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Real Estate Weekly: Mercy opens new medical facility

Plantation plan problem

Development plans for a once-thriving plantation site near the National Harbor resort on the Potomac River’s shore in Prince George’s County are drawing scrutiny from preservationists, who say slave quarters left at the site could be destroyed.

The plantation was once owned by physician and slave owner John H. Bayne. In 1834, a 14-year-old slave girl was hanged for killing Bayne’s three children in a revolt. National Harbor developer Milton Peterson is seeking permission for an in-depth archaeological study of the site.

The land was rezoned for development years before he bought the property. The county’s African American Heritage Preservation Group wants to have the site preserved.

Zipcars at retail places

Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville, a real estate investment trust focused on high-quality retail assets, said it has an arrangement with Zipcar Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based short-term car-rental company, to provide patrons at FRIT’s shopping centers with access to Zipcar vehicles.

Federal Realty will provide dedicated spaces for Zipcar vehicles at four locations in the Washington metropolitan area, including two in Maryland: Bethesda Row in Bethesda and Congressional Plaza in Rockville. The other two are in the District and Arlington, Va.  Zipcar is already ensconced in Baltimore and Washington, as well as on college campuses including the Johns Hopkins University.

Forrester honored by NAIOP

Forrester Construction Co. received four NAIOP MD/DC Awards of Excellence at a recent gala, where companies were honored for superior performance in commercial and industrial real estate.

Rockville-based Forrester received awards for its work on the American Society of Hematology headquarters, Buddha Bar, Department of Employment Services headquarters and the Watha T. Daniel Shaw Library, all located in Washington, D.C.

KBE completes two projects

KBE Building Corp. announced the completion of two projects: a 51,000-square-foot Harris Teeter supermarket in Olney and an 40,000-square-foot LA Fitness sports club in Pasadena. KBE, a commercial construction company, is located in Columbia and Farmington, Conn.

YWCG opens first Anne Arundel office

Yerman Witman Gaines and Conklin Realty LLC, the residential real estate brokerage division of The Strata Group, announced the opening of its first full-service location in Anne Arundel County.

The office is located in the Severn Square Shopping Center, 2622 Annapolis Road in Severn. Approximately 50 Realtors are expected to staff the Baltimore-Washington Corridor region from this office, the company said. Joanne Poole, a past president of the Anne Arundel County Association of Realtors and the Maryland Association of Realtors, as well as a past recipient of the Realtor of the Year for Anne Arundel County, has been named branch manager for the new Severn Square office.

YWGC has eight offices throughout the Central Maryland region, and is scouting locations for future offices in Maryland.

Electrical engineering firm renovates warehouse for use as Baltimore headquarters

M.C. Dean Inc., a Dulles, Va.-based electrical engineering firm, has located its Baltimore headquarters in a renovated warehouse in the city’s Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood in West Baltimore. It said it will create at least 75 jobs at the site, hiring and training local workers from the neighborhood to begin work in the electrical trades as apprentices.

M.C. Dean purchased the former warehouse at 180 W. Ostend St., once home to the American Box Co., nearly four years ago, and designed the 105,000-square-foot building renovation in conjunction with Baltimore-based Kinsley Construction Co. and Notari Associates, an architectural and interiors and management organization. The extensive renovations include solar roofing and LEED Silver registration for energy efficiency.

The company will occupy 75,000 square feet of space in the upper two floors of the renovated brick warehouse. Two future tenants will split another 10,000 square feet of office space between them, while the remaining 20,000 square feet consists of a parking garage and common area.

Bozzuto Group LEEDs

The Bozzuto Group of Greenbelt, a diversified residential development, construction and management company, announced that two of its communities have earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Fitzgerald, a, new mixed-use development in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon district, received LEED Silver certification. Consisting of 275 luxury apartments, 24,000 square feet of street-level retail and a 1,245-space public parking garage, The Fitzgerald is the largest LEED-certified residential development in Baltimore and home to the city’s first public electric-vehicle charging stations.

Also recognized with LEED certification was Riverwalk at Millennium, an apartment complex in suburban Philadelphia that was renovated after being severely damaged in a fire.

New life for old school

The Baltimore Development Corp. is seeking the redevelopment of a vacant former high school in East Baltimore. The 125,000-square-foot building at East North Avenue and Broadway dates to 1905 when it housed Eastern High School. In 1950 it became the home of Gompers Vocational School. Later it became an affordable housing project. In 1997, the city of Baltimore acquired it from the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development. The BDC is asking for proposals from developers who would purchase and renovate the building for a use other than residential. Proposals are due to BDC by close of business on Aug. 16.

New tenants at Baltimore’s Federal Reserve Building The Federal Reserve Bank Building at 502 S. Sharp St., in Baltimore’s Otterbein neighborhood, has lured some new tenants in recent weeks. Catalyst IT Services and the Better Business Bureau | Greater Maryland signed leases to move their offices to the 250,000-square-foot, Class B office building, which was built in 1982 and is located close to Camden Yards and the Baltimore Convention Center. Law firm Bierer & Margolis PA also leased space within the past six months. Catalyst IT Services leased 6,132 square feet, BBB took 4,236 square feet and Bierer & Margolis occupies 5,040 square feet, for a total of 15,408 square feet. The highly secured building is also home to CACI and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Baltimore Branch, for which the building is named. Terri Harrington of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC represented both the Federal Reserve and the Better Business Bureau. Matt Seward of Cassidy Turley represented Catalyst IT Services.

Mercy opens new medical facility

Mercy Health Services has opened Lutherville Personal Physicians, a $5 million medical facility in a 45,000-square-foot building that was once a Giant supermarket. Located at York and Ridgely Roads in the Ridgely Shopping Plaza, Lutherville Personal Physicians is a comprehensive, one-stop, medical facility, featuring primary care, physician care, and diagnostic radiology, chemotherapy and pulmonary services. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, said the “innovative use of space is an example of how creative thinking can reinvigorate older commercial buildings and shopping centers.” Lutherville Personal Physicians expects between 75,000-100,000 primary care patient visits per year.

PERSONNEL

RMF Engineering Inc., a Baltimore-based, full-service engineering firm, a Baltimore-based full-service engineering firm, added two new mechanical engineers: Paul Orzewicz as senior project manager, and Richard Heim as project engineer. RMF provides planning, design, engineering, commissioning and facility assessment services, and has more than employees in offices along the East Coast.

LEASES

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following leases were signed in May:

* Corridor Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, leased 1,570 square feet of office space at The Exchange, 1122 Kenilworth Drive, in Towson. Karen Robertson of CB Richard Ellis represented Corridor in lease negotiations. Merritt was represented by its own team consisting of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering , Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs.

* Also leasing space at The Exchange in Towson was American Infrastructure Inc., an infrastructure construction company, which signed for 611 square feet of office space. The team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering , Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented Merritt Properties.

* Cabezon Group Inc., a full-service program management firm specializing in health care delivery, emergency management and other markets, leased 3,096 square feet of office space at 6031 University Boulevard in Ellicott City. Cassidy Turley’s Michael Bosica represented Cabezon. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties represented the owner.

Blue & Obrecht Realty reported the following lease transactions:

* Homewood General Contractors leased 5,328 square feet of flex space at 11110 Pepper Road in Hunt Valley. Paul F. Obrecht III, Richard F. Blue Jr., and Krager D. Sanders of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the landlord, First Industrial Realty Trust.

* Health Quest Chiropractic and Physical Therapy leased 5,120 square feet of office space at 7920 McDonogh Road in Owings Mills. Paul F. Obrecht III, of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC, and Jon DiVirgilio of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services represented Health Quest. Julio Purcell of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services represented the owner.

* Broadband Partners Inc., a supplier of cable accessories, leased 7,500 square feet of flex space at 1809 Fashion Court in Joppa. Richard F. Blue Jr. and D. Middleton Smith III of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC represented Broadband Partners. Whit Levering of Merritt Properties represented the andlord, Merritt Properties LLC.

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