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Real Estate Weekly – 2/17/12: NAIOP Maryland wins two national awards

NAIOP Maryland wins two national awards

From left, Tim O'Ferrall, Executive Director, NAIOP Maryland; Taylor Fields, James F. Knott Realty Group; Wayne Wilhelm, Wilhelm Business Enterprises; Dianna Wilhelm, President, NAIOP Maryland; and Dwight Taylor, formerly of Corporate Office Properties Trust.

NAIOP Maryland captured two Chapter Merit Awards, in the “Community Service” and “Developing Leaders Program” categories, at the NAIOP National Conference last week in Washington, D.C. In the community service category, chapter members were lauded for constructing picnic tables and floating wetlands for the Living Classrooms Foundation, and assisting with submersion of oyster cages in partnership with Chesapeake BaySavers. In the developing leaders area, the chapter was honored for sponsoring various activities and events, such as networking sessions and community service initiatives, targeting real estate professionals 35 years old and younger. NAIOP, the trade association for developers, owners, investors and other professionals working in the commercial real estate industry, consists of 55 separate chapters and nearly 16,000 individual members around the country.

CAPTION: From left, Tim O’Ferrall, Executive Director, NAIOP Maryland; Taylor Fields, James F. Knott Realty Group; Wayne Wilhelm, Wilhelm Business Enterprises; Dianna Wilhelm, President, NAIOP Maryland; and Dwight Taylor, formerly of Corporate Office Properties Trust.

KLNB Retail brokers sale of former Walmart in Del.

KLNB Retail’s Vienna, Va., office brokered the sale of a 118,000-square-foot building formerly owned and occupied by Walmart in Dover, Del. The property is located on a 15.2-acre parcel along Delaware Route 13 (Dupont Highway). The buyer, BCP LLC, paid $5.2 million. Kevin Barrett of KLNB Retail represented BCP; the seller, Wal-Mart Realty, was self-represented. The new ownership — a partnership of real estate development and investment groups based in Kennett Square, Pa.; Baltimore; and Dover, Del. — develops, owns and manages a variety of commercial and retail real estate projects in the mid-Atlantic. BCP plans to subdivide the space into four to six sections suitable for a variety of regional and national retail companies.

Baltimore County reaches 75% of land preservation goal

Baltimore County has preserved 60,000 acres of rural and agricultural land, reaching 75 percent of its goal of permanently preserving 80,000 acres, according to an announcement from County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. In 2011, county landowners preserved 28 properties containing more than 1,200 acres, using various programs for the permanent protection of farmland, woodland, streams and coastline. Farms comprised 900 acres, ranging in size from 22 acres to more than 100 acres. Preserved lands span the county, and include woodlands on the Back River Neck Peninsula, crop farms, working forests, horse farms, wildlife areas and large crop-production farms near the Pennsylvania border. “I am very proud of our nationally recognized success in preserving valuable open lands, and truly appreciate the personal commitment that hundreds of landowners have made to this important effort,” Kamenetz said.

Book on Montgomery County historic sites available online

The 10th-anniversary edition of “Places from the Past: The Tradition of Gardez Bien in Montgomery County, Maryland,” an out-of-print book that inventories the county’s historic sites, is now available online. (Gardez Bien, a French phrase meaning to guard well or take good care, is the county motto, adopted in 1976.) The coffee table-type publication, illustrated with photographs, architectural drawings and maps, is available as free downloads by chapter or as a print-on-demand digital edition for a fee. “Places from the Past” documents the history of architecture and community planning in Montgomery County. The book features a series of essays on building traditions, housing types and outbuildings, as well as an inventory of historic districts and sites. The inventory is organized by geography within the county and includes orienting maps as well as images and descriptions of some 400 individual historic sites and 20 historic districts. For information on ordering copies, click here.

Pennsylvania distribution center commands $16.2M sale price

Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore office announced the sale of 200 West Stewart Huston Drive, a 314,521-square-foot bulk distribution center in Sadsbury Township, Pa., for $16.2 million. Jonathan Carpenter and James Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller, Yardley, Pa.-based private equity real estate fund manager BPG Properties Ltd. New York City-based AREA Property Partners was the buyer. Wellschlager, Cassidy Turley’s senior vice president, said: “This Class A distribution facility, with expansion capabilities and full occupancy, offered the buyer credit and risk averse income in the near term, while providing the potential for value creation in the future. Product offerings like these with stability, yet the potential for future upside, are in high demand in today’s market and will command healthy interest and pricing.”

New eateries planned at White Marsh Mall

White Marsh Mall announced that four new restaurants will soon enlarge its dining and merchandise mix. Charley’s Grilled Subs will open a 429-square-foot eatery in the mall’s food court in the spring. Also opening in the spring will be Yolavie, a purveyor of self-serve frozen yogurt, in a 972-square-foot space on the upper level. Coming in late summer will be Buca di Beppo, an Italian-themed restaurant that will occupy 6,944 square feet, and The Greene Turtle, a sports bar and casual restaurant, which is planning to open in 5,776 square feet in the fall.

Ares Holdings leased 10,150 square feet of office space at 8306 Patuxent Range Road in Jessup, Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore office announced. Jarred Testa, Michael Walsh and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team represented the landlord, RREEF. Ares Holdings was represented by Michael Mull of KLNB.

Marriott announces quarterly dividend

Marriott International Inc. of Bethesda announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 10 cents per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on March 30, 2012, to shareholders of record on February 24, 2012. Marriott also announced that its board has increased the authorization to repurchase the Company’s Class A common stock by an additional 35 million shares, for a total of approximately 40 million shares currently authorized for repurchase. Shares may be purchased in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The company repurchased 43.4 million shares for $1.4 billion in 2011.

Agreement affects Mount Clare museum

The B&O Railroad Museum and the Maryland Society of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America announced an agreement giving the railroad museum operational control of the 1760-era Mount Clare Museum House. Under the agreement, the B&O museum has taken over the Georgian-style mansion’s daily operations, event scheduling and educational programming. The Colonial Dames will continue to maintain the house and its paintings, furniture and decorative arts collection. The Dames have operated the museum house since 1917 under an agreement with Baltimore City, owner of both the house — a National Historic Landmark — and surrounding Carroll Park in Southwest Baltimore.

Kamenetz unveils new business strategy

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz on Tuesday unveiled a new strategic plan for the county’s Department of Economic Development. Under the plan, the department will focus its attention on nine employment centers where targeted private investments in key “game changer” projects could improve the overall business climate. Those areas are UMBC-Southwest; Federal Center @ Woodlawn; Liberty Road Corridor; Owings Mills; Hunt Valley-I-83 Corridor; Towson; White Marsh-Middle River; Essex-Pulaski; and Sparrows Point-Dundalk. Economic development efforts also will focus on six high-growth employment clusters: corporate headquarters/operations centers/shared services; federal agencies and contractors; health care; information/advanced technology; manufacturing; and port-related industries, logistics and distribution centers.

Host Hotels’ FFO rises in fourth quarter

(AP) Host Hotels & Resorts Inc.’s fourth-quarter funds from operations improved as the lodging real estate investment trust’s occupancy improved and room rates rose. The Bethesda-based REIT’s FFO climbed to $224 million, or 31 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 30, from $191 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier. Taking out acquisition costs and other items, adjusted FFO was 32 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted adjusted FFO of 22 cents per share. Revenue increased 11 percent to $1.66 billion from $1.49 billion in the 2010 period.

Company intent on building energy tower

Clean Wind Energy Tower Inc., of Annapolis, an independent producer of clean, renewable energy. said it is seeking permission from the U.S. Department of the Interior to lease a substantial amount of federal land in the southwestern United States for the development and construction of a downdraft tower. A downdraft tower, or energy tower, is a tall, hollow cylinder in which water is sprayed onto hot air at the top. As the air cools, it falls to the bottom where it drives a turbine to generate electricity. CWET also has applied for a temporary use permit to assess the suitability of the site, whose location was not revealed.

Planned Talbot Co. power project nixed

(AP) A wind and solar power project proposed for a Talbot County wastewater treatment plant has been canceled by the County Council. Council members said at Tuesday’s meeting that the expected electricity savings of $13,000 to $15,000 was not enough to justify the $200,000 the county would have had to pay for the $600,000 project, which was to be paid for primarily with state funding, the Star Democrat of Easton newspaper reported. Residents also expressed concerns about potential harm to migratory birds from turbine blades, the risk a blade could break off and strike a nearby school, and the aesthetics of the turbine tower.

FRIT’s 4th-quarter FFO shows dip

Federal Realty Investment Trust, of Rockville, a real estate investment trust focused on high-quality retail assets, reported fourth-quarter funds from operations available to common shareholders of $62.1 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, compared to $62.2 million, or $1.01 per share, in the prior-year period. Revenue for the quarter rose to $141.5 million, compared to $137.3 million in the 2010 period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average forecast earnings of 98 cents per share on revenue of $130.1 million. The company said its results were impacted by expenses associated with acquiring two shopping centers in Rockville and El Segundo, Calif.

Pebblebrook receives new loan

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on luxury hotels in urban markets, said it obtained a new, $47 million, non-recourse, secured loan from PNC Bank. The five-year loan, with a fixed annual interest rate of 4.25 percent, is secured by a first mortgage on the company’s Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco, Calif. Pebblebrook will use loan proceeds to pay down the outstanding balance on its credit facility, to fund future acquisitions and for general business purposes. Pebblebrook currently owns 14 hotels with 3,812 guest rooms, and has a 49 percent joint venture interest in six hotels with 1,733 rooms.

COPT receives new loan from banks

Corporate Office Properties Trust, of Columbia, a real estate investment trust focused on serving the needs of tenants in the U.S. government and defense information technology sectors, said it obtained a five-year, $250 million loan from a group of banks. The loan can be expanded to $400 million under certain conditions. The company is using proceeds to repay outstanding balances on its unsecured line of credit. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners. Other banks involved were JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, PNC Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo Bank.

LEASES

Ares Holdings leased 10,150 square feet of office space at 8306 Patuxent Range Road in Jessup, Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore office announced. Jarred Testa, Michael Walsh and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team represented the landlord, RREEF. Ares Holdings was represented by Michael Mull of KLNB.

Guernsey Office Products, an independently owned and operated provider of office products, furniture, break room products and related services, leased 10,344 square feet of space at 1200 Indian Creek Court in Beltsville, from which it will service its more-than-8,000 accounts along the Interstate-95 corridor from New Jersey to Virginia. Cassidy Turley’s Jarred Testa, Michael Walsh and Tilghman Herring represented Guernsey Office Products. Jeb Boland of First Potomac Realty Trust represented the landlord.

The Corduroy Button, an upscale children’s boutique, has leased 3,500 square feet on the second level of The Shops at Kenilworth, a retail center in Towson. The new tenant is planning to open prior to the Easter holiday in April. The space was formerly occupied by the Growing Up Shoppe. This is the second location for The Corduroy Button, whose original shop is located in Fells Point. MacKenzie Retail handled the lease negotiations for the landlord.

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following recently signed leases:

* Harbor East Real Estate LLC, a real estate company, leased 571 square feet of office space at 729 E. Pratt St., Suite 1900, in Baltimore. Harbor East is the developer of the planned new headquarters of Constellation Energy, which is in the process of being sold to Chicago-based Exelon Corp. for $7.9 billion. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs handled the lease negotiations on behalf of the landlord.

* Johns Hopkins University leased 6,300 square feet of warehouse space at 4220 Shannon Drive in Baltimore. The Franklin-Levering-Boeri-Combs team represented Merritt Properties.

* Hong Tu Trading Inc., a vending/drink supplier, leased 2,637 square feet of warehouse space at 3 Nashua Court, Suite E, in Essex, Baltimore County. Merritt Properties was represented by its in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering , Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs.

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