Real Estate Weekly – 10/12/12
Posted: 2:10 pm Fri, October 12, 2012
Café opens at Walters Art Museum
Baltimore native Ashley McCauley has opened “Q at the Walters” Café, featuring a smoothie bar, Italian soda bar and steamer bar with all-natural Italian syrups and dark and white Italian chocolate sauces, topped with homemade whipped cream. McCauley launched her first such operation, Café Q, in 1998 at Johns Hopkins University. Her company focuses on professional espresso technique, superior service and tasty edibles from local artisan kitchens, such as Patisserie Poupon and Desert Café.
Stone’s Cove KitBar to open in Owings Mills
Stone’s Cove KitBar, a combination kitchen/bar featuring a “fork-meets-cork” entertainment philosophy, has signed a lease with Boulevard Realty Investors LLC for 4,000 square feet of space within Boulevard College Center. The Northern Virginia-based company intends to open its inaugural Maryland location in the mixed-use project on Owings Mills Boulevard by early 2013. Boulevard College Center, a mixed-use project comprised of Class “A” office space, retail space and Stevenson University student housing residence buildings, is located adjacent to the university’s Owings Mills campus. The 55-acre project is managed by David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd.
Bethesda mixed-use complex purchased by Florida company
Equity One Inc., of North Miami Beach, Fla., an owner, developer and operator of shopping centers, announced that it has acquired, or is under contract to acquire, four properties for a total investment of $260 million. One of the properties is in Bethesda, the other three are in the New York metro area. The Bethesda asset is the 22-acre Westwood Complex. The site consists of 214,767 square feet of retail space, a 211,020-square-foot apartment building, and a 62-unit assisted living facility. The transaction, initially structured as a $95 million mortgage loan, will be completed with an outright purchase of the property for $140 million with an anticipated closing prior to January 2014. The main retail center is anchored by a Giant Food store, which has a lease that expires in 2019 with no term remaining. The apartment building is leased to Montgomery County, and is subject to a purchase right in 2017, which is expected to be exercised. The assisted living facility is leased to Manor Care Health Services through 2015 with no term remaining.
CFG Community Bank opens Fells Point branch
CFG Community Bank has opened a full-service branch in Fells Point, its third in the Baltimore area. The office occupies about a 1,000-square-foot space at 1615 Thames St., about a block from the Fells Point waterfront. The branch’s five employees are headed by branch Manager Curtis Pope. CFG will hold a grand opening celebration of the new branch on Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., and is inviting the public — and particularly neighborhood businesses — to come and enjoy complimentary Stuggy’s hamburgers and hotdogs, as well as learn about all the new services that the bank has to offer. CFG’s other branches are located in Annapolis and Lutherville-Timonium.
Windspeed Logistics expands at First Potomac property in Va.
Bethesda-based First Potomac Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that owns and manages office and industrial properties in the Greater Washington and Norfolk regions, announced a 33,150-square-foot lease expansion with Windspeed Logistics LLC. The company will occupy a total of 133,639 square feet of space at Diamond Hill Distribution Center in Chesapeake, Va. Windspeed’s expansion brings Diamond Hill to 95 percent leased. Windspeed first became a tenant of First Potomac when it leased an initial 27,000 square feet in November 2004 at the Chesapeake, Va., complex. Baltimore-based Windspeed is a full-service agent for Cowan Systems LLC. The firm specializes in warehousing, container drayage, importing/exporting, distribution, consolidation, cross docking and truck brokerage, and has additional facilities in Union, N.J., and Wilmington, Del.
Sinai Hospital opens new neuro-rehab center
Sinai Hospital has opened a new neurological rehabilitation center, one of the most advanced such facilities in Maryland, at its campus in Northwest Baltimore. The Louis and Phyllis Friedman Neurological Rehabilitation Center, located on the fifth floor of the hospital’s South Tower, provides specialized rehabilitation services to adults who have sustained a brain injury, stroke or other neurological disorder. The center features the latest technology, a team of more than 40 doctors, nurses and therapists, and an emphasis on family-focused care. The center cost $7.7 million to construct and equip, and was built with the help of a $2 million grant from the state of Maryland as well as a lead gift from Louis and Phyllis Friedman. Government support and private philanthropy account for 47 percent of the project cost to date.
Manekin employees lend a hand to help United Way’s ‘Day of Action’
Manekin LLC employees turned out in force to help out in the United Way of Central Maryland’s “Fall Day of Action.” Employees who volunteered at the Howard County Food Bank were tasked with sorting and bagging produce — 1,006 pounds of peaches and 2,436 pounds of potatoes provided by the Mid Atlantic Gleaning Network and donated to the food bank; packaging frozen meat; stocking shelves in the food bank’s “grocery store”; and replacing out-of-date items. Moreover, Manekin delivered the $475 and 334 pounds of food employees had collected during a two-week food drive held in conjunction with the UWCM’s Access to Healthy Food Initiative. Items included canned fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, chili, soups, juice, bottled water and pasta sauce. “Manekin takes pride in giving back to the community, and we had a great time rolling up our sleeves to further help the United Way, which we have supported for over 35 years,” said Chris Marotta, Manekin’s human resources administrator. Last year, Manekin employees raised $24,631 to support the United Way campaign.
Corporate Office Properties Trust, an office-focused real estate investment trust headquartered in Columbia, announced it signed three leases with tenants totaling 363,300 square feet of Class A office space at its Redstone Gateway project in Huntsville, Ala. One tenant leased an existing office building, 1000 Redstone Gateway, in its entirety. In addition, multiple leases have been signed for 100 percent of two new office buildings totaling 242,200 square feet; construction of 1100 Redstone Gateway and 1200 Redstone Gateway is scheduled to commence prior to year-end. The company anticipates the tenants will occupy 1000 Redstone Gateway in mid-2013 and the 1100 and 1200 Redstone Gateway buildings by the first quarter of 2014. None of the tenants was identified. Redstone Gateway is a consolidated joint venture formed in March 2010 between COPT (85 percent ownership) and Jim Wilson & Associates (15 percent partner).