- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Swedish government opened the House of Sweden in Georgetown this week, creating a landmark on the Potomac waterfront that will serve as clearinghouse for Sweden’s diplomacy, commerce and culture.

The Embassy of Sweden is the lead tenant on two floors of the five-story, 75,000-square-foot structure.

Nineteen corporate apartments leased to Swedish firms, including automakers Volvo and Saab, take up the top floors. The bottom floors include a business events center and an exhibition hall.

The first exhibit, which opened to the public yesterday, features Swedish architecture and design.

“The whole concept is unique,” said Anders Ericson, House of Sweden spokesman. “The idea is to promote Sweden in different ways and promote a modern, dynamic Sweden.”

The roughly $69 million building’s massive size and striking Scandinavian architecture expressed through glass, marble and blond maple shifts the Swedish delegation’s presence in Washington from a nearly anonymous office building shared with law firms to highly visible prime real estate.

It is located at 901 30th St. NW, between Washington Harbour and Thompson’s Boathouse. It lies across the river from Theodore Roosevelt Island and only a short walk to restaurants, the Watergate and the Kennedy Center.

The National Property Board Sweden manages the building. It was built over the past two years by Armada-Hoffler Construction Co. of Virginia Beach.

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia attended the inauguration ceremony Monday.

In other news …

• The Abraham Group, a consulting company organized by former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, announced this week it is joining with Los Angeles real estate developer Bond Companies to build and redevelop environmentally friendly buildings.

A prime target of their efforts is the General Services Administration and the 93 million square feet of building space it manages in the Washington area.

They drew inspiration for their partnership from proposals in Congress to require more “green” features in federal buildings, such as solar panels and recycled water.

“They need outside companies to implement these things,” said Lawrence S. Bond, chairman of Bond Companies. “Our hope and goal is to get the GSA to use us.”

Rising energy prices, higher building costs and geopolitical tensions that affect oil and natural gas production have combined to ensure the green building market will only get stronger, Mr. Abraham said.

The partnership plans to work out of the offices of the Abraham Group, which opened one year ago at 600 14th St. NW.

• Centex Construction said this week it has been chosen as general contractor for the Station Place, Building 3 project located at 700 Second St. NW, next to Union Station.

The project is owned by Seven Hundred 2nd Street Holdings. It is the third and final office building in Station Place, a 1.6 million-square-foot commercial real estate development on more than 5 acres.

Station Place, Building 3 will include an estimated 529,000 square feet of office space, three lobbies and three paver terraces.

• Property Lines runs on Thursdays. Contact Tom Ramstack at 202/636-3180 or e-mail [email protected]washingtontimes.com.

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