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 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/mixed-use leases, co-working agreements, commission agreements, SNDAs, subleases, assignment agreements, asset and stock transfers, termination agreements, lease default workouts/settlements and non-disclosure agreements, satellite dish agreements, licenses for cabling, antennae, building signage (including digital media, wall-scape LCD advertising screens), 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). Mr. Holmes also negotiates personal services agreements, facilitates business formation and advises clients on financing, operational and risk management issues. He counsels clients with respect to DC administrative law issues (including public space use and liquor license procurement/transfer), he works with GDL’s Legislative Lobbying team on DC and Virginia issues and he works with the GDL Litigation Group to advise clients on negotiation strategy, litigation strategy and litigation avoidance.
- Landlord representation 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 now happily retired GDL founder, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Representation of 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/
- Landlord representation 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 land use (multiple 35-foot tall grain silos), parking and signage issues. Mr. Holmes has worked on several distillery and brewery lease deals in the DC metro area.
- 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.
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 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, serves on the Board of Directors for Arlington Senior Babe Ruth (teenage rec baseball), 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, South Boston, MA.
Related Case Studies
- Balancing the Pandemic for Landlords and TenantsFebruary, 2022
- Virginia Public University Rosslyn LeaseFebruary, 2022
- Developing Special Event and Public Art ProjectsFebruary, 2022
- Bringing Growth to DC’s Brewery and Distillery IndustryFebruary, 2022