The D.C. Zoning Commission denied a request this week by the owners of the Fourways Restaurant near Dupont Circle to rezone their property to allow the construction of a seven-story condominium.

The commission voted 3 to 1 to reject a proposal by Walter Sommer, general partner of Fourways of Washington Ltd., which owns the property, after more than 14 months of meetings, motions and hearings.

Opponents of the development proposal, including the Dupont Circle Citizens Association and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B, have contended that the rezoning would lead to a series of commercial development rezonings in an area that is designed to serve as a residential buffer from the busy traffic on nearby Connecticut Avenue.

"The whole thing has taken too long," said Edward Grandis, chairman of ANC 2B.

"We're not against restaurants or against businesses. But this is not an isolated lot. It is a very crucial corner."

Within two hours after this week's vote, Sommer and his attorneys, Whayne S. Quin and Maureen E. Dwyer of Wilkes, Artis, Hedrick & Lane, submitted a letter to request another rezoning of the property, which they say is needed to prevent the company from going bankrupt. But the commission refused to consider the letter at the meeting because of a lack of a quorum by the time it was received.

Cecil Tucker, secretary to the commission, said the panel, which is scheduled to meet again on Jan. 11, will have to decide whether to stick with its decision to deny the application or reopen the case to consider Sommer's latest rezoning request.

Last July, the commission denied the initial rezoning application because of the community's concerns, but it reopened the case in September after the attorneys submitted three alternatives.

Hearings were held Nov. 5 and Dec. 3 to decide whether one of the three options would ease some of the nearby residents fears, but the commission held to its original decision.

U.S. real estate is a prized investment, according to a group of Japanese executives, who ranked American properties above government bonds and stocks, according to a survey released this week.

While 58 percent of the Japanese "investment decision makers" polled said real estate holdings are very important to their company's overall investment strategy, 64 percent said U.S. properties will be very important to their portfolios in the next two years, according to the study commissioned by Cushman & Wakefield Inc., a leading commercial real estate firm.

The study was conducted by Louis Harris and Associates, which held in-person interviews in Japan with 45 executives at leading Japanese institutions during the fall.

"Opportunities for real estate investment in Japan are limited, and property values there are among the world's highest," said Arthur J. Mirante II, president and chief executive officer of Cushman & Wakefield.

"Our country's abundance of land and properties, stable political climate, higher yields ... make the {United States} an attractive place for Japanese real estate investment."

Fifty-two percent of those polled found the Northeast the most attractive region for real estate investment. Of those who currently hold U.S. properties, 67 hold property in Los Angeles, 48 percent in New York, 27 percent in Washington, 24 percent in Hawaii, 24 percent in Chicago, 24 percent in San Francisco, 15 percent in Dallas-Fort Worth and 15 percent in San Diego.

During the next two years, however, the largest increase in Japanese real estate investment is expected to occur in Boston, the study said. Philadelphia and Atlanta also were cited as "up-and-coming" markets for Japanese investment.

IN THE BUSINESS ... John G. Shooshan Co. has started construction on Quincy Street Station, a 180,000-square-foot office and retail complex at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and Quincy Street in Ballston. The project is expected to be completed by May 1989 ... Centennial Cos. have announced plans for the second phase of their 27-acre Commerce Executive Park in Reston ... Three Washington area businessmen -- Allan B. Hudson Jr., Michael R. Garrett and Robert Calhoun Smith Jr. -- have formed HudsonGarrettSmith & Co., a real estate investment firm in McLean ... Hazel/Peterson Cos.' Fair Lakes One office park has won Fairfax County's Honor Award for exceptional design ... Hersand Cos. have completed the Countryside Professional Building, the first phase of a three-part professional and commercial development at the Countryside development in Sterling.

PERSONNEL FILE ... Paul W. Stockwell, formerly vice president of Cadillac Fairview Urban Development Inc. in the firm's Atlanta office, has joined Buvermo Properties Inc., a Rosslyn-based real estate investment and management firm, as regional vice president for the Washington metropolitan area ... Glen Construction Co. in Gaithersburg has promoted Robert S. Noland to vice president of purchasing and Michael J. Pierre Sr. to vice president of estimating ... Russell Vandiver, formerly with RTKL Associates, has joined the architectural firm of Davis & Carter as vice president and principal ... The Shannon & Luchs commercial brokerage division has promoted Timothy O. Allen to vice president and regional manager for leasing in the Northern Virginia region ... Evan M. Novenstein, director of land acquisition and development for the Lerner Cos., has joined Kettler & Scott Inc., a Vienna-based development firm, as senior vice president for commercial development ... CRI Inc., a real estate investment company, has named Harold L. Kramer, former president and chief executive officer of American Development and Finance Corp., vice president of its housing acquisitions department ... J. William Goetz has been promoted to vice president for preconstruction at Sigal Construction Corp. ... American Security Bank has promoted Shaun V. Kelley to vice president of its real estate division.