Real Estate Weekly – 9/21/12
Posted: 2:39 pm Fri, September 21, 2012
Affordable apartments for seniors being developed by D.C. Archdiocese
Construction has started on Victory Court, a mixed-income senior community that will bring 86 apartments to downtown Rockville. The property is being developed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s nonprofit affordable housing development affiliate, Victory Housing, in partnership with Montgomery County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the Housing Opportunities Commission and Capital One. Victory Housing operates 27 affordable communities with more than 1,800 rental homes for seniors and families in suburban Maryland and the District of Columbia.
NASA awards A/E contracts to four firms in Maryland
NASA has awarded contracts to four Maryland small businesses for architect and engineering services at the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Wallops Flight Facility and smaller Goddard facilities, such as remote tracking stations. The companies are Global Engineering Solutions Inc., of Rockville; Cho Benn Holback & Associates Inc., of Baltimore; EBL Engineers LLC, of Baltimore; and Waldon Studio Architects and Planners PC, of Columbia. The contracts are firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity. The total cumulative value for all orders placed under the four contracts is $15 million. The ordering period for all contracts will be five years. The companies will provide engineering and special studies, preliminary engineering reports, final design and follow-on construction services for nontechnical facilities design. The work includes facility restorations, office modifications and underground infrastructure.
Forrester Construction is building new cancer center in Rockville
Forrester Construction Co., of Rockville, a design-build and general contracting company, has begun construction of the $12 million, 51,000-square-foot Aquilino Cancer Center at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville. The first of its kind in Montgomery County, the freestanding, three-story, comprehensive cancer center will offer high-quality, personalized cancer care in a unique, academic-caliber environment. The new LEED Silver building is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013.
New apartment development underway in Hyattsville
Grady Management Inc., of Beltsville, a full-service residential and commercial real estate consulting firm, has started construction of a new, luxury apartment building in Hyattsville. Named 3350 at Alterra, the mid-rise multifamily building will consist of 283 apartment homes. The project is the first phase of a mixed-use planned redevelopment. The property will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, a cyber café, a lounge, game room, pool and fitness center. Residents will have access to garage parking as well as bike storage. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who took part in the groundbreaking, said “For us, this is a great day. This fits into our vision of transforming neighborhoods in Prince George’s County.”
Cassidy Turley brokers sale of Columbia distribution center
Cassidy Turley announced it brokered the sale of the 444,765-square-foot Oakland Mills Distribution Center in Columbia. Jonathan Carpenter and James Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group, along with Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team, handled the transaction between the seller, Emory Properties, and the buyer, Boston-based TA Associates. The sale price was not disclosed. This project, consisting of two warehouses at 7075-7081 Oakland Mills Road, is 61 percent leased. “This partially leased industrial portfolio represented a rare value-add opportunity in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor,” said Carpenter, senior vice president and principal at Cassidy Turley. “With most properties coming to market already well leased, this investment allows the buyer to capture upside and create value in an otherwise very heated market.”
NAIOP Maryland’s developing leaders set community service project at Paul’s Place
The Developing Leader section of NAIOP Maryland has scheduled a Community Service project to support the efforts of Paul’s Place on Sept. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The nonprofit organization, located at 1118 Ward St. in Baltimore, provides sustenance and support for low-income and homeless individuals and families. The Community Service day will involve the delivery of a range of essential items to Paul’s Place, including non-perishable food items, clothing and apparel, household staples, sporting goods equipment and games. Members of the Developing Leaders section will also help prepare and serve a hot lunch, and may work on three local Habitat for Humanity houses that are being constructed as a joint venture between Habitat for Humanity and Paul’s Place. For information on participating in the project, call Kate Sanft at 443-986-9429 or email email@example.com.
MacKenzie’s investment sales team completes $190M in transactions
MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate investment sales team members completed more than $190 million worth of transactions as of the first week of September, the Lutherville-based commercial real estate brokerage and consulting company said. Transactions covered office, flex, retail and industrial buildings in Maryland and Northern Virginia. “Stabilized product in well located areas of Maryland and Virginia continue to attract the greatest level of interest, resulting in 10-15 competitive bids from institutional and regional investors,” said Don Schline, the team leader. “Well-located retail and industrial assets with vacancy are being priced aggressively in anticipation of increased tenant demand or adaptive reuse development.” There are about $20 million of assets under contract and expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2012, Schline said. Another $25 million of retail, office and industrial assets are in the process of underwriting and marketing, and should close in the fourth quarter of 2012 or early 2013.
Katzen opens office in Abingdon
Katzen Eye Group celebrated the opening of its first location in Harford County with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, attended by representatives of the company and various county governmental officials. The 9,000-square-foot office at 3401 Box Hill Corporate Center Drive in Abingdon will offer a variety of subspecialty services including pediatric ophthalmology, retinal care, glaucoma services, oculoplastics and aesthetics. Additionally, the new practice will feature the very latest in clinical and diagnostic technology. Katzen says it is the largest private eye care practice in Maryland. Its 22 specialists provide a full range of services from offices in Lutherville/Towson, Rosedale, Bel Air, Abingdon and at Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore.
Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake opening new outlet store in Rosedale
Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake will open a new outlet store on Wednesday in Rosedale. This is the 28th store in the Baltimore area for the nonprofit, which provides job training and placement programs for people with disabilities or other physical, mental or disadvantaged social conditions. The new location marks the ninth retail store Goodwill has in Baltimore County, and the third outlet store. Community residents will be able to donate unwanted clothing and household items at the retail location. Outlet stores offer consumers the chance to purchase items priced per pound, instead of the usual price per item. Items available include shoes, handbags, clothes and more. The new Rosedale outlet store at 6255 Kenwood Ave. will create five new jobs. Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake also operates an e-books store where consumers can go online to purchase books. The operations for the Goodwill Good Books store will be moved to the new Rosedale outlet store, creating an additional three jobs.
New apartment development emphasizes eco-friendliness
Fore Property Co., a Washington-based national apartment developer and manager, said its newest community, Groveton Green Apartments in Owings Mills, will be open for occupancy next month. The $35 million, 226-unit development is the first and only LEED Gold-designed multifamily development in the Owings Mills area. “Residents get the benefit of reduced energy and water costs, lower carbon and pollution footprint, and healthier living from cleaner air without having to lift a finger,” Fore Vice President Jim Sullivan said in a prepared statement. The gated community’s green features include energy efficient windows, Energy Star appliances and lights, high-efficiency HVAC units and enhanced insulation. High-capacity MERV 8 air filters provide cleaner fresh air, along with eco-friendly carpeting and low volatile-organic compound paints. More than 50 acres on three sides of the development are dedicated to forest conservation, forest buffer, recreational greenway and other natural preserve.
First Sheraton opens in Silver Spring
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced the opening of the Sheraton Silver Spring hotel. Owned by Los Angeles-based Integrated Capital LLC, a hotel-focused, private real estate advisory and investment firm, the former Crowne Plaza has undergone an extensive renovation and conversion costing more than $5 million to bring it up to Sheraton standards. This is the first Sheraton-branded hotel in the suburban Washington community. The hotel offers 229 refurbished guest rooms and nearly 16,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with the latest in meetings technology. Additional amenities include a full-service restaurant and lounge, outdoor pool and fully equipped fitness facility.
SHA repairs Inter-County Connector bridges
(AP) Maryland State Highway Administration officials said crews are working to repair cracks found in overpasses on the Inter-County Connector. SHA inspectors have discovered cracks on 10 bridges along the new $2.5 billion toll highway. David Buck, a spokesman for the agency, said half of those cracks were found last year. Buck said the overpasses are still safe for motorists to use. The Washington Examiner was first to report on the existence of two of the most recently discovered cracks.
SHA to get grant for Walter Reed access
The Maryland State Highway Administration is to receive a $7.3 million grant from the Department of Defense to construct improvements at the intersection of Maryland Route 187 and West Cedar Lane/Oakmont Avenue in Bethesda. The money will be used to improve access to the Walter Reed National Military Center and reduce congestion in the surrounding community related to Base Closure and Realignment Commission consolidation. This is the first of four grants expected to be awarded to the Maryland Department of Transportation for this purpose, according to the announcement by Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, all Democrats.
Historic farm seeks life-long curator
(AP) Maryland officials are offering a lifetime lease to the historic Grove Farm in Cecil County in exchange for restoring and maintaining it. The Department of Natural Resources held an open house on Saturday and scheduled another for Oct. 13. The farm near Earleville is part of a state program that matches historic properties with those interested in restoring and maintaining them. The farm sits on 750 acres of protected farmland and woodland. The restoration will cover the Federal-style main house built around 1810, as well as other buildings. DNR officials said preference will be given to proposals from nonprofits with missions similar to theirs.
1st JW Marriott hotel in New York opens
Marriott International Inc., of Bethesda, the largest publicly traded hotel chain in the U.S., announced the opening of the JW Marriott Essex House New York, the brand’s first hotel in New York City. The hotel is located on Central Park South in midtown Manhattan, close to Central Park and Fifth Avenue’s shopping, dining and entertainment. Formerly the Jumeirah Essex House, the landmark hotel features 509 guestrooms and suites ranging from 300 to 2,500 square feet. The iconic Essex House first opened its doors in October 1931. Marriott International operated the hotel from 1969 to 1984.
Maryland House murals to be preserved
(AP) The state is planning to preserve a set of murals that have decorated a shuttered travel plaza near Aberdeen for more than 40 years. The pair of four-panel murals from the Maryland House on Interstate 95 will be kept in a climate-controlled fine-art storage facility because of their historic and artistic value, The Baltimore Sun reported. The murals painted by William A. Smith depict significant events and people in Maryland history. They were commissioned in 1966 and installed in 1968. The Maryland House is being rebuilt, but a Maryland Transportation Authority spokeswoman said the murals won’t be installed there. She said the agency has no plans for displaying the works.
Marriott to operate Bronx luxury hotel
Marriott International Inc., of Bethesda, the largest publicly traded hotel chain in the U.S., has signed an agreement with Bronx, N.Y.-based Simone Development Cos. to operate a luxury hotel under the Residence Inn brand at a new mixed-use project in the Bronx. Simone is developing the 370,000-square-foot office/retail/hotel complex called Metro Center Atrium as an addition to its 42-acre, multi-building Hutchinson Metro Center campus in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. The new Residence Inn at Metro Center Atrium will be the first luxury hotel to open in the Bronx. The 125-room extended-stay hotel is scheduled to open in 2014.
Proposed incinerator size uncertain
(AP) Frederick County officials say they’re considering downsizing a proposed trash incinerator due to uncertainty about Carroll County’s participation in the project. Frederick County Commission President Blaine Young told The Frederick News-Post Tuesday that the county would be “crazy” to build a 1,500-ton-per-day facility without a partner to share the cost. Carroll County has been seeking alternatives to participating in the $368 million project. It had agreed to be a 40 percent partner. Young said Frederick County officials need to study the situation before making any decision about changing the size of the project.
Developer seeks to buy Owings Mills mall
(AP) A Pikesville-based realty company is seeking to buy the Owings Mills Mall. Carl Verstandig, president and CEO of America’s Realty LLC, said he made an offer to Kimco Realty for the site. Verstandig said he would demolish much of the mall, and is considering opening a discount supermarket there. The Baltimore Sun reported that Kimco and its partner, General Growth Properties Inc., had planned a $65 million revitalization of the mall. But after an upscale shopping center was proposed nearby, Kimco indicated that it might drop the plan because the market couldn’t support so much retail.
European hotels to join Autograph brand
Marriott International Inc., of Bethesda, the largest publicly traded hotel chain in the U.S., announced plans to add three European hotels to its Autograph Collection brand by the end of the year. The hotels are the Fontecruz in Lisbon, Portugal; the Hotel De Bourgtheroulde in Rouen, France; and the Hotel L’Hermitage Gantois in Lille, France. Autograph Collection consists of upper, upscale and luxury, independent hotels with distinctive personalities in major cities and desired destinations worldwide. Autograph Collection hotels can access Marriott’s global reservations system and technology, sales and marketing platforms. The additions will expand the Autograph Collection to 12 hotels in Europe, and 40 worldwide.
Hagerstown stadium funding clouded
(AP) A $15 million private donation toward construction of a downtown minor league baseball stadium in Hagerstown isn’t assured, the Herald-Mail newspaper reported. Councilman Lewis Metzner told the newspaper that the city hasn’t confirmed that the prospective donor has the money. He said private sector funding is crucial to securing $10 million from the state for the $30 million project. This month, Metzner said the city had a verbal commitment from the Pennsylvania man, whose identity hasn’t been disclosed. The stadium would house the Hagerstown Suns, a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
Easton eyes waterfront site for new park
(AP) Easton is considering turning an 11-acre public works storage site into a new waterfront park, the Star-Democrat of Easton reported. The proposed Easton Point park on the banks of the Tred Avon River would have outdoor classrooms, an amphitheater, boardwalk, living shoreline and marina. Plans also call for a kayak launch and a pedestrian bring across a river tributary to an adjoining neighborhood. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy presented plans for the park to the Town Council this week. The park would sit on an area currently used as a public works department equipment and supply storage site.
Greenberg Gibbons of Owings Mills announced that it has named Eric Walter as senior vice president, acquisitions and finance. Walter will be responsible for overseeing acquisition opportunities and all areas of project finance for the retail development company. Before joining Greenberg Gibbons, Walter worked for CBRE’s Washington office in the National Retail Investment Sales Group. During his tenure at CBRE, he was responsible for the financial underwriting, market analysis and due diligence for retail properties in the mid-Atlantic region, closing more than $1 billion in retail investment sales transactions. Walter is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Urban Land Institute.
Trout Daniel & Associates, a full-service commercial real estate company, announced the lease of 4501 Curtis Avenue, a 54,000-square-foot building in Baltimore, to Chesapeake Compost Works Benefit LLC. Centrally located in a heavy industrial business community, the property will be used to operate a green industrial recycling facility that converts organic waste materials into compost, the largest of its kind in Maryland. Steven L. Cornblatt, principal at Trout Daniel, represented the tenant in the transaction. Toby Mink of BTR Curtis LLC represented the landlord. The facility will open on Oct. 1, following minor tenant improvements to the property. A new aeration system is being installed to completely manage the composting process and eliminate odors. Approximately 10 new jobs will be associated with the composting operations.
Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore office announced that DuClaw Brewing Co. signed a lease for 62,962 square feet at 8901 Yellow Brick Road in Rosedale. A craft brewery, DuClaw will locate its headquarters and brewery at the site. DuClaw plans to begin beer-brewing in the building early next year and will hire up to 35 people for production, distribution, sales and marketing. Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring with Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore Core Industrial Leasing Team represented the building owner, RREEF, in the transaction. The tenant was represented by Dave Dannenfelser with Colliers International.
Merritt Properties LLC said its in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs handled negotiations that resulted in Rim Renew LLC, a provider of vehicle rim repairs, rim and tire sales and general auto repairs signing a lease for 844 square feet of retail space at the Forty West Auto Park, 6431 Baltimore National Pike, in Catonsville.