City Desk

Omar Karim Gets Heated on Kojo

Embattled developer Omar Karim, in a rare appearance, submitted to journalists' questions today on WAMU's Politics Hour.

Under fire for his ties to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Karim answered questions from hosts Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood with thinly veiled outrage. Karim defended his own credentials and the record of his firm, Banneker Ventures, with an emphasis on the "defensive."

At one point, Sherwood asked to what LL's ears seemed to be a legitimate question: Name development projects you began or completed before Fenty became mayor. His initial response: "For you to ask me that is very insulting." He kept up with the bluster until finally naming a completed Silver Spring office project, as well as another project that's yet to move to construction.

Karim went on to deny aspects of a Washington Post story. In particular, megadeveloper R. Donahue Peebles therein accused Karim of approaching him at a 2007 event and telling him that "if I wanted to get to do a development deal with the District of Columbia government under Fenty, I'd have to do business with them and their circle...Essentially, the message was I was going to need him."

Karim denied the encounter ever took place, raised questions about Peebles' historical ties to Mayor Marion Barry, and in fact said he was considering filing a libel suit against Peebles. He went on to equate his ties to the mayor to certain D.C. councilmembers' apparent conflicts of interest.

But Karim made it clear he had another motive for coming on the radio: His own bottom line.

A project he's currently developing is in danger, he said, due to politics. Banneker had been selected by Metro to develop a parcel at 7th Street and Florida Avenue NW into a mixed-use project called "The Jazz @ Florida Avenue." That deal is now in jeopardy, he says, because the Metro board is refusing to extend a deadline to finalize its terms—a deadline that's already been extended twice, not unusual in a historically tight credit market.

He implied that his current notoriety has interfered with the deal, and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, a member of the Metro board, is behind it. Graham told Washington Business Journal in September: "I know that the developer is dealing with a recovering real estate market, but we either have to move forward now, or take another look at who will do this job."

File photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Familiar Face

    Does anyone know if Omar Karim mother was a school teacher. The coincidence is all too ironic, if his mother was a school teacher....hmmmmm!

  • Doubtful

    Karim certainly has that same self entitled sneer that Neal Albert, Jair Lynch, and the rest of that bougie, bonehead, DL, crowd flaunt. "Jim Graham is behind it"? It must be a crooked deal in the first place then.
    They have had that smug attitude since Day 1 because they knew exactly how they were going to milk the system.
    Jair Lynch has never built anything either.

    Too bad about his Florida Avenue project. If it wasn't for politics he wouldn't have had it in the first place.
    They should all go to jail.

  • noodlez

    AND THE VERDICT IS. . . WAIT FOR IT . . .

    GUILTY! FOR IMPERSONATING A BIDNISSMAN!

    NOW PLEASE JUST CRAWL BACK UP INTO FENTY'S ASS AND STAY THERE!

  • hymesb

    If the meeting didn't happen...sounds like libel to me.

    Who would have thought a business could get blackballed because they know the Mayor?

  • Undeveloper

    I've heard a rumour from a little birdey that the Federales are looking into Karim's extortative practices. Supposedly, real developers don't like shake-downs unless they are the ones doing the shaking. Bread crumbs will lead back to Hizzoner.

  • Wrack

    I think it's fascinating that Skinner and Karim try to blame Graham for everything when, in fact, he's one of the Mayor's most reliable supporters. Is it just plain racist homophobia?

  • DC Hoodrat

    Omar Karim has some good booty.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Hoodrat- Glad you're out. Karim didnt' strike me as your type, but maybe that's why you're so fucked up. Down low white guy with black men fetish. Just be honest with yourself and the hate will disappear, you little bitch.

  • DC Hoodrat

    Adrian,

    Ummm... I'm black... not like you... I mean, I am not the product of crackheads and DC niggas... My parents are self-respecting black people. Now, do you want me to get up in your guts too? Just be phine and make sure you clean that hole out...

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Try me. You don't have what it takes to challenge me on anything of substance so you go off on "DC niggas" this and "DC niggas" that. Come test or disappear like the rest bitch.

  • noodlez

    @ DC Hoodrat CRACKHEAD PARENTS ARE WAY TO GOOD FOR YOU SLIM. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT OF CRYSTAL METH USERS. YOUR WACKABILLY ASS PARENTS MIGHT THINK THEY RESPECT THEMSELVES BUT YOUR MOTHER SCRUBBIN THAT ONE TOOTH BEFORE GO SEE HER P.O. IS NOT SELF RESPECT.

    ALSO, TELL YOUR DAD BY WIPING HIS NASTY ASS WITH A OLD PAPER BAG AFTER WETTING IT WITH SOME 211 RESIDUE ONCE HE FINISHES GETTING HIS BACK BANGED OUT IN AN ALLEY IS NOT SELF RESPECT EITHER.

  • Truth Hurts

    Adrian and noodlez: DC Hoodrat deserves every nasty thing you said to him. Boy, that was hard for me to write, noodz. Not so difficult re Adrian.

  • mike

    Karim sounded like a thug

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Thanks Truth. We all have our comments to offer. Some are excuriatingly painful and some are excuriatingly honest. I've never doubted that about Noodlez (as much as I dislike his views and disagree with most(99%) of them). But this Hoodrat is just a racist in sheep's clothing. He comes out swinging hard against blacks or as he calls us "niggas" in DC and then says its ok for him to do it because he's black. Really? And takes such pleasure in delivering it, it just seems disingenuos to me. Be real. Say you're a white racist prick and spew you shit, but he's too much of a coward.

  • DC Voter

    DC Hoodrat is Chuck Thies!

  • proballdc

    I listened to that interview. Omar is a card. He sounded very defensive and guilty. He was quite evasive to very simple Sherwood questions:

    "Did you have any contracts in the District before Fenty became mayor?" Sherwood answers: "I think the answer is no".

    He comes on this show to try and twist the hand of Metro to extend his deadline due to his credit issues. I really don't think that is the responsibility of the board. The train really must keep moving, even though Karim seems to believe the world revolves around he and the Fenty crew.

  • Mac

    Jim Graham has these metero - DL -gay amateur real estate developer types so far up his arse they might find the taxi cash.

    Dealing with a recovering real estate market, a collapsed online gay underwear empire, or just some bad habits Graham will have your back as long as you flatter her and contribute to her cash accrual campaigns.

    So Karim has never really ever even built anything? Imagine that. Not to fear, Nanny Graham will be good for a least 7M in DC funds.

  • Mac

    The feds should look at Neal Albert, Jannarone, the whole incompetent, corrupt crew Fenty installed at Econ.

    Anybody else missing Carol Schwartz yet?

  • Anonymous

    "Anybody else missing Carol Schwartz yet?"

    lolol... not David Catania, fer sure!

  • http://deleted candycane1

    The WP reported GRaham as saying that he didn't have anything to do with blocking Omar's latest scam (my words) but that the board doesn't feel he's qualified to do the job.

  • http://www.glaa.org/ Richard J. Rosendall

    Oh, guys, just do it and stop teasing each other. Regarding the n-word, I agree with Adrian. Why is it okay to use a debasing epithet because you're a member of the group in question? That's like saying, "It's okay for me to call her a ho because she's my wife." Why should you talk to your wife like that? Why should you refer to your own people like that? BTW, one of the more interesting social phenomena is all the men posing as thugs. I'm not complaining about all the young guys who go around with their pants below their asses (because I think it's hilarious, but it does feel like an invitation. But I'd love to see what some guys would do for insults if they couldn't rely on suggestions about the other guy wanting to be sodomized. Like I said, just do it already and get over it.

  • CDB

    My god, anti-black slurs, anti-gay slurs, all kinds of hate speech in these comments. The right wing is out in force to defeat Fenty. Good luck right wingers, it ain't going to happen in DC, Fenty is in for an easy reelection.

  • sedcdude

    WHAT IS TRULY PATHETIC IS HOW WCP "ALLOWS" MOTHRFUCKERS LIKE SKIPPY, RICKY "MANSPUNK" AND NOW THIS WHORE DC RAT TO POST THE SHIT THAT THEY TYPE!

    STAMPS WHAT I ALREADY KNEW OF THIS FAKE ASS, RACIST ASS COMMENTARY!

    THESE FUCKS HAVE THE NERVE TO "ATTEMPT" TO MODERATE AND CENSOR POSTS BY "SELECT" POSTERS, THAT'S SOME BITCH SHIT IF I EVER SEEN ANY!

    BUT THESE FAGGOT ASS RACISTS CAN CONSISTENTLY AND PROLIFICALLY POST DUMBSHIT!!

    WTF!!

  • CDB

    Hey, did you know that your keyboard works when Caps Lock is not depressed?

  • LOL

    Omar came across poorly in the interview. It doesn't seem likely that he did not anticipate these questions considering who was to interview him. Instead of preparing, he deemed the questions insulting. It was very much amateur hour on the kojo show.

  • mo mo

    This is a sad commentary for Afro-Americans and the
    and decent business community

  • WARD4DC

    LOL LOL LOL@all comments. Sometimes I take a break from the City Paper or I forget about it, but when I come back, it's always Comedy Central up in here. LOL

    DC Hoodrat, I hope you used a condom before sticking it in another man's asshole.

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