Early Briefing 08.20.07
It's Monday, the day we turn our business section over to news about the local economy.
* This week we take a look at the region's commercial real estate market, where vacancies rose during the second quarter and construction slowed. Rental rates, though, remained relatively high.
* There's new interest in development along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers; developers are pouring billions into plans there. We've put together an online package to discuss the changes that includes an interactive map and historical timeline.
* Home furnishing retailer West Elm opens today in the old Woodward & Lothrop building in downtown Washington. The retailer has restored the grand staircase and retained the original elevator banks and their brass scrollwork.
* Three local companies are among a half-dozen winners of a contract worth up to $200 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development to support a program designed to combat the spread of AIDS and provide treatment for those affected by the disease. BearingPoint and Booz Allen Hamilton, both of McLean, and Training Resources Group of Arlington will vie for the work along with three Boston area companies: Abt Associates, Social Sectors Development Strategies and Management Sciences for Health.
* Annapolis hospitality firm Thayer Lodging Group has installed a super clean air system at its Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda.
* Juicy Couture, the clothing label that made track suits fashionable, has opened its first outpost here in the Tysons Galleria.
* And here's a story from our Sunday paper that is likely to draw local interest: The Defense Intelligence Agency is preparing to pay private contractors up to $1 billion to conduct core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection over the next five years, an amount that would set a record in the outsourcing of such functions by the Pentagon's top spying agency.
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