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This blog focuses on real estate, land use and construction-related topics affecting Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area. With topics ranging from contract drafting and negotiation to local and regional land use project updates, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman provide timely insight and commentary on the issues affecting owners, builders, developers, contractors, subcontractors and other players in the industry. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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Posts tagged Government Contracts.

According to a good source, GSA and WMATA are working on a new policy to allow GSA to modify its rent caps for sites that meet certain transit oriented development criteria (i.e. sites within a certain proximity to Metro stations, etc.).  As many of our readers know, GSA caps its rents as a result of negotiations with OMB per rules created to implement the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990. OMB (through Circular A-11) created a set of rules which are used to determine whether a federal lease is an "Operating" or "Capital" Lease. To make a long story short, GSA and OMB have agreed to rent caps to make it easy to stay within "Operating Lease" guidelines. The current Operating Lease rent caps are $34/SF in Maryland, $38/SF in Virginia, and $49/SF in the District of Columbia.  With vacancies finally falling and rental rates starting to rise, the natural effect of these caps will be to push federal office space development away from mass transit locations, which yield the highest rental rates.  Currently, big chunks of space for federal agencies just aren't normally available below these price caps where there are mass transit services available.

The Virginia Supreme Court has released its opinion in the first of the pending Case Watch. Commonwealth of Virginia v. AMEC Civil, LLC, and the companion case of AMEC Civil, LLC v. Commonwealth of Virginia had twenty-two assignments of error on AMEC’s part, along with two assignments of error and seven assignments of cross-error on VDOT’s part.

In the recent case of TC MidAtlantic Development, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Record No. 091271, the Virginia Supreme Court was faced with the issue of properly pleading compliance with conditions precedent in a public contract. Despite the tongue-twisting nature of this issue, the crux of the case came down to simple timing.

Here is a new sampling of cases in which the Virginia Supreme Court has recently granted appeals.

In April, the Court granted the petition for appeal in Studio Center Corporation v. WKW Construction, LLC, Record No. 092257, challenging the ruling of Judge Shockley from the Circuit Court of the City of Virginia Beach. Studio Center is contesting Judge Shockley’s holding that Virginia Code Section 54.1-1115(C) applied when the unlicensed contractor admitted it knew Virginia law required a license, but did not realize that it could not use someone else’s license. This case should give us some much needed guidance on Section 54.1-1115(C)’s requirement of “good faith” and “actual knowledge.”

Dipping toes in the waterToday we tip our toe, quite gingerly we might add, into the ugly place where preliminary statistics and politics meet. In the last week, print news and the internet have been awash with reports on stimulus spending today and estimates of the impact that spending has had a jobs created or saved. In particular, Chris Thorman and Don Fornes of Construction Software Advice have culled through the quarterly reports which are publicly available at www.recovery.gov and provided a detailed state-by-state breakdown of construction stimulus spending amounts awarded, amounts "received", jobs created and the cost per job (this article was also posted to ENR's blog and both have separate comments).

As announced previously, we were very happy to participate in a recent seminar on government contracting in connection with the Associated Builders and Contractors - Metro Washington Chapter.  The seminar, which took place last week, was a great success with a room that was filled to capacity, some great speakers and information, and very enjoyable and educational experience for me as a participant and speaker.  The response is certainly indicative of the interest in government contracting topics right now.

For those interested, here is a copy of our presentation materials which addressed different contract vehicles and bidding methods, common procurement issues, and the process of bid protests in particular.

We are pleased to invite our readers to a seminar on October 29, 2009, The “Other” Kind of Contracting: Best Practices for Government Sales Success. As active members of Associated Builders and Contractors – Metro Washington Chapter, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to speak at this ABC-Metro Washington event.

The construction industry is receiving somewhat mixed economic signals lately. On the good news front, the home building industry which has been mired in recession far longer than the rest of the economy is showing signs of life. Bloomberg reported that sales of new homes climbed in August to a high for the year. The news was tinged with some contrary news that pricing reflected competition from large numbers of foreclosures of existing homes in the marketplace. Bloomberg also reportedly separately that estimates of new home sales for 2010 may increase substantially as well, particularly if Congress extends the tax credit for first-time buyers.