Donald F. Holmes, Jr.
TEL: (202) 452-1400 ext. 5401
Washington, DC 20006
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.
- Landlord representation for The World Bank's 220,000 square foot full-building lease in DC's CBD.
- Landlord representation for 250,000 square foot Verizon call center facility in Laurel, Maryland.
- 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/
- Representation of the landlord in the DC region's largest ever private lease deal (624,000 square feet/20-year deal in Rosslyn 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 with third parties in order to free CEB from its then existing lease obligations on K Street and the West End in order to make the deal.
- Landlord representation for co-working space lease with MakeOffices at Reston Town Center.
- Many retail lease deals representing landlords with national and regional retailers such as Brio, Yes!, Organic Market, Dunkin Donuts, Yard House, SunTrust Bank, TD Bank, National City Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Panera Bread, Calvin Klein, LA Fitness and Total Wine & More.
- Tenant lease representation of note has included American Benefits Council, Food Marketing Institute, Miller and Chevalier, Atlas Brew Works, Jos. A. Magnus & Co. Distillery and National Genealogy Society.
- Property owner representation for unusual special events such as Laser Cat! (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/
In 2018, Mr. Holmes worked to close dozens of lease deals, including notable deals such as the following:
- Landlord representation for Brookfield with respect to the extension of Ullico in approximately 65,000 RSF in Silver Spring. The transaction involved lease extension, surrender of a portion of space, swing space, recasting rents, partial termination option terms for phases of space, complicated delivery condition and work agreement terms, building signage rights and multiple tenant options.
- Landlord representation for JBG Smith to expand and extend the tenancy of the SAIC office lease in Rosslyn. This deal included SCIF space, extension of term and lease of additional space with complicated work and delivery terms, adding and recasting multiple expansion, extension, parking and building signage rights.
- Landlord representation with respect to the lease by Aslin Beer Company for a new brewery/tasting room facility with food truck service at warehouse/flex space facility in Alexandria. This deal included complicated use (multiple 35-foot tall grain silos), parking and signage issues.
- Property owner representation for a profit-sharing licensing arrangement for multiple digital media, wall-scape LCD advertising screens at L'Enfant Plaza.
- Many retail lease transactions representing landlords, including new lease deals with Chef Pepe Moncayo (East End), South Block (Rosslyn) and Roti (Chevy Chase).
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. 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).