Real Estate Weekly – 8/31/12
Posted: 3:18 pm Fri, August 31, 2012
Continental Realty acquires property in Orlando, Fla.
Continental Realty Corp., a Baltimore-based commercial real estate development and management company, announced its acquisition of Waterford Park, a 116,000-square-foot mixed-use project consisting of commercial office, medical and retail space in Orlando, Fla. CRC paid $13.25 million for the bank-owned asset, or about $115 per square foot. Ray Turchi and Ryan Cockerill of Marcus & Millichap represented the seller, with Continental self-represented in this transaction. The two-story property in Orange County was completed in 2008 and includes tenants such as BB&T, Florida Radiology Imaging and Keller Williams Realty and Signature Title Co.. Current occupancy is approximately 45 percent.
St. John adds to land holdings at Baltimore Crossroads @95
St. John Properties Inc., of Baltimore, announced its acquisition of 18 acres within Baltimore Crossroads @95, a 1,000-acre mixed-use business community on MD Route 43 near Interstate 95 in the White Marsh section of Baltimore County. Since 2004, the company has developed 16 buildings representing half a million square feet of commercial office, R&D/flex and retail space in the park. St. John Properties intends to use the acreage to connect two existing land parcels and create a contiguous 60-acre building plot within Baltimore Crossroads@ 95. The road and infrastructure construction activity, which is designed to improve access and circulation within the existing business community, is expected to commence next month and be completed by the end of this year. When it is completed, Baltimore Crossroads @95 will be configured to support more than 5 million square feet of commercial office, R&D/flex, warehouse and industrial space, as well as two hotels and 450,000 square feet of retail space.
Students at AACC helped design new tech center at campus library
Students and members of the public coming into the newly renovated and expanded Andrew G. Truxal Library at Anne Arundel Community College will find more places to study — both alone or with a group, more technology available for group study and tutoring sessions, enhanced quiet areas and easier access to reference assistance and student support services. The library, which reopened Aug. 27 for the first day of fall classes, was designed after working with focus groups of students, faculty and staff who requested more quiet areas, more individual computers and increased seating and study space, especially for collaborative work. AACC also worked with Ewing Cole Architects and contractor Hess Construction and Engineering Services to design a sustainable building with the goal of receiving a silver-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating. The school has applied for that rating.
Landis to showcase capabilities of Geostellar
Landis Construction Corp., a residential design/build company based in Takoma Park, is holding a solar launch party on Thursday showcasing the capabilities of Geostellar, a new firm offering real-world, high-resolution 3D models of every rooftop on every home in the major solar markets. Co-sponsor Kenergy Solar, also of Takoma Park, installed a 20 KW solar panel system in 2012 on top of the Landis headquarters, where the event will take place. Geostellar applies deep science to illuminate the value of the sunshine that falls on roofs every day.
Jemicy School starts construction of green science classroom
Jemicy School in Owings Mills, a school for students with dyslexia or other related language-based learning difficulties, has broken ground on a 1,500-square-foot, stand-alone, green science classroom on its lower and middle school campus. The classroom, designed by Towson-based Rubeling & Associates, will provide Jemicy students with a non-traditional classroom experience, complete with renewable energy, indoor and outdoor gardening and an outdoor instructional area. Features include an exterior terraced garden; windows and skylights to provide a greenhouse effect to aid in indoor planting; and rainwater collection barrels. An offset gable roofline will maximize the southern roof exposure to make room for solar panels. The classroom is expected to be completed and operational by the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
Senator Theatre to be sold to operators
Baltimore officials are planning to sell the historic Senator Theatre to its current operators. The Baltimore Sun reported that Kimberly Clark, acting president of the Baltimore Development Corp., announced the sale last week but did not disclose the terms. The city purchased the Art Deco landmark in North Baltimore in 2009 after it went into foreclosure. The quasi-public BDC then selected Charles Theatre owners Kathleen Cusack and her father, James “Buzz” Cusack, to run it. The Cusacks are renovating the theater, adding three new screens and a wine bar. The Senator opened in 1939 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Howard Hughes Corp. buys Columbia office building
The Howard Hughes Corp. has bought a nine-story office building next to The Mall in Columbia that once housed the headquarters of the former Ryland Group. The building is close to land upon which Dallas-based Hughes plans to build a $100 million apartment and retail complex. The property is known as 70 Corporate Center. With nearly 170,000 square feet of space, it is one of Columbia’s largest office buildings. The Hughes company was spun off from General Growth Properties Inc. to manage much of GGP’s non-retail properties when the Chicago-based mall owner restructured following a bankruptcy filing.
Farms eligible for energy-upgrade grants
State officials say grants of up to $200,000 are available to Eastern Shore farmers looking to upgrade the energy efficiency of their farms. The Maryland Energy Administration said the program is aimed at covering up to 75 percent of the cost associated with increasing insulation, ventilation, irrigation or HVAC upgrades. The Daily Times of Salisbury reported farms and agricultural businesses will be eligible for the grants if the project they are proposing will increase energy savings by at least 15 percent. All projects must be completed by April 1 to be eligible for one of the estimated 10-15 grants the agency anticipates giving out.
Regional PATH power line project killed
An effort to build a $2 billion regional power transmission line from West Virginia to Maryland has officially ended. The board of regional power grid planner PJM Interconnection last week formally removed the 765-kilovolt Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline from future plans, the Frederick News Post reported. PJM Interconnection’s staff recommended on Aug. 9 that the power line was no longer needed. The staff said a slow economy has reduced demand for electricity. More power generation also has become available. The project, known as PATH, was proposed in 2007 to meet expected growing demand for electricity in the 13-state region overseen by PJM.
C&W picked for Columbia office portfolio
Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office announced it has been named the exclusive listing agent for six additional buildings in Greenfield Partners’ Maryland-based office and flex portfolio, totaling 205,000 square feet. In January, Greenfield Partners awarded 20 buildings and nearly 650,000 square feet to Cushman & Wakefield, which brings the total listing assignment to 855,000 square feet. The buildings are all located in several business parks in Columbia. Greenfield Partners is a private real estate investment company based in Norwalk, Conn. This year, Greenfield Partners turned over management of a portfolio of office buildings in Hunt Valley and White Marsh to MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate LLC.
Maryland homeowners get mortgage agreement funds
More than 2,800 Maryland homeowners have received more than $224.4 million in relief from a national mortgage settlement between the federal government and five major banks, according to Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler. Gansler said an initial progress report from a court-appointed monitor shows benefits and assistance covering home mortgage modifications, principal reductions, deficiency waivers, refinancings and short sales. The monitor’s report reviewed the period from March 1 through June 30. Gansler said more than $200 million in additional relief was in process as of June 30. He said Maryland’s share of the $25 billion national settlement is estimated at nearly $1 billion.
McCormick opens ‘World of Flavors’ store
McCormick & Co. Inc., the Sparks-based global producer of spices and flavorings, has opened the company’s first retail destination, McCormick World of Flavors, on the first floor of the Light Street Pavilion at Harborplace. The brand showcase features McCormick’s range of products, with areas focused on cooking, baking and grilling. Interactive displays include “Guess That Spice,” a game that tests your sense of smell; “FlavorPrint,” an interactive personalized flavor profile; and “Flavors in the Making,” videos on how spices and herbs are made. Cooking demonstrations and product sampling allow visitors to experience the variety of flavors available in the retail store.
Maryland’s largest solar installation opens
A ribbon-cutting Wednesday at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg celebrated the completion of the largest solar power plant in Maryland — a $50 million, 16.1 megawatt, grid-connected photovoltaic installation financed, owned and operated by Baltimore-based Constellation Energy. Electricity generated by the system is purchased by the Maryland Department of General Services and the University System of Maryland under 20-year solar power purchase agreements with Constellation. The system, consisting of 220,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels, is situated on 100 acres of land leased by Constellation from the university. In addition to the 16.1-megawatt system, Constellation developed a 1.6-megawatt solar power system on the site that will supply power directly to the university.
Maryland highway work-zone crashes drop
Crashes, fatalities and injuries in highway work zones are at a 10-year low, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. Based on data from the last three years, the state agency said fatalities in work-zone crashes decreased by more than half. There were nine fatalities in 2009 compared with three in 2011. The number of people injured decreased from 827 to 688. Overall, there were 200 fewer crashes between 2009 and 2011. The SHA credited its Maryland SafeZones program with automated speed enforcement cameras for the decline. Since the program launched in 2010, speeding violations in construction zones have decreased more than 80 percent.
Maryland consumer agency penalizes home builder
Antoine Knott, an unregistered home builder from Charles County, has been penalized nearly $838,000 by the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General for violations of Maryland laws protecting new-home buyers, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced Thursday. Regulators said the $283,000 in restitution, $465,000 in penalties and other costs totaling about $90,000 were levied because Knott failed to complete two new homes in Charles and Prince George’s counties, did not return money the consumers had already paid, and failed to pay subcontractors or resolve building code violations.
Md. awarded $1M U.S. grant for Martin State Airport study
The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded a $1 million grant to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Aviation Administration for an environmental assessment of Martin State Airport’s five-year capital improvement plan. Announcement of the grant was made Thursday by U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both D-Md. Martin State Airport, located near Middle River in Baltimore County, serves both corporate and general aviation activity, as well as the Maryland Air National Guard. The grant will be used to conduct detailed studies of the potential environmental impacts of proposed airport improvements, including runway pavement reconstruction and taxiway upgrades.