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Real Estate Weekly – 1/25/13

Shakespeare Company prepares future home downtown

The 10-year-old Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is almost ready to move into its new space in the 1885 Mercantile Trust and Deposit Co. building at 200 E. Redwood St., on the corner of Calvert and Redwood. Monday, the entire theatre group turned out to scrape, paint and renovate for a volunteer day at the company’s future home.

Beech Street Capital notches second year of 100% growth

Beech Street Capital LLC, a Bethesda-based mortgage banking firm, provided $4.0 billion in multifamily financing in 2012, achieving a 100 percent annual growth rate for the last two years, the company announced. Beech Street’s Fannie Mae financing grew 150 percent and the Freddie Mac business tripled. At year end, Beech Street’s servicing portfolio consisted of 643 loans and over $7.3 billion, spread over 33 states.

First Potomac Realty Trust signs new leases in N.Va.

Bethesda-based First Potomac Realty Trust, which owns office and industrial properties in Greater Washington, has announced the signing of four new leases, totaling 47,491 square-feet, at Three Flint Hill and Atlantic Corporate Park in Northern Virginia. “Redeveloping Three Flint Hill allowed us to maximize its value-add potential, and as a result attracted both established and entrepreneurial tenants who are looking for energy efficient, first-class facilities,” stated James ”Skip” Dawson, First Potomac’s Executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Atlantic Corporate Park is another LEED certified property in our Northern Virginia portfolio offering high quality space in the heart of Loudoun County’s best amenities.” The new leases at Three Flint Hill bring the $10 million redevelopment up to 80 percent leased since delivery at the end of 2011.

State rated No. 6 in LEED certifications

Maryland ranks sixth on the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual list of the top 10 states for LEED certifications. (LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design.) The per-capita list, which recognizes those states that are leading the way in transforming buildings and communities, is based on 2010 Census data and reflects certifications for commercial and institutional buildings. With more than 47 million total square feet of LEED-certified space through 2012, Maryland had 1.90 square feet per capita last year. The District of Columbia ranked first, at 36.97 square feet per capita, followed by Virginia at 3.71.

Baltimore Hotel Week runs over Valentine’s

City hotels and Visit Baltimore, the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore, are promoting the inaugural Baltimore Hotel Week Feb. 8-18. Fourteen hotels are offering special packages for as little as $99 per night for the period that runs into Presidents Day weekend. Some packages include tickets to Baltimore attractions such as the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Great Blacks in Wax Museum and American Visionary Art Museum. For more information, go to baltimore.org/getaroom.

Oak Contracting to provide construction management services to Snow Hill

Oak Contracting LLC, of Towson, has announced that the Worcester County Board of Education has selected it to provide construction management services for the $41 million Snow Hill High School renovation. The project calls for renovating and enlarging the 1958 facility by adding state-of-the art classrooms, a media center, computer labs, a science wing, a gymnasium, a cafeteria/ kitchen and a new athletic complex. When complete, the high school’s current square footage will be increased to 124,000 square-feet. The new school will include several highly efficient sustainable features such as a geothermal heating/cooling system, motion-activated lights, thermally insulated glass and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Oak Contracting is a regional construction management firm specializing in new construction and renovation for the education and medical research sectors. Since 1971, it has handled hundreds of projects in the Baltimore-Washington corridor with a value of more than $1 billion.

Sudlersville school design wins award of excellence 

Sudlersville Middle School in Queen Anne’s County has won a 2013 Wintergreen Award for Excellence in the category of public project of the year from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Maryland chapter. The school, which was built to house 600 students, came in under budget at a cost $23.2 million school, according to Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates – Architects, the designer. The 100,884-square-foot facility is built to minimize costs over a 40-year building lifespan and incorporates sustainable design elements. It has LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) through the USBGC, and 76.7 percent of the spaces are lit by natural daylight. “There are entire walls of glass emitting sunlight,” said Jon Dewey, a teacher. “That light envelops you as you walk in.” Andrew N. Onukwubiri, the county schools’ design and construction program manager, said the school is more energy efficient than any other building in the system.

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