cranes in the District that means constructions going up fast with no word on how the District’s Evacuation Route is being updated too or how residents are being prepared for the not “IF” but “When”, a feared attack.

Bozzuto has recently been appointed to manage the former City Lot construction put in place by QATARI DIAR the retail living outreach arm of the QATARI Government. The Shariah Compliant project, CITY CENTER DC, blocks away from the White House, is a development of Hines and The TFI US Real Estate Fund whose anchor investor is Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company (Qatari Diar), the real estate investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, advised by Tanween, a Qatari real estate development management and consulting firm.

Bozzuto posted, on its site, a more detailed explanation about their unusual pairing with their partner who states the fate of Israel has already been decided. One of Qatari Diar’s website construction locations is stated to be located in Ramallah, PALESTINE. Ramallah, on maps, is part of the West Bank. PALESTINE is vernacular used in the effort to make Israel an Arab land, according to rhetoric from the Middle East http://www.bozzuto.com/news-press/news-and-press/press-releases/77 ”About The First Investor (TFI)

TFI is a leading Shariah investment company in Qatar and is regulated by the Qatar Central Bank. A wholly owned subsidiary of Barwa Bank, TFI is emerging as one of the most respected investment banking firms within the region, combining Qatari leadership with both international and local expertise to provide dedicated services in Investment Banking, Asset Management and Real Estate Investment. Through its strong international network of relationships and deep technical expertise, TFI provides a global approach in helping clients formulate, deliver and manage effective corporate strategies. Visit http://www.tfi.com.qa for more information. Missing from the site are answers to question such as if the design is Shariah compliant, including, possibly, adressing a ‘prayer center’ and dress code.

“About Barwa Bank- Barwa Bank is a Shariah-compliant bank in the State of Qatar, established in Doha and licensed and regulated by the Qatar Central Bank. With an authorized capital of QAR 6 billion and paid up capital of QAR 3 billion, Barwa Bank provides a full range of Shariah-compliant banking services including retail, corporate and commercial banking, private banking, real estate finance, structured finance, investments and asset management; About Tanween- Tanween is a Qatari real estate development management and consultancy firm operating in GCC and MENA with a network of international consultants and partners. Tanween’s current portfolio of projects under development amounts to around $22bn. Tanween assists land owners, developers, investment banks and investors to create commercially viable and sustainable world-class real estate communities in all asset classes. Tanween’s experts provide various strategies for real estate developments and asset management and comprehensive project delivery services throughout the development lifecycle. Visit http://www.tanween.com; About Qatari Diar – Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, was established in December 2004 to support Qatar’s growing economy and co-ordinate the country’s real estate development and investment priorities. Qatari Diar is currently involved in more than 35 projects in more than 20 countries around the world. Visit http://www.qataridiar.com.”

One QATARI DIAR site promoted on line is the RAWABI site showcased in photos taken by Anna Van Hollen, daughter of Maryland Democrat Congressman Chris Van Hollen Junior, a year prior to Ramallah’s Rawabi connection being found online. Junior’s daughter showcased to the world, views of Arab life, mediaites chose not to adress. http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/palestine-west-bank-rawabi-city-development-infrastructure-economy-negotiations-state Van Hollen, a Pulitzer Center participant wrote that the Palestinian businessman and developer Bashar Masri decidedly did not name the $850 million private investment project a political name. He chose Rawabi which means “Hills.” Rawabi is a business venture between Qatari Diar, a Qatar-based real estate developer, and Masri’s West Bank-based Massar International. The business venture, Bayti Real Estate Investment Company is jointly owned by Qatari Government-owned Qatari Diar (www.qataridiar.com) and Ramallah-based Massar International (www.massar.com).There will be over 1,000 expensive deluxe units and 5,000 homes in the city. Anna Van Hollen was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists with a national first place Mark of Excellence Award for feature writing on her “”Palestinian Youth at a Crossroads” piece, absent a congratulations from her father. http://www.qataridiar.com/English/OurProjects/Pages/Rawabi.aspx

The region is described as ASIA not the Middle East. The cited location is listed as Ramallah north of “Palestine.” The site says “Rawabi is the first master-planned city in the heart of Palestine and truly emphasises Qatari Diar’s mission of enriching the quality of people lives. The project has garnered unparalleled international attention since commencement by such high profile visitors such as The Lord Mayer of the city of London, Alderman Michael Bear and Chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator John Kerry, among many others. Located 9 km north of Ramallah, 20 km north of Jerusalem and 25 km south of Nablus, Rawabi is being built as a modern, high-tech city with gleaming high-rise buildings, green parks and shopping areas…” Number of apartments? 10,000 , for starters. It is projected Rawabi will be home to 25,000 residents, with subsequent construction phases for residential and commercial units slated for a city with a population of 40,000. Headquartered northeast of capital Doha on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Qatari Diar, the Qatari Diar Real Estate Company was established in 2005 by Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. The Qatar Investment Authority was “to coordinate the country’s real estate development priorities…” Qatari Diar had, January 2012, 49 projects under development or planning in Qatar and in 29 countries around the world with a combined value of over US$35 billion. Qatari Diarwas capitalised at US$4 billion.

Then Senator John Kerry visited Rawabi in 2010. Kerry, currently, America’s Secretary of State is advocating for a two state solution. Rawabi states, the project Secretary of State Kerry saw in its infancy “..is located in the heart of Palestine..” describing the heart of Palestine to be “… 9 km north of Ramallah, 20 km north of Jerusalem, and 25 km south of Nablus. Rawabi will constitute its own municipality encompassing 6,300,000 square meters of land.” http://www.rawabi.ps/mobile/press_show.php?id=12&page=no
It was reported “Senator’s Kerry’s visit underscores the ambition and magnitude of the project and the attention it is receiving on the global scene as the largest project in Palestine. Construction of the new city will create thousands of badly needed jobs for Palestinians and alleviate a burgeoning shortage of affordable housing in the West Bank.” http://www.rawabi.ps/mobile/press_show.php?id=12&page=no Kerry met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan and with Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, the Palestine News Network reported http://www.rawabi.ps/mobile/press_show.php?id=12&page=no Rawabi is built in the typologie of Ariel Sharon who disappeared over a decade ago under medical mystery. Sharon’s military strategies on civic space was to have Israelis live atop of hills some say with Palestinians living in the valley. This is not the case in Rawabi. Ariel Sharon’s former chief of staff, Dov Weisglass, serves as a legal advisor for the project. Bashar Masri has been a participant in Israel’s High Tech Industry Association HTIA annual conference. Masri says he is working for an “economic peace” for the West Bank. Bashar al-Masri is an active supporter and participant in the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce (IPCC), headed by Israeli Lt. Col (ret) Avi Nudelman, an Israeli military official. Masri accepted a donation of trees for Rawabi from the Jewish National Fund (JNF) only to be removed due to public pressure. Masri entered into partnership with Maurice Levy, owner of the multinational advertising corporation Publicis. Levy purchased a stake at Masri’s firm, Zoom Advertising, at the same time buying the Israeli ad agency BBR group. Commentators posted “financing for mortgages is guaranteed by the US government (OPIC), and the project has also received funding from USAID” and that “….Mr. Masri personally lobbied for USAID funding for Rawabi’s infrastructure…” http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/boycott-committee-palestinian-rawabi-tycoon-bashar-masri-must-end-all

CityCenter DC, a 2.5-million-square-foot neighborhood which will be managed by Bozzuto,is one of the largest construction projects on the East Coast, is rising up where the old convention center stood. The $1 billion CityCenterDC development—between New York Avenue NW and 9th Street NW, and H and 11th streets NW— is three pedestrian city blocks, two condominium buildings, two rental apartment buildings, two office buildings, a luxury hotel, a park, a plaza, and an underground public parking garage. The Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company came to the rescue in 2010, investing $650 million to become the project’s principal owner, as Hines scrambled to secure financing. London-based Foster + Partners Armstrong Yakubu, was CityCenterDC’s lead architect. Bill Alsup was the senior managing director of Hinese. Hines was the real estate developer behind the 10-acre, mixed-use urban village scheduled for completion in 2013, around the time Congress returns to session.

The District of Columbia granted the height bonus.

The District of Columbia is Federally run. The National Capital Planning Commission project manager for the Height Master Plan. The COmmission is due to submit its draft recommendations to Congress in September–just as CityCenterDC’s occupants start moving in. Lucy Kemp, National Capital Planning Commission project manager for the Height Master Plan is quoted saying, “A lot of the commentary that we’ve heard from folks is that even though the federal law is broad, it is equitable because it’s very clear, straightforward and predictable.”

Architect Shalom Baranes played a role in overturning the District of Columbia’s century old historic 90-foot height cap on residential streets restriction. The federal Height of Buildings Act of 1910 provides uniform restrictions on the height of all buildings within D.C. boundaries that maximum height is relative to the width of the adjacent street. The National Planning Commission is due to submit its draft recommendations for the District to Congress in September. Citycenter DC residents will be moving in. One will expect to see legislators at the Grand opening.

There are other multi unit buildings in the District of Columbia that are managed and/or developed and/or developed in partnerships as condos or apartments that are rented. Some of the other multi units are Oakwood (www.oakwood.com/furnished-apartments/us/dc/washington.html) and Capital Properties owned by Vaughan Place at McLean Gardens (www.capitolproperties.com) Vaughn Place At McLean Gardens. Vaughn McLean LLC, Vaughn Place is a condo rental building bordering the Bozzuto demolition/construction of Cathedral Commons. Tenants moved in to Vaughn Place Towers without disclosure from Vaughn Place Leasing office staff the construction was imminent on the Idaho Street side of the Tower, providing fair warning to persons with potential health concerns, to not choose this site as their next home- short or long term. It wasn’t until the Vaughn Place representative position was filled, as called for on the CMA Agreement ANC Nancy Macwood drafted June 2011, that it was learned that multiple of the units has been renting out appears to be unlicensed since April 30, 2010 [ DCRA phone confirmation 202 442
4311 ]. An unlicensed landlord cannot raise rent on those unlicensed units. Multiply all of the non compliant rental buildings times their license fees and rented units and taxes, the District of Columbia might be looking at significant pocket change that would stem tax increases the District of Columbia is burdening constituent residents and businesses with.

The multi unit rentals explosion has impacted neighborhood values in DC. The District of Columbia published 2012 neighborhood values in the DC OTR report released by DCs CFO, then Natwar Ghandi
(http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/otr/lib/otr/oct_2012_postings_/2013_rpta_sales_ratio_report_final.pdf) Bozzuto, under the name The Bozzuto Group (MD), is listed as 15th of 15 top contractors, with revenue of $172 million, in the DC Metropolitan area Key Players, Five Year Economic Development Strategy for the District of Columbia. Foreign Corporations, property managers, property owners, property maintenance teams handling electric and plumbing and elevators in DC must be licensed.

§ 29-105.02. Registration to do business in the District.
(a) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership shall not do business in the District until it registers with the Mayor under this chapter.
(b) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership doing business in the District shall not maintain an action in the District unless it is registered to do business in the District.
(c) The failure of a foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership to register to do business in the District shall not impair the validity of a contract or act of the foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership or preclude it from defending a proceeding in the District.
(d) The liability of an interest holder or governor of a foreign filing entity or of a partner of a foreign limited liability partnership shall be governed by the laws of its jurisdiction of formation. Any limitation on that liability shall be not waived shall solely because the foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership does business in the District without registering.
(e) Section 29-105.01(a) and (b) shall apply even if a foreign entity fails to register under this chapter.
(f) A foreign filing entity that does business in the District without being registered under § 29-105.03 shall be liable for all fees, penalties, and other charges for which the entity would have been liable if it had registered and had filed all reports required by this chapter for the period during which it did business in the District. The Attorney General for the District of Columbia may bring an action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to recover these fees, penalties, and other charges. A foreign entity shall not be registered under this chapter until it has paid these fees, penalties, and other charges.

§ 29-105.03. Foreign registration statement.
To register to do business in the District, a foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership shall deliver a foreign registration statement to the Mayor for filing. The statement shall state:
(1) The name of the foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership and, if the name does not comply with § 29-103.01, an alternate name adopted pursuant to § 29- 105.06(a);
(2) The type of entity and, if it is a limited partnership, whether it is a limited liability limited partnership;
(3) The entity’s jurisdiction of formation; [ DC code 29-105.02a/b ]
It is interesting that the ANC3 Commissioners negotiated and signed the CMA, Construction Management Agreement, back in June 2011, almost two years before the CCP, Cathedral Commons groundbreaking. The CMA is best described like a dog with no bark or bite or ability to scare, an agreement, the ANC emailed, that does not “bestow authority” on people nor do the ANC’s have “authority to force compliance.” A contract lists the obligations of one party to another. The CMA lists what appears to be performance obligations of CCP that appear to be in the ANC’s jurisdiction and under the ANC’s overview ie the time of day construction work can start and time of the day that construction must end by, along with issues addressing overweighted trucks, providing engineer reports to surrounding buildings and issues and damages and the forum where the matter will be addressed and who pays for what….
[CMA agreement signed June 2011 ] But, ANC Nancy Macwood negotiated the CMA, Construction Management Agreement with Bozzuoto and Royal Ahold partnership Cathedral Commons, CCP for over a year without vetting if Bozzuto is licensed in the District as the DCRA indicates Bozzuto is unlicensed to do business in DC in construction or as a landlord. Bozzuto is licensed in DC as a Corporation but not with other required licenses, it appears. Steve Strazzella, Senior Vice President of Bozzuto Development Company, Bozzuto’s rep on the CCP, manages the development of apartment communities throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Steve, a member of the Washington Real Estate Group, the Urban Land Institute, the District of Columbia Building Industry Association and the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association.
It is repetitious but bodes repeating DC’s lack of licensing fee collection is a loss of revenue to the District. Lack of enforcement is a loss of revenue. Fines that are not levied and/or collected is a loss of funding to agencies, such as the OTA, Office of the Tenant Advocate, who, potentially, may be crushed by new tenants created by DC’s exploding multi use and multi building tenant population who might end up seeking assistance from the OTA for tenant/landlord issues. The Examiner, Washington, reported February 5 2013, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, in his State of the District address, called for “pay hikes for city employees.” Gray, while discussing his trip to Qatar to promote, “the flow of global capitol into the District” said “In most cases, the dedicated public servants who make up our workforce have not had pay raises in years. I am proposing that we make this right.” http://washingtonexaminer.com/mayor-vincent-gray-pushes-affordable-housing-pay-raises/article/2520696 June 2012, DC Mayor Vince Gray was seeking to “reduce how much money city contractors, would be city contractors and large grant seekers can give to local pols who “could be involved in the local contract approval process.” (www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips/2012/06/25/vince-gray-wants-to-change-d-c-campaign-finance-laws/)
‘Things’ the ANC’s addressed in meetings addressing demolition included a new “public inconvenience fee,” penalizing developers who deny use of the right-of-way, increasing the longer they occupy that public space. The TOPS site had a fact-sheet for truck hauling, excavation procedures accommodating dump sites and routes. Pretty much every truck used would be an “overweight truck,” many roads couldn’t handle, needing a special trip permit, routing plan proposing corridors of transit, number of vehicles, times of day, etc. DDOT primarily relies on manual scales and random sampling to determine “overweight.” Ms. Ricks said primary enforcement mechanism for truck routing plans was MPD and neighborhood complaints.

Everything had to be approved by DDOT. Pre-development meetings closed to ANCs were held at 30% design completion, then 65% design completion. Permits would be issued at 100%. A special session organized by Commissioners Afzal, Burns, MacWood and Reeves would be held to discuss issues to include in the negotiated construction management agreement. Ms. Ricks conceded it was in the best interests of the developer to present its plans to the ANC before the plans were finalized. Ms. Ricks promised to an answer to the $2000 idling fine being only for the construction trucks or for delivery trucks once the Giant is complete.
(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16888532/ANC3C/2011/2011%2001-18/2011%2001-18%20Minutes.pdf)

March 27 2013, ANC Macwood emailed “ANC does not review demo plans or construction drawings.” ANC’s overlooking the demolition of GIANT-CARLISLE never looked at the CCP final plan a constituent asked Ms. Ricks permission for the ANC3s to review.
Remembering history, the Wisconsin Newark Neighbors Coalition, WNNC, protested against the D.C. Zoning Commission to determine whether development of the Wisconsin Avenue Giant, Cathedral Commons, would move forward. Cathedral Commons was to include a new 56,000 s.f. grocery store, 55,000 s.f. of ground floor, street-level retail, 150 condos or apartments, 8 townhouses, 125,000 square feet of street-front retail space and over 500 parking spaces. The DC Zoning Commission approved the project July 2011. WNNC appealed stating the Zoning Commission lacked authority under PUD, zoning change approval, to eliminate a neighborhood commercial zone designation on the subject lots. The Comprehensive Plan was first drafted in 2006 considering increase height of the project and density of the area. GIANT selected The Bozzuto Group as their partner. Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh wanted the $125 million mixed use development moving forward. PUD is Planned Unit Developments, a planning tool which allows a developer greater flexibility in site planning and building design. “This flexibility permits the developer to incorporate amenities in the project that exceed those that could have been achieved under the general provisions of the Zoning Regulations. When a project is designated as a PUD, the ZC usually mandates the development of standards specifically tailored to the project.” http://dcoz.dc.gov/services/zoning/commish.shtm

Giant’s parent, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., partnered with White Plains, N.Y.-based consultant Street-Works on the project. Initial estimates were $100 million would be invested in the project.

Street Works, “Delivers solutions when others can’t”, consulted on development of the project, (www.streetworks.com). Streetworks states, “We have completed more than $1 billion in mixed-use development over the past 25 years. In the next several years, we will double this figure, as we work on more than $2 billion in urban mixed… actively involved in complex real estate projects worth over $10 billion. Our expertise is multi-disciplinary, intricately combining our first-hand experience in Market analysis and leasing; Regulatory entitlements; Real estate law; Capital markets; Public-private financing; Master planning and design; and Construction” participating in the creation of more than 90 of these places across the country with both public and private sector partners for Current Development, Mixed-Use Development, Retail and Entertainment Development, Municipal Planning, Real Estate Restructuring, Capital Deployment and Selected Clients including Federal Realty Investment Trust, Starwood Capital Partners Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity, Hines Interests, National Realty Development, Roseland Properties, Corcoran Jennison, Capital Properties, Rose Associates, Boston Properties, Terrabrook/Reston Land, The Disney/Celebration Company, Target, Stop & Shop, Ikea
(www.street-works.com/images/miniImgs/closeQuote.gif)

It was then Cathedral Commons Partners, LLC/ANC 3C Construction Management Agreement, CMA, was drafted, June 16, 2011. Commissioner Nancy Macwood worked on it. “The framework, limits, and enforcement for the construction projects at 3306-36 and 3400-34 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (“Cathedral Commons”), currently known as Friendship Shopping Center” were written. The Agreement obligated the current owner, Cathedral Commons Partners, LLC (“CCP”), all contractors and sub-contractors, project employees, engaged in this construction project and to any successor owner of the property if the project is sold before or during construction, including a partial sale or a sale/leaseback. The Agreement did not define the WHO in Cathedral Common Partners, the WHAT was in the Partnership of Cathedral Common Partners, along with the WHERE, WHEN and HOW, in the event there were damages to be pursued and/or collected. New corporations are just like babies…. they got nothin’…

The Agreement called for monthly meetings of a twelve member Construction Liaison Committee- ANC 3C representatives for the 05, 06, 07, and 09 districts, a CCP corporate representative, a construction representative, a representative from each of Cleveland Park Citizens Association, Vaughan Place, Macomb Gardens, the Chesterfield, The Abby and from the Cathedral Heights neighborhood. Minutes were to be recorded by an appointed secretary. The minutes would be posted on the ANC 3C web site. Meetings were to begin a month before the Giant demolition with one meeting was held each month during construction or less if the Committee agreed.

The Agreement was pennywise and pound foolish allowing CCP to hire and pay for engineer reports. Would the engineer give a bad report to the company that it may have or desire a long relationship with. Property owners were to be receive “a pre-construction survey, at no cost, can be conducted on their property,” certified mail, from CCP, 45 days pre demolition. CCP was to tell the appropriate ANC Commissioner if a property owner in the ANCs zone of impact declined the survey or failed to respond to the certified letter notification.

Conversations about TOPS had taken place. The area was to be clean of dirt and any trash and debris from construction activities or workers. Storm water outlets were to be “efficiently covered” to filter construction materials and maintain drainage. Demolition and excavation vibration and noise were to be mitigated by monitoring “as necessary.” Monitoring reports were to be given by CCP to the Committee. CCP was to have a representative with 24-hour phone, email, fax, and voice mail access for emergencies, such as loss of property or safety issues, at any time.

The CMA agreement allowed for “Reimbursement for Damage: To the extent caused specifically by the construction of the Project, CCP shall reimburse reasonable costs to repair or replace damage to private property. For damage to private property in the zone of impact, the pre-construction survey shall serve as the baseline to determine the nature and extent of damage.” The CMA agreement provided that “Claimant or CCP may pursue other options, such as mediation. CCP shall pay 75% of the cost of mediator for up to 3 (three) complaints per year provided the mediation period does not exceed 60 (sixty) days. Each party shall incur its own legal representation costs for any and all complaints.”
”Reimbursement for damage” did not exclude overwhelming dirt plaguing neighbors inside their homes from March 2012 through Until present date” nor did the CMA include that reality The Bozzuto Group would have encountered in any of their many projects in DC. No record of recipients of service for each of Cleveland Park Citizens Association, Vaughan Place, Macomb Gardens, the Chesterfield, The Abby and from the Cathedral Heights neighborhood was listed on the sites. The CMA did not define what gave someone legal standing for decisions impacting residents. Fact is, the CMA stated the Committee required 12 members.

The Committee to this day does not have twelve members on Board. April Fools 2013.

Vaughan Place at Mclean Gardens defines the quandary with condos. Owned by Vaughan Mclean LLC, it is 70% rentals. Vivian Smith, the Regional Manager for Vaughan Place became part of the Committee January 2013 two years after a Vaughn Place representative was designated to be on CCP Committee, signed June 2011. There is no definition of what a Regional Representative for a multi unit entity does. Vet licenses? Keep in compliance with regulations and laws? Say hi to new construction bordering properties under management?

An approach that has become ‘behavior’ with multi unit buildings is to identify them as condos even though they are owned by a single entity renting the units out possibly through a management company, such as Bozzuto Management. Licensing is checked in phone calls to the DCRA (202) 442 4311 or on line at (www.dcra.dc.gov), click on PIVS. A condo when rented is an apartment. A condo and apartment are physically the same space. The difference is the perspective of ownership. An apartment building may be owned. As a unified entity, an apartment building requires one business license and rental housing registration, regardless of the number of units. A condo, a unit within a building, is individually owned, sold or used as collateral for borrowing money. A condo can be rented out. In a building with 100 condos, to be in compliance, each of the 100 condos requires its own separate business license and rental housing registrations. Rents are paid to the owner. Security deposits are to be returned, timely, per DC law, after the tenants move. Condos are housing accommodation, as are cooperatives. Hotels and vacant properties are not housing accommodations although someone might see their potential to become housing accommodations some day. This is DC where churches and car barns and schools have become housing accommodations. It is wonderful to see that everything goes in terms of what can become a living space.

Cathedral Commons/ GIANT FOODS LLC demolition proceeded after the 2012 groundbreaking. There were NOT 12 Committee members on board as required in the CMA drafted June 2011. By December 2012, Commissioner Carl Roller had not located a Vaughn Place at Mclean Garden contact, requesting, in emails, the assistance of a Vaughn Place tenant for assistance. Roller emailed he had no luck making that connection, two years after the CMA Agreement was signed.
Prospective tenants, Commissioner Roller’s constituents, had not been told of the conditions they would be suffering bordering the construction/demolition site. Leases said nothing about construction. Leases did not provide information about ANCs or CCP, Cathedral Contract Partner, contact information even though CCP contact information was part of the CMA the ANC’s drafted. How would someone not from the neighborhood know where to turn unless the intention was to not have impacted residents turn anywhere at all or to know that other tenants were complaining too.

The February Minutes were posted to the ANC3 site. No mention was made in the Minutes of complaints made by Tenants to the Vaughn Place leasing office. One resident discovered, after dropping a vacuum canister on a tile kitchen floor. This was concrete dirt. This was cement dust. There was no comment made by ANCs and commissioner after photos of the cement dirt was emailed to them. Dr. Kainer, a residential neighbor, reported almost being hit by a rock. No mention was made in the minutes of videos of dust clouds blown from the construction across Wisconsin Avenue into the apartments. The outreach by the ANCs to impacted neighbors was abysmal. Excluded from the issues, tenant complaints filed with the Vaughan Place leasing office, a resident complained in person to Toby Buzzuto at the ground breaking, videos of dust clouds emailed to Macwood, Roller and Susan Taylor, along with the photos of concrete dirt vacuumed up in the Vaughan Place Tower. Ann Hamilton noted the meeting adjourned at 7:15pm. Bozzuto provided the complaining resident contact number. That was 2011. No return calls ever came.

Tom Bozzuto released a statement December 5, 2011 “We are thrilled to work with Giant to create Cathedral Commons, a community that will offer the District neighborhoods of Cleveland Park and Cathedral Heights the best shopping, dining and housing yet.” (http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2011/12/cathedral-commons-construction-in… )

Neighbors to the demolition were not pleased.

The quiet of the neighborhood was destroyed. 7:00am wakeups by the sound of trucks and teardown. Dust clouds videotaped blowing into residences across Wisconsin Avenue. Apartment neighbors breathing dust. Daily cleanings needed to adress apartment dirt. Neighbors came around by bike and foot photographing the destruction impacting them streets away. Tenants, newly moved into units overlooking the destruction soon to be construction, were livid at not being told by their landlords, the tear down of Giant would be their reality of the next two years. After the cost and effort of moving, in a challenging fiscal climate, how many could pick up and move again, so soon. Tenants complaining to management, in one building, were being told no one else complained, discovering that was not correct, the truth being discovered as neighbors began to talk amongst themselves. Neighbors talking in DC, in itself, is a phenomenon.

Residents familiar with asbestos removal didnt recall seeing hazmat suits being worn by workers during the tear down prep. The Giant building was built in the 1950′s. ANC’s, focusing on asbestos concerns failed to adress health problems dust causes. Dust in fifty year plus buildings is at risk for molds and other concerns. Tenants with allergies, asthma and other breathing concerns suffered.

ANCs responded to tenant contact. A DOE inspector did determine there wasn’t watering going on during the work to mitigate dust clouds. No fines were levied. Watering was done, sporadically, then stopped. Dust clouds continued.

“Materials And chemicals used in co structuring can cause reactions while increased disruption of dust and mold decrease air quality resulting in allergy symptoms.” (www.epa.gov/lawsregs) “Inhalant allergies caused by construction may be identified through chronic symptoms of coughing, wheezing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, breathing difficulty and itchy watery eyes” wrote eHow contributor Taylor Divico. “Construction. Stirs up environmental allergens such as dust, mold and chemicals, which infiltrate air ducts, applicants, heating and cooling systems, exposing allergic people to increased triggers causing ongoing symptom aggravation.”
(www.ehow.com/facts_5531473_allergies-causes-construction.html)

ehow contributor Jagg Xaxx Dressed the ‘effects of construction work on an adjacent property.’ Xaxx wrote, “dust that is inevitably thrown into the air during excavation and earth moving can affect surrounding properties by covering the outsides of houses, drifting inside though windows and in extreme cases coating the leaves of shrubbery and trees so thickly that it compromises their health.” “Outdoor door impacts in lung irritation, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis, cancer, heart disease, allergic conditions and other serious conditions that can lead to death.” The groups at highest risk include infants, teens, children, elderly and pregnant.” (Www.ehow.com/liat_7451275_effects-construction-work-adjacent-propert.html)

In, the case of GIANT FOODS LLC and Wisconsin Avenue, the ANC’s did more. ANC Nancy McWood negotiated CMA, Construction Management Agreement, of all parties at the table was signed, sealed and delivered, June 2011. Prospective tenants to surrounding residences were advised in the leases they were presented to sign. The ANC’s did not provide a Disclaimer Warning for people with respiratory worries, allergies to dust, etc, pregnant women, people with heart conditions, that moving in to these buildings during this time could impact, not only their day to day living, but their health. There is no mistaking the bagged concrete dirt presented to the ANCs is Concrete Dirt. Wiki answers says “Inhaling cement or concrete dust may cause nose and throat irritation.And constant exposure to concrete dust containing crystalline silica may lead to a lung disease known as silicosis.” (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_inhaling_concrete_dust_harmful)
Demolition dirt impact on health is a national and international health problem.

New York requires communications between the Department of Building and residents (http://cooperator.com/articles/1526/1/How-to-Deal-with-Urban-Construction/Page1.html) The NEHA adresses the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (www.neha.org/pdf/jeh/columns/jeh_0908_atsdr.pdf) The University of Maryland prepared a 29 page paper on “Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines For Construction Renovation and Demolition.”
(www.des.umd.edu/hw/rest/ehs.pdf) The list of available studies and papers goes on and on. What the papers don’t do is start with the common sense etiquette of telling the Development Partners to invest in sending a few people door to door to say “hello, how are you and by the way we will be impacting your neighborhood for the next few years. PLEASE call me personally to see if there is something I can do to facilitate this process, we believe will be for the better.” Its called Common Courtesy….

Apologies in the form of CCP paying for all units to be cleaned, monthly or every other month are a step towards Good Faith and Apology. Landlords who signed leases with tenants in proximity to the demolition date should offer tenants, at landlords cost- packing and moving and all- a move out with the Security Deposit return along with paying the cost of moving. It is the least a landlord who withheld information can do.

In 2013, year into construction, “representatives from Macomb Garden, the Abby and the Chesterfield Apartments have not yet been appointed.” Ann Hamilton of the Cleveland Park Citizens Association was appointed secretary. Committee members said to be attending were Nancy Wood ANC3C09 chair, Carl Roller, ANC3C06, Victor Silviera ANC3C07, Margaret Siegel ANC3C05, Ann Hamilton representing the Cleveland Park Citizens Association, Susan Jensen representing Cathedral Heights neighborhood, Vivian Smith representing Vaughn Place, Jeff Kayce, Cathedral Commons Partners CCP and John Bell, CCP Senior Project Partner. There is no mention that each of the parties, and the party’s affiliate, represented on the Committee were vetted for compliancy with the District of Columbia, before being seated at the Committee table. The representative should provide documentation they are the legal and/or appointed representative of the entity and/or constituency the party alleges to represent. The ANC’s should confirm the represented business entity is compliant with DC licensing ie. BBL (basic business license) or others such as the RAD, Rental Accomodations. For example vetting out if Bozzuto is correctly licensed to do business in the District of Columbia; is Vaughn Place Capital Property licensed in DC, to conduct business and/or raise rents. Questions about licenses can be researched here (www.dc.gov/DC/DCRA/For+Business/Apply+for+a+Business+License/ci.Get+Answers+to+Business+Licensing+Questions.print)
The February 6 2013 Minutes noted representatives were still absent from the multi unit buildings listed in the CMA Agreement of June 2011. Manuel Oliva, chief of compliance from DCs Department of the Environment DDOE stated he has only three inspectors to monitor “dust, odor, industrial equipment, vehicles and engine idling throughout DC.” DC is busting with construction up and down the District- U Street, 7th Street, NE, SE, SW, NW. Olivia’s priority extended to tour bus idling citing DDOE will use evidence collected by residents, unlicensed, untrained one can guess. Compliance will be noted with a warning letter, then a $1000 fine then doubled for subsequent violations. Oliva stated some equipment and operators require permits. His message was an “I’ll get back to you on this.” CCP’s Steve Tapparo said Bozzuto had been fined once in error.

Olivia had not come to the Cathedral Commons February meeting with this documentation in hand.

Tapparo advised Carl Roller a “demolition permit is not issued until a site is totally clear of asbestos.” Roller said a constituent expressed concern. Roller failed to secure if the asbestos removal was done in compliance with standards requesting photographic documentation workers were clothed in hazmat protection or if surrounding residents were advised of the presence of asbestos in the Giant. Oliva volunteered the asbestos abatement had, prior to demolition.

It seems, the ANCs need a handbook. Pages of explanation of what an ANC done is not effective. A cited Code or reference or link or booklet is effective limiting what is lost to individual interpretation. There are recommendations, of value to Council persons and other officials. The recommendations include:
(a) ANCs should have contact in their neighborhood to advise residents of their role. Select MPDC officers believe in walking their beat to meet the constituents they defend. ANCs should be encouraged to walk the streets to say hi for no reason other than to say hi. ANCs should encourage the District to have Realtors list on rental and purchase documentation the pertinent outreach information for (1) where the rental is located ie District, ANC (2) contact information for the OTA (3) ANC website or of neighborhood listservs. Since realtors are required to provide notice of a child molester in a neighborhood, why cant realtors provide notice of the ANC website and neighbor hood listservs along with local publications that print the ANC schedules.
(b) No Committee meetings should be held until ALL named Committee members are on board. No one should be named on to a Committee until they have provided documentation of their eligibility for the position. ANCs should be taught to vet licenses to locate and verify documentation that people they engage with are licensed.
(c )ANCs should have someone from ANC monitor Council hearings on matters applicable to their ANC ie the recommendation Muriel made was excellent and, to be honest, should be adopted District wide for all construction boom impacting DC.
(d) NO PROJECT SHOULD BEGIN unless a notice is posted day the day permits are assigned. Carbon copy forms and/or a complaint box should be in residential buildings and/or a designated location that is checked weekly by the ANCs to see if there are complaints that would then be read into the next meeting minutes. Sadly, carbon copy forms are needed in that, as noted above, truths get twisted or edited. NO CMAs should be signed by ANCs unless the ANC is an attorney working for the District of Columbia in that capacity but in a civic capacity. All parties in a CMA must be properly identified with principal person involved ie CCP must name partners/management, a brick adress, a telephone number, papers of incorporation, details identifying attachable persons who would be responsible for the alluded to damages. ANCs should have in their budgets, funds, set aside the ANCs or Associations, can grant for testings ie molds, asbestos, etc. Require the constituent to provide the receipt for reimbursement at the time of presentation of the ACTUAL receipt not a photocopy of the receipt
(e) During the demolition, investigators should conduct door-to-door interviews of ALL residents bordering the demolition/construction site along with two streets beyond the demolition site. This random sampling would give a sample/insight for other project as to how far out these projects impact residents. ALL evidence, video/photo/actual (ie the concrete dirt I have bagged still) sent to or discussed with an ANC must be presented at the next meeting
(f) ANC’s should be required to take a mediation training before even running for Civic positions. In the least, the District will end up with more mediators which can never be a bad thing if taught effectively, to (i) read (ii) bring parties together (iii) applaud baby steps.
(g) Residents who facilitate ANCs/Commissioners/Committees should be named and thanked at the next ANC meeting. Residents who are helpful are people, too, who appreciate thank yous.

Properly vetted and enforced fine violations will be a boon to the District of Columbia finances. The reality of Multi-use living is that District of Columbia landlords, local or Virtual (Internet, booked on line ie. through AIRBnB) are increasing as well as Tenants and potential Tenant issues with Landlords local or Virtual (Internet, booked on line ie. through AIRBnB). Revenues collected from pre- and post- enforcement should be used to increase staffing of the Office of Tenant Advocate, along with increasing the Office of Tenant Advocate budget with the revenue from the (i) license fees (already on the books) demanded and collected by the respective DC offices ie. DCRA, Zoning, BBL, RAD prior to permits being granted to partnerships (ii) fines that are demanded and collected by DC Enforcement pre a matter moving in to the Tenant/Landlord- Court system (a bond equal to a tenants one month rent- the same concept as the security deposit landlords demand from tenants.) It is easy to predict the current fourteen staffers of the Office of Tenant Advocate will need more staff in DC’s growing resident population exploding along with the construction explosion on the District of Columbia. It is fair to propose that property partnerships put up a “security deposit” equal to the number of units they declare under oath they will rent. Creating a similar program to Au Bon Pains program that makes a customer’s purchase is free if the customer is not given a receipt is a model the District might consider implementing on the road to getting landlords compliant with being licensed- no license, a month free rent.

A reality check is that DC, with its history of council members under question and/or investigation would not be the entity to govern this swell of cash influx. A thought would be to put escrow accounts under management of an outside accounting firm with a AAA rating and the threat if they touch the peoples monies, DC will, smile, take pliers and rip their toes off, one by one, without anesthesia. Cant be too serious all the time.

There is no reason the District of Columbia should hesitate to increase the OTA Budget proportionate to the exploding anticipated resident population. The money is ‘there’ for the OTA budget to increase if the supporting enforcement agencies did their jobs and if the word was put out that it is mandatory for every rental building to post inside the building near the mailboxes, to print on every lease or rental ad in type large enough for even old tenants to read that the OTA is an existing agency, along with its purpose, bullet pointed, and contact information. There are 135 apartment in the Newseum complex that is 135 x the unit license OR 135 times the unit enforcement fine. The loss to the District is the process moves forward without the landlord putting the fine amount $2000- $4000 in escrow, collected from the tenant rent until the matter is adjudicated and /or the landlord is licensed. A landlord who immediately licenses up when discovered to be unlicensed is still subject to the whole fine, reminding that
sometimes ignorance of the law is a risk some people are willing to take until they get caught such as is being discussed with Obamacare insurance- the fine is cheaper than paying the annual insurance if one can get away with it as long as they can.
Faulty logic.

According to Realtor Mag, Greg Willett, vice president of research for MPF Research in Dallas, ” Multifamily building permits and starts began to show life in mid-2011, and now “the floodgates have opened up,” says Willett. More than 189,000 units were authorized for construction in the 12 months ending in February 2012. When you factor in the properties that haven’t yet been announced, new construction starts could reach 210,000 to 220,000 by the end of 2012, says Willett. Areas that are already seeing new apartments ready for lease include Texas, the mid-Atlantic region, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco. By 2013, starts could reach 300,000, the average for the 12 years prior to the 2008 downturn. “The 300,000 mark just gets us back to normal,” Willett says.” (http://realtormag.realtor.org/commercial/feature/article/2012/07/age-multifamily)

In 2012, 31% of new home starts were in multi-unit buildings, as opposed to single-family homes, the highest share in the last twenty years. during that time, multi-unit buildings accounted for just 20% of new home starts, on average. Overbuilding during the boom and strong rental demand pushed developers to focus more on multi-unit construction.

A tsunami crisis is mounting.

Oversight of the Budget Committee changes down at DC City Hall. A few years back, potential mayoral candidate and DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser was looking for money to keep the doors to the District of Columbia Office of Tenant Advocate for DC’s champion of Tenant’s rights. Councilman Alexander moved in to Ms. Bowser’s chair and OTA oversight then Councilman Orange moved in to Councilman Alexander’s chair. 14 people staff the OTA office, brainchild of beleaguered councilman Jim Graham. The exploding quantity of rental and condo and multi use construction in DC is reason enough to expand staffing within the Tenants Office.Graham’s goal was to tilt housing grievances in the favor of the tenant.

DC’s Office of Tenant Advocate staff of 14, cannot adress the needs of DC’s tenant population as is, let alone the incoming multi unit tenant rental and mixed use construction population that is coming.
Neither enforcement nor procedure (handbooks) are strong points, nationally or in The District of Columbia, a city rapidly expanding with multi unit housing and increasing skylines accomplished through changing laws. The District is beleaguered with illegal landlords, unlicensed property managers and businesses operating with undotted ‘i’s and ‘uncrossed ‘t’s paperwork. Each individual illegal unit rental brings with it a fine of $2000 or more depending on how many regulations have been violated. In a multi unit building of ten floors with 20 units per floor that is 200 units times 2000 (minimal fine) is a loss of revenue to the District of Columbia, more than enough to provide funding for the OTA, Office of Tenant Advocate, more than enough for the OTA to increase staff.

“In order to operate legally in the District of Columbia, all businesses must be licensed. Whether or not a Basic Business License is required depends upon the business activity conducted in the District. In some cases, business entities whose principals are required to maintain licensure by a local, state or national certification board or body will not be required to obtain a Basic Business License.” (http://dc.gov/DC/DCRA/For+Business/Apply+for+a+Business+License) It is like a yes or a when.

The parking garage across the street from PEPCO Gallery posts a ‘day parkers pay CASH ONLY’ signs at its valet booth. It sits in proximity to food sites that take cash no credit cards. The funniest example of DC failing to make ‘bank’ is the CASH ONLY parking garage under the IRS building located on Massachusetts Avenue in NW DC. It isn’t the only lost revenue site of its kind in DC from which OTA funding could be achieved.

The editor of the Multifamily News Minutes on the Sales, Inc. website today reported new multifamily home construction is growing at a steady pace nationally. The recent housing bust caused a decrease in new apartment supply. Homeowners are transitioning into rental properties. The National Multi Housing Council credits The emerging housing recovery is cause for optimism amongst multi-housing construction firms, projecting 7 Years of Optimism for Multi-family Construction Demand banking on Millenials, the tech savvy generation entering the work force. The Multifamily market was in very bad shape earlier this year, at nearly 60% below the long-term average. March saw a demand boom.

“The report has several projected scenarios for new housing construction, of which the narrowest growth would add at least 240,00 new multifamily households. The largest amount of growth, of at least 1.2 percent would create demand for 437,000 new multifamily properties each year until 2020.” (www.salesinc.net/) In 2011, Washington DC received 16,501 Metro construction permits. In 2011, 51% of three multi family building requests were permitted, according to Trulia.com

People making these decisions putting residents at risk range from professional planners like Streetworks (www.streetworks.com), to local ANCs and Commissioners. DC City Council can’t even factor into this equation in that long time council members are making headlines for impropriety with the District or in their personal lives yet, as the song goes, ‘the beat goes on.’ The hoped for salvation of District oversight by Congressman Darrel Issa is failed. Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement- confirm licenses- isn’t happening. After all this time, probably wont.

The District failed its tenants during the summer storm of 2012. Property management were not prepared to deal with the crisis of tenants stranded on multi levels ill prepared for the extended lack of vital services and ways to communicate. It was dire. Few if any had emergency plans in place. Communication was obliterated by lack of electric. Comcast contact went to voicemail. No electric. No Comcast. Pepcos ‘My Account’ check in was obliterated for blackout affected customers.

If there is a DC Finders Fee for locating lost DC Revenue, its mine, for doing the work people paid to do have not done. I am putting dibs on it. In fact, if there is a national finders fee for lost revenue, its mine too. Revenue lost through lack of enforcement is a national problem, “cash/travelers checks only” is a national scourge as is construction alliances and landlords without licenses. Though unlicensed people do business all the time, that does not mean doing business without a license is right.

The District of Columbia requires people who transact business to be licensed. DC’s office of the Tenant Advocate staff go above and beyond the call of duty to adress the needs of DC’s tenant population as is but the staff must be increased to maintain the same level of service given the incoming multi unit tenant rental and mixed used construction population that will be coming. An unlicensed landlord cannot raise rent, not only in the District of Columbia but elsewhere. People who do business without a license are subject to fines. Each penny collected for violations, like unlicensed landlord, is another penny that should go to funding and growing staffing at the Office of Tenant Advocate.

The District failed its 500,000 resident population on 9/11. It took people four plus hours to leave DC. Back then, MPDC Sergeant Jeff Herold apologized to a group gathered at the Renaissance a hotel promising that would never happen again.

Herold is right. That won’t happen again. In a PC world, politically afraid to speak up risking job loss, what will happen is the exploded population, greater than the 500,000 residents of DC 2001, will not be able to leave the District. DC is investing money into bike lanes instead of into resident education of Evacuation Routes, moreso in 2013, under nuclear threats by North Korea. Reality? Toast. Not eating but what people will become. What does happen is risk to health of DC residents with a potential to risk of life in a District that continues to prove it is ill prepared for disaster- 9/11 and blackout summer of 2012.

With DC’s increasing removal of car access and parking from the District with a bent towards making DC a bicycle and walking city, DC, in these days of increasing drone surveillance, cyber attacks on vital services, nuclear threat is a disaster waiting to happen, let alone to the healthy able to walk. To the disabled and elderly in these days of diminishing services and reliance on PDA’s impacting inter personal relationships in a District converting to a car less District?

God help them, most likely no one else will….

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2 Responses to “FOR THE WANT OF VETTING PEACE IN THE CLEVELAND PARK/FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS COMMUNITY WAS LOST:”

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