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Real Estate Weekly – 2/22/13

Job opportunities available for workers and subcontractors at Sparrows Point Shipyard

SKW Constructors said it is hiring workers at the Sparrows Point Shipyard and Industrial Park in Dundalk as construction begins on huge reinforced concrete tubes and fans for tunnels in Hampton Roads, Va. SKW will directly hire up to 100 workers, with subcontractors hiring additional carpenters, concrete finishers, mechanics, structural and reinforcing iron workers, surveyors, truck drivers and laborers. SKW Constructors, a joint venture of Skanska, Kiewit and Weeks, already has awarded subcontracts to 57 Baltimore metro area companies valued at nearly $5 million. SKW is looking for additional subcontractors, particularly minority- and women-owned companies who are currently certified or can be certified by the Virginia Minority Business system. An information session for interested subcontractors and job candidates will be held on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at CCBC Essex. Advance registration is required, for subcontractors at http://skwcontractors.eventbrite.com; and for job seekers at http://skwjobs.eventbrite.com. No job interviews will be conducted at the session and resumes will not be accepted.

Maryland gets more money than expected from National Mortgage Settlement

Distressed Maryland homeowners have received more money that was expected from the National Mortgage Settlement, Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced. The third quarterly progress report, issued by the court-appointed Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, shows 14,217 Maryland homeowners received assistance from the settlement from March 1 through Dec. 31, 2012. They received a total of more than $1.1 billion, which does not include more than $118 million in active trial modifications. Maryland’s share was projected to be $957 million, including an estimated $900 million in direct relief and assistance to Maryland homeowners. Benefits and assistance calculated in the report include home mortgage modifications, principal reductions, deficiency waivers, refinancing, and short sale financial assistance. Nationally, nearly $46 billion has either been distributed or is in process nationwide to more than 550,000 borrowers by the five national lenders under the settlement: Ally/GMAC, Bank of America (Countrywide), Citi Bank, JPMorgan Chase (WaMu) and Wells Fargo (Wachovia).

Housing counseling agencies getting mortgage settlement funds

Maryland officials announced the award of $11.8 million over three years to the 39 foreclosure prevention counseling agencies belonging to the MD HOPE Counseling Network. The amount represents the highest funding level for foreclosure prevention counseling in the history of the state, and will enable counselors to help approximately 20,000 Maryland consumers annually, up from 15,000 in fiscal year 2012. The funds are from the 2012 mortgage loan servicing settlement with the nation’s five largest lenders and from the Maryland Housing Counseling Fund. By regions, the recipients include: 14 agencies in Washington metro area, nearly $5.4 million; 14 agencies in Baltimore metro area, nearly $3.8 million; three agencies in the Eastern Shore, $635,000; five agencies in Western Maryland, $838,846; and three agencies that serve the entire state, $1.1 million.

COPT ranks high in tenant satisfaction

Corporate Office Properties Trust, of Columbia, announced it has won the “National Commercial Real Estate Customer Service Award for Excellence” for the ninth consecutive year, by achieving the “Best In The Industry” ranking in 2012 by CEL & Associates, the nation’s largest surveyor of tenant satisfaction within the real estate industry. The “National Commercial Real Estate Customer Service Award for Excellence” is the largest of CEL’s categories and pertains to companies owning and/or managing over 100 properties. The “Best In The Industry” ranking is for providing the highest level of quality and service to tenants.

LEASES

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following recently signed leases:

* Smart Space Solutions Inc., a flooring and security system company, has leased 3,333 square feet of warehouse and office space at 8839 Kelso Drive in Essex. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs handled the deal for both the tenant and the landlord.

* The Franklin-Levering-Boeri-Combs team also handled lease negotiations that resulted in Chasendavis OM LLC agreeing to lease 5,122 square feet of warehouse space at 11221 Dolfield Blvd. in Owings Mills, for use as a training facility.

* Mahlet Consulting Inc., telecommunications consultants, signed a lease for 1,152 square feet of office space at 6021 University Blvd., in Ellicott City. Merritt’s in-house team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw, represented both landlord and tenant in the transaction.

PERSONNEL 

Ruppert Landscape’s president, Chris Davitt, announced that he will retire from his position in January 2014. He will remain with the Laytonsville-based company in an active advisory role with the management team and will serve on the company’s advisory board. Davitt has been with Ruppert for 34 years. Ruppert Landscape provides commercial landscape installation and landscape management services from 15 branch offices in the metropolitan areas of Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Richmond, Va., and Atlanta.

MacKenzie Capital LLC has added Jay Pfeifer as an assistant vice president. Pfeifer will assist principals of the company in the arrangement and placement of real estate financing, both debt and equity, on behalf of their clients. He will also be responsible for spearheading business development initiatives of MacKenzie Capital. A graduate of Syracuse Univesity, Pfeifer has worked for a direct real estate lender and as an analyst and leasing broker for a full-service real estate company.

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