Donald F. Holmes, Jr.
TEL: (202) 452-1400 ext. 5401
Washington, DC 20036-5605
Since 1996 Don Holmes has negotiated hundreds of lease deals all over the DC metro region, for many millions of square feet of space. Mr. Holmes knows the market and he brings a congenial, deal-making style to the table, working with
attention to detail to quickly finalize deals on favorable terms. Mr. Holmes regularly works on a broad range of sophisticated leasing transactions (for a spectrum of clients ranging from publicly-traded REITs to trade associations to individuals holding single storefront properties), including office leases, restaurant/retail leases, commission agreements, SNDAs, subleases, assignment agreements, asset and stock transfers, termination agreements, lease default workouts/settlements and non-disclosure agreements, along with satellite dish agreements, licenses for cabling, antennae, building signage, generators, solar panels, in-building radio distribution (IBRD) equipment, weather cameras and television/film crew access (when the
circus came to town, Mr. Holmes worked-out the agreements for the big-top tent and wild animal staging). Some landlord clients for which Mr. Holmes has done a lot of work: Brookfield Property Partners, Monday Properties, Kan Am Grund
America, JBG Smith, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Margot Kelly (a Barracks Row Main Street pioneer), Thomas P. Brown Management and PM Realty Group. Tenant representation has included: Food Marketing Institute, Miller & Chevalier, Association for Community Affiliated Plans, American Benefits Council, Atlas Brew Works, Jos. A. Magnus & Co. and District Distilling.
Mr. Holmes also facilitates business formation and advises clients on financing, operational and risk management issues. He also counsels clients with respect to DC administrative law issues (including public space use and liquor license
procurement/transfer), and he works with the GDL Litigation Group to advise clients on negotiation strategy and litigation strategy and avoidance.
- Representation of JBG as landlord in the largest ever private lease deal in the DC region’s history (624,000 square feet/20 year deal in Arlington with Corporate Executive Board), as part of a two-lawyer team (with the iconic, now happily retired Abe Greenstein), including the preparation and negotiation of many ancillary lease termination and lease assignment agreements in order to free CEB from then existing lease obligations on K Street and the West End in order to make the deal.
- Landlord representation for 250,000 square foot Verizon call center facility in Laurel, Maryland.
- Landlord representation for World Bank lease of 220,000 square foot full-building lease in DC’s CBD.
- Landlord representation for coworking space lease with MakeOffices at Reston Town Center.
- Property owner representation for unusual special events such as Laser Cat! (to facilitate the massive feline-shaped, multi-media public art installation that projected crowd-funded creative works from all over the world through the giant cat’s laser-beam eyes.) https://www.wpadc.org/sites/default/files/Laser%20Cat%20Press%20Release%20020615.pdf Another fun deal was representing the property owner for the Cavalia big-top tent show which ran for several months in Pentagon City, with 50 entertainers using over 80 tons of equipment and 100 horses. http://dc.metblogs.com/2009/09/14/cavalia-or-thats-what-the-big-tent-in-pentagon-city-is/
- Many lease deals with national and regional retailers such as Brio, Yes! Organic Market, SunTrust Bank, TD Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Panera Bread, Calvin Klein, LA Fitness and Total Wine & More.
In 2017 Mr. Holmes worked to close lease deals for in excess of 1,000,000 square feet of space, including notable deals such as the following (spoiler alert: Rosslyn is rising):
- Landlord representation of Monday Properties with respect to lease to The University of Virginia Darden School of Business of multiple floors for offices, classroom space and event spaces in Rosslyn. The transaction involved lease assignment/extension of term/surrender of space/lease of additional spaces in phases with complicated delivery condition and work agreement terms/special use of common area amenity spaces/building and lobby signage rights and multiple options. https://news.darden.virginia.edu/2017/09/29/new-darden-facilities-washington-dc/
- Landlord representation for Brookfield with respect to lease with The Grocery Manufacturers Association for two floors of office space in Potomac Tower, the iconic I.M. Pei design office building in Rosslyn. The deal was finalized over only several weeks as both landlord and tenant teams worked harmoniously to expedite the complicated transaction. https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2017/02/09/exclusive-with-nestle-incoming-leading-industry.html
- Landlord representation for JBG to renew and recast the SAIC office lease at Rosslyn Gateway North. This deal included new SCIF space/surrender of space/extension of term and expansion of space with complicated work and delivery terms/adding and recasting multiple expansion, extension, parking and building signage rights.
- Property owner representation for multiple digital media, wallscape and exterior LCD advertising leases adjacent to the Nationals Park.
- Many retail transactions, including new lease deals with Yard House (Chinatown), Boqueria (East End), Fusion Learning Center (Rockville), Dunkin' Donuts (Arlington), Urban Boxing (Arlington), Maison Kayser (NoMa) and National City Bank (CBD).
- Tenant lease representation of note in 2017 includes: Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC, American Benefits Council and National Genealogy Society.
Prior to joining GDL, Mr. Holmes worked as a leasing consultant at the Cafritz Company, then one of the region's most prominent property management companies. Mr. Holmes is honored to be included as an instructor in the
CREBA Classroom programs, providing guidance to brokers on commercial lease terms and negotiation strategies. He has also served as an instructor on office and retail lease provisions and implementation best-practices with the BOMI Institute Property Manager's Course on Commercial Law. Mr. Holmes has extensive experience in the food and beverage industry (he has worked on many lease deals and the ancillary issues related to food service and
brewery/distillery uses; and he grew-up in a restaurant family – dishwasher, busboy, coat-check kid, valet parker and graduated to bartending, which he did for 20 years – Mr. Holmes quips that he peaked professionally at age 20 as head bartender of The Playpen nightclub in Wildwood, NJ). He resides in Arlington with his wife Courtney and their three boys. The Holmes boys have pulled their parents into the world of never-ending travel baseball practices and far-flung tournaments (they go 150 miles to play other 10 year olds?) and they love it. Mr. Holmes coaches multiple youth sports teams and is an active fundraiser for cystic fibrosis and organ donation charities as well as charitable
organizations serving Arlington, his home town of Scranton and his wife’s home town, Boston (specifically, South Boston).