The Tragedy of Portamerica

The Tragedy of Portamerica : And Other Developments from Tysons Corner to Istanbul

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This is a book about the ups and downs--and unfortunate demise--of a real estate project named PortAmerica. Fronting on the Potomac River in Maryland, seven miles from Washington, D.C., it was to feature the architecture of the great Philip Johnson, and held the license of the World Trade Center, Washington, D.C. After ten years of intensive effort and great expense, PortAmerica was fully permitted and ready for development. Then the federal government intervened and the project was lost. Fifteen years of epic litigation, most of which was handled personally by the author, followed, and forms the core of this fascinating account. It concluded with a victory that--while not resurrecting PortAmerica--well defined the "quite astonishing resistance" and foolish behavior of the RTC/FDIC. A second World Trade Center project, this time at the international airport in Istanbul, was awarded to Lewis--but plans ground to a halt as a result of the Gulf war in the early '90s. On one return trip from Istanbul, Lewis, at the last minute, fortuitously changed his flight reservations from the ill-fated Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing everyone on board. That narrow escape from death was followed by others, raising questions of fate vs. coincidence. Overcoming the overwhelming odds, Mr. Lewis lived to write this incredible tale of passion and perseverance.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 182 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 498.95g
  • Vantage Press
  • United States
  • English
  • colour illustrations
  • 0533164931
  • 9780533164936

About James T Lewis

Jim Lewis and two partners formed a law firm in 1967. Over the next twenty years, Lewis, Mitchell and Moore grew into a fifty-lawyer firm, one of the largest in the country specializing in construction law. During that time, Lewis tried and won several landmark cases in that field. Lewis's activities expanded to include real estate development and he developed several major office buildings in Tysons Corner and Alexandria, Virginia, three of which are pictured on the back cover. His involvement in these projects led to a major undertaking named PortAmerica, which is the primary subject of this book.
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