COLUMNS

Dupont underground in limbo

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • August 10, 2005

by Karen Feld

buzz
An enormous amount of prime real estate sits vacant in the center of Washington – underground. A while back, D.C. businessman Paul London executed an agreement saying that he would be the legitimate lessee of the former Dupont trolley space under Dupont Circle, but London now says, “The city [D.C. Office of Property Management] recently told us the agreement was not valid because it made a mistake in entering into it. Our attorneys say the agreement is valid. … The city said it would get a third party’s view on this, but so far it has not.”

Dupont Circle sits atop an enormous amount of underground real estate

London, who owns Washington Sports Club gym on Capitol Hill, originally had a sublease for the eastern half of the trolley space with the hope of putting in another gym. The process has taken so long that London has reconsidered his original intention of using the space for a gym since the Upper Dupont gym has expanded.

Minor diplomatic solution?

The latest is that a Spencerville, Md., attorney has a diplomatic client who’s expressed interest in the space. Melvin Laney describes his client as “a small, quiet, non-controversial diplomatic legation of limited means, and not on any terror watch list.” We’re glad to hear that. D.C. hasn’t resolved the issue of who owns the space and whether it will be used for private, public or diplomatic purposes.

Socialite wife anything but lax

Earlier this month, a former nurse’s aide in Ohio was sentenced to 10 months in prison for conspiring with another nurse to give nursing home patients laxatives to make them sick. Yet one very social D.C. wife secretly puts laxatives in her very wealthy husband’s food so that while he is occupied with the aftereffects, she can go to charity balls and other events without him. Her friends are laughing about what she will do this month during the lull in social season.

Gibson dressed up for evening?

ABC execs are mum about who will step into late anchor Peter Jennings’ shoes, but the highly recognizable Charlie Gibson is rumored to be his most likely successor.

Conservative grilled on Here! TV

Tonight, D.C. attorney Elizabeth Birch celebrates the launch of her new TV show, “Birch & Company,” at the Motion Picture Association of America. Conservative Pat Buchanan, who sits down for a one-on-one with Birch in the second episode on Here! TV, the nation’s first gay television network, said, “I don’t understand what gay people want from me.” Buchanan, who grew up in D.C., told the host of the show [the former executive director of the Human Rights Campaign], “[Homosexuals are] all over the place.” Ironically, Buchanan was one of the first columnists to write about AIDS. During this fascinating interview, the former presidential candidate and Nixon aide admits that he agrees with Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., that homosexuality is “hard-wired.”

Mag magnate flies high

We hear that entrepreneur Jason Binn has an eye on Atlantic City as his next magazine market. He follows the money. His luxury publication, Capitol File, hits the stands in D.C. next month. It’s difficult to land a quote from Binn since he’s been flying high on hotel and casino owner Steve Wynn’s private Boeing 737 jet, which he has told pals is so huge that “it’s like being in a condo.” Binn also landed a seat on Harvey Weinstein’s jet to D.C. for a recent film premiere.

These candidates can manage husbands

New York Republicans have found a candidate to challenge incumbent Sen. Hillary Clinton, D, for the U.S. Senate in 2006 – Jeanine F. Pirro, the charismatic Westchester County district attorney. Pirro, a moderate, supports gay rights, choice and the death penalty. She’s tough on crime and knows how to keep her husband of 30 years, Albert, far in the very deep background. He’s fathered a love child, has been caught for tax fraud, served jail time and been accused of leaking info from his wife’s office to the mob.

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