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Real Estate Weekly – 12/7/12

N.J.-based REIT acquires large warehouse in Belcamp

Chambers Street Properties, formerly CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, a private real estate investment trust based in Princeton, N.J., said it has purchased Gateway at Riverside, an 800,797-square-foot industrial warehouse/distribution facility in Belcamp. The purchase included an adjacent, approximately 15-acre land parcel, enabling future expansion of up to 400,000 square feet. Details of the acquisition, including financial terms, were not disclosed, but a knowledgeable industrial real estate source said the facility sold for more than $50 million. The source requested anonymity because the terms are private. The building is fully occupied by a subsidiary of an unidentified consumer product manufacturing company.

Mahan Rykiel Associates has role in award-winning Mosaic

Mosaic, a 31-acre mixed-use development in Fairfax County, Va., received the “Outstanding Neighborhood or Small Area Plan” from the National Capital Area American Planning Association. Mahan Rykiel Associates, a Baltimore-based landscape architectural, urban design and planning firm, developed schematic design through construction documents for Mosaic. Design concepts involved establishing pedestrian and vehicular connections, parking layouts, creating 20,000 square feet of green roofs, planting design, and paving. The LEED Silver-certified project incorporates a number of sustainable features including electric car charging stations, advanced stormwater management systems and connections to existing public transportation.

Becker Morgan Group lauded for work on Del. school addition

Becker Morgan Group, a Salisbury-based architecture, engineering, surveying and interior design firm, was awarded a citation by the Delaware chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its work on the Milford Central Academy in Milford, Del. The project is a 126,000-square-foot addition to Milford High School. Designed to serve 1,000 students in grades 8 and 9 while sharing athletic and music facilities with the adjacent high school, the new addition required complete redesign of site circulation, allowing for separation of buses and vehicular traffic and the construction of new athletic fields. Milford Central Academy also utilizes numerous energy conservation techniques, including a 300-well geothermal HVAC system and a 150KW, 743-panel solar voltaic array, one of the first on a public school in the state.

Odenton apartments’ owner offers discounts to ‘Heroes’

Johnson Development Associates, a multi-family residential developer that owns the 252-unit Haven at Odenton Gateway apartment complex, announced its “Hometown Heroes” program. “In appreciation of their service and commitment, The Haven at Odenton Gateway offers active duty military, Defense Department contractors and Anne Arundel County firefighters/police officers exclusive discounts that includes 5 percent off the market rent, 50 percent off the application and administrative fees and we also waive the security deposit with an approved credit,” said Ben Graves, president of the Multi-family Division at Johnson Development Associates. “We feel the holiday season shouldn’t be the only time to give back to those that serve.”

Cassidy Turley brokers sale of Harrisonburg, Va., warehouse

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider with offices throughout the U.S., announced the sale of the I-81 Distribution Center, a 357,673-square-foot bulk distribution center in Harrisonburg, Va. The building is fully leased to Ply Gem Holdings Inc. through February 2018. Jonathan M. Carpenter and James S. Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller, Philadelphia-based BPG Properties. Boston-based Stag Industrial Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust, purchased the property for $16.05 million.

HBAM presents builder, associate awards

The Home Builders Association of Maryland, a nonprofit trade organization that advocates for the building industry in the Central Maryland area, honored Bob Goodier of Goodier Builders Inc. with its Builder Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony Thursday night. Howard Perlow of Residential Title Co. was presented with the Associate Lifetime Achievement Award. Also cited for their accomplishments were Tim Ellis of T.W. Ellis LLC, Builder of the Year; and Steve Gilman of AssemblyLine Inc., Associate of the Year. John Kortecamp, HBAM’s executive vice president, who will retire on Dec. 31, was also honored for his 16 years of service to the association.

Providence Center gets grant for rehab

Providence Center, a Glen Burnie-based nonprofit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities, received a $500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation to help pay for extensive renovation of the Jean Bradbury Building in Arnold, the oldest of the nonprofit’s five program sites. More than 400 individuals, foundations and businesses donated more than $2.1 million for the building’s renovation. BuilderGuru Contracting of Millersville and Gardiner and Gardiner Contracting of Crofton are overseeing the rehab work. Providence Center provides health care, psychological counseling, life-skills training, vocational training, job placement and retirement services to clients throughout Anne Arundel County.

Historic downtown building up for sale

Baltimore International College has put its historic Commerce Exchange Building at 17 Commerce Street in downtown Baltimore up for sale. Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the property as a redevelopment opportunity for multifamily, hotel, office or retail use. The 80,555-square-foot building originally housed the Baltimore Grain Trading Exchange. Built in 1906 after the Great Baltimore Fire, and completely renovated in 1985, the five-story building with an adjoining, improved lower level features a unique Renaissance-Revival style, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Baltimore International College became a branch of Virginia’s Stratford University in January 2012.

Mitt Romney rejoins Marriott’s board

Marriott International Inc., of Bethesda, the largest publicly traded hotel chain in the U.S., announced that W. Mitt Romney, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for president of the United States in the 2012 election, has rejoined its board of directors. His term began on Monday. Romney served twice previously on the Marriott board, from 1993 to 2003 when he left prior to being elected governor of Massachusetts, and from January 2009 to January 2011, when he resigned prior to his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Company executives said Romney had been a strong presence on the board before and they are pleased to have him back again.

Host Hotels acquires five European hotels

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., of Bethesda, a lodging real estate investment trust that owns upscale and luxury full-service hotel properties, said a fund belonging to its European joint venture acquired five hotels – four in Paris and one in Amsterdam – with 1,733 rooms, at a price of approximately $708.3 million. The seller was Whitehall, the real estate arm of Goldman Sachs. The acquisition price, which Host Hotels said represents a significant discount to replacement cost, has been partially funded by a $402 million loan secured by the properties with an interest rate of approximately 4.4 percent.

Ritz-Carlton to open hotel in Kazakhstan

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC, of Bethesda, said it will open the first hotel in Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union. The Ritz-Carlton, Almaty will open in late 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. The 145-room hotel will be located inside a 37-story office building in Esentai Park, a mixed-use project that includes an extensive shopping mall, fitness club and residential complexes. Ritz-Carlton, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bethesda-based Marriott International Inc., currently operates 80 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, and has more than 30 hotel and residential projects under development worldwide.

Firm seeks to renew downtown buildings

The Baltimore Development Corp. said Wednesday it intends to negotiate an agreement with a Philadelphia real estate development firm, PMC Property Group, leading to the purchase and redevelopment of six city-owned vacant commercial properties at 117 Water St. and 26-36 S. Calvert St. Following an unsolicited proposal from PMC, the BDC issued a request for proposals for the properties on Aug. 1, 2012. No one else responded to the RFP. PMC has proposed a mixed-use residential and retail development with 140 market-rate apartments and approximately 30,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, at an estimated cost of $20 million.

Large warehouse and land in Belcamp sold

Chambers Street Properties, formerly CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, a private real estate investment trust based in Princeton, N.J., said it has purchased Gateway at Riverside, an 800,797-square-foot industrial warehouse/distribution facility in Belcamp. The purchase included an adjacent, approximately 15-acre land parcel, enabling future expansion of up to 400,000 square feet. Details of the acquisition, including financial terms, were not disclosed, but a knowledgeable industrial real estate source said the facility sold for more than $50 million. The source requested anonymity because the terms are private. The building is fully occupied by the subsidiary of an unidentified consumer product manufacturing company.

Cambria Suites hotels enter N.Y. market

Choice Hotels International Inc., of Silver Spring, a hotel franchise chain, announced that three new Cambria Suites hotels are under construction simultaneously in the New York City area. Cambria Suites is Choice Hotels’ upscale lodging segment, targeting business travelers seeking an all-suite hotel with exceptional services and amenities. The three hotels, located in Times Square and Chelsea in Manhattan, and downtown White Plains in Westchester County, will have a total of 461 rooms and represent a combined investment of approximately $141 million. Choice’s partners in the projects are Concord Hospitality Enterprises (Times Square), We Care Trading Co. Ltd (Chelsea) and Meyer Jabara Hotels (White Plains).

LEASES

YKK AP America Inc., a manufacturer of high-quality building products used in commercial and institutional construction, leased 28,684 square feet of space at 6670 Business Parkway in the Meadowridge Distribution Center in Elkridge. The company, which is moving from the Jessup area, will use the space to manufacture and distribute a variety of aluminum building products used by commercial builders, such as door entrances, storefronts, curtainwalls and window wall systems. James Caronna, a principal at NAI KLNB, represented the tenant in the lease negotiations; Ben Meisel of Cushman and Wakefield represented Prologis, the landlord.

Utz Quality Foods Inc. signed a lease with St. John Properties Inc. for 12,000 square feet of office space at 8445 Progress Drive in the Riverside Technology Park in Frederick. Utz is the largest independent snack foods manufacturing company in the United States. The company will use the space in Riverside, a six-building, 490,000-square-foot business community on Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick, as a direct store delivery location for sales and product distribution management personnel, serving the Western Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia territories. Danny Severn of St. John Properties represented the landlord and Tom Poss of Long & Foster represented the tenant in this transaction.

Cole Taylor Equipment Finance has signed a lease for almost 10,000 square feet at the 501 Fairmount Avenue building in Towson to house its commercial equipment financing group. The company will occupy the space on March 1, 2013. Brian Wyatt and Doug Brinkley from Cassidy Turley represented the tenant in this transaction. The landlord, Heritage Properties Inc., was represented by Peter Waldron.

Cushman & Wakefield announced it brokered a new lease for 4,580 square feet of office space at 217 International Circle in Hunt Valley. HighTower Holding LLC, the nation’s first adviser-owned financial services firm serving wealthy families and institutional clients, is the first tenant to join the owner-occupier, Bunting Management Group, in the LEED Platinum building. Tim Jackson of Cushman & Wakefield negotiated the lease on behalf of the owner.

Wind River Inc., a clothing designer, leased 4,000 square feet of office and distribution space at 1430 Progress Way, Suites 101-103, in Eldersburg. Merritt Properties LLC’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs handled the deal on behalf of the landlord.

Discover Books, a distributor of used books, leased 300 square feet of office space and 10,200 square feet of warehouse space – a total of 10,500 square feet – from Merritt Properties LLC at 2678-2680 W. Patapsco Ave. in Baltimore. Merritt was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw. Transwestern’s Brian Watts represented the tenant in the transaction.

PERSONNEL

Michelle Reed, a vice president at McShea Residential Inc., of Gaithersburg, has been installed as president of IREM West Central Chapter 92, representing Montgomery, Frederick and Washington counties. The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) is an international community of real estate managers across all property types dedicated to ethical business practices and maximizing the value of investment real estate. Reed has more than 27 years of property management experience. At McShea her responsibilities include overseeing 1,526 residential units. She specializes in turning underperforming properties into high occupancy, low delinquency, stabilized assets performing above projections.

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