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Real Estate Weekly – 2/8/13

Construction starts on downtown Silver Spring apartment building

Insight Property Group LLC and Nova-Habitat LLC held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for Fenwick Station, a six-story, 310-unit apartment development two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station in downtown Silver Spring. The new residences are located on the site of the former U.S. Post Office distribution facility at 8616 Second Ave. Fenwick Station, which is being built to LEED Silver specifications, will include 39 affordable units within the mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments and will offer 11,000 square feet of amenity space. Site features include a public plaza, a Capital Bikeshare station, for which Insight dedicated the land, and a temporary walking and biking trail that will ultimately connect to the planned Capital Crescent Trail.

Sparks office complex sold for $23.7 million

Cushman & Wakefield said it served as the exclusive advisor to Equus Capital Partners Ltd. (formerly BPG Properties Ltd.) in arranging a $23.7 million sale of Tower Point at the Highlands in Sparks. The buyer was an affiliate of Greenfield Partners. Tower Point at the Highlands is a 162,646-square-foot portfolio consisting of two Class-A campus-style office buildings at 920 and 930 Ridgebrook Road. The buildings are located within a planned business park along the I-83 corridor in north-central Baltimore County. The property is at 96 percent occupancy, with 6,046 square feet vacant, and has no near-term tenant rollover. Cristopher Abramson, Brian Kruger and Nicholas Signor of Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets group represented the seller, Equus Capital Partners.

BusinesSuites to open branch at Annapolis Towne Centre

BusinesSuites, a company that offers fully furnished, work-ready offices and office suites on a short-term basis, is opening an 11,621-square-foot location at Annapolis Towne Centre, it was announced by Owings Mills-based Greenberg Gibbons, the developer of the mixed-use residential and retail center. Tenants will have access to Internet, phone and mail service, copiers and scanners, and a fully stocked café and lounge. Qualified receptionists will answer phones and greet visitors. The new executive office center will open in April, on Annapolis Towne Center’s second level space above Anthropologie.

Planners seek biking and walking input

The Maryland Department of Transportation wants to hear from people who enjoy walking or biking. The agency is seeking citizen input for an update of the state’s 20-year Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan helps guide the development of policies and programs for cycling and walking, both on and off road. The agency is encouraging people to take an online survey on its website, www.mdot.maryland.gov. The plan will be completed next January.

Tutoring firm to open office in Baltimore

Varsity Tutors LLC, a St. Louis, Mo.-based national tutoring company, said it will open an office in Baltimore this month but did not reveal the location. The 5-year-old company currently has locations in 14 major metropolitan areas, including Washington, D.C., which it says is one of its largest markets. Varsity currently employs 60 full-time employees and uses more than 1,600 tutors nationwide.

U.S. 50 bypass upgrades under way

Maryland highway officials are starting some upgrades to the U.S. 50 bypass in Salisbury to prevent erosion. The State Highway Administration said the work was scheduled to begin Friday and is expected to be completed by late spring. The first phase involves shoring up slopes along three ramps connecting the bypass with Naylor Mill Road. After that, contractors will do slope renovation along the sides of the bypass. That part of the project will involve lane closures. The work includes regrading existing slopes, planting grass and installing plastic grids to hold the grass and soil in place during storms. David A. Bramble Inc. of Chestertown will perform the construction work.

Cassidy Turley to market old steel mill

Commercial Development Co. Inc., on behalf of Sparrows Point LLC, has selected Cassidy Turley, a Baltimore-based commercial real estate company, as the exclusive listing agent for the former RG Steel Mill at Sparrows Point. The 3,100-acre industrial and marine terminal encompasses four industrial buildings totaling 1.2 million square feet, a deepwater pier with a large capacity turning basin and 3,000 feet of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay. The site also has direct access to I-695, is served by CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads, and has its own short-line railroad operation on site with more than 160 miles of track. Rick Latini, Craig Lewis and Jeffrey Samet will lead Cassidy Turley’s marketing team.

Historic buildings database unveiled

A new online database provides information about historic buildings in the city of Frederick. The project was completed with a $25,000 grant from the Maryland Historic Trust and includes photographs and other information on about 1,900 properties in the city’s historic district. Lisa Mroszczyk Murphy, the city’s historic preservation planner, told the Frederick News-Post that the database lets people “appreciate what was there and what we have now.” The project involved an architectural historian consultant and the conversion of old slides into digital photographs.

LEASES 

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate company, announced it completed leasing of over 40,000 square feet of space at 8909 McGaw Court and 6655 Dobbin Rd. in Columbia during the fourth quarter of 2012. Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team represented the landlord, Velsor Properties, in the transactions.

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