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Happy Birthday, Ted (and Albert)

Bisnow.com, October 14, 2015

We hesitate to tell you it's the 90th birthday tomorrow of Washington icon Ted Lerner. So please keep it quiet.

First of all, it would give you the wrong idea. Some people still think 90 is old, but for Ted, it's the new 45—he comes into work every day, and of course rarely misses a Nats game or dinner with wife Annette. And more importantly, for all his success (Forbes pegs him at $5.5B), Ted is a very modest guy—he gives almost no public speeches and would be the last one to talk about wealth.

Today he focuses as much on philanthropy—Children's Hospital, GW, and of course the Nationals' Dream Foundation. And on family, which also includes daughter Debra and husband Ed Cohen, son Mark Lerner and wife Judy, and daughter Marla and husband Bob Tanenbaum.

But we have to recognize the occasion, because he's a Washington institution. The Roosevelt High ('44) and GW college and law grad is totally self-made: He founded Lerner Enterprises in 1952 with a $250 loan from his wife. Sixty-three years later, the private company has 20M SF of commercial space and many thousands of apartments; is leading the charge in developing along the Silver Line in Tysons (here's its new 1775 Tysons Blvd); and is in hot competition for the new FBI HQ in Maryland. Oh, and although the playoffs slipped from the Nats' grasp this year, everyone knows a trip to the World Series is coming shortly. So may we be the first to raise a glass to not just his extraordinary past, but to all that he continues to do for the region's future.

And speaking of Oct. 15, guess who else celebrates his 90th on the very same day? Extraordinary developer Albert Small, a lifelong friend of Ted's, here with son Albert Jr. and daughter Susan.

Albert's also in incredible shape, showing us a source of his strength these days. We all need to learn more of Ted and Albert's secrets to long, successful and inspirational lives. (We're guessing it's not as simple as having one of those chocolate chip cookie dough flavored Kind Bars.) So taking that glass you just raised, thanks to these two power plants for 180 great years, and here's to the next 180.


Bisnow.com, October 14, 2015