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Real Estate Weekly – 6/28/13

Construction starts on new Route 100 Tech Park building

St. John Properties Inc. has started construction on the first building in its new Route 100 Tech Park, an 18-acre, mixed-use development in Hanover. The building is a single-story, 24,190-square-foot structure featuring 16-foot ceiling heights, ample glass lines and an adjacent surface parking lot. It is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification for environmental sustainability. The building, located at 1743 Dorsey Road, is configured to support a wide variety of office users, including service-oriented companies, medical-related firms and physician practitioners, and entrepreneurial entities. Upon completion, the tech park will contain more than 120,000 slquare feet of office, R&D/flex and retail space. The project represents St. John Properties’ eighth technology park in the immediate vicinity of Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The project is a joint venture with Hanover Princess LLC Principals Michael Stavlas and Jon Zhoulis.

Forrester completes major renovation of Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum

Forrester Construction Co., of Rockville, announced it has completed an $18 million renovation of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Part of a comprehensive multi-phase restoration of the museum’s aging infrastructure, the 30-month, 36,000-square-foot project included construction of new exhibit spaces and renovation of the education, library, office, lab and child care areas. The project has won numerous Washington Building Congress craftsmanship awards. Public areas will open in July.

Drug maker expands Baltimore office

Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., a manufacturer of generic drugs headquartered in Mumbai, India, has renewed a lease for its North American sales and marketing division at 111 S. Calvert St., the Baltimore office of Cushman & Wakefield announced. Lupin, one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., will double its space, taking 34,432 square feet on two full floors. The distinctive, 28-story Harborplace Tower, which overlooks the Harborplace pavilions at the Inner Harbor, is one of downtown Baltimore’s landmark office buildings. Like Harborplace, it is owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. Lupin Pharmaceuticals was represented by Bruce Matthai of Cassidy Turley. C&W’s Tim Jackson represented the landlord, GGP.

Troy Park construction underway in Elkridge

Howard County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially launch construction of the new Troy Park at Elkridge. The planned park will serve the far Eastern region of Howard County surrounding Elkridge with multiple ball fields, pavilions, playgrounds, trails and an indoor sports facility and community center. Construction encompasses multiple phases, the first of which will be completed in the spring of 2014.

JHU holds unveiling of business accelerator

The Johns Hopkins University o unveil FastForward, the university’s first business accelerator. The university’s Whiting School of Engineering launched FastForward to help turn the best ideas born on campus into moneymaking ventures. FastForward is located in the historic Stieff Silver building on the north side of Baltimore near the Homewood campus. Four fledgling companies have already moved into the building at 810 Wyman Park Drive, and another four are expected to join them over the next six months.

EA office build-out awarded LEED Gold

Merritt Construction Services, of Woodlawn, announced that the office build-out for EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. has been awarded LEED Gold certification for Commercial Interiors by the U.S. Green Building Council. EA’s new corporate headquarters occupies two floors of Schilling Green II, a LEED Platinum office building at 225 Schilling Circle in Hunt Valley that was completed by Merritt last year. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings. Nearly 50,000 projects are currently participating in the commercial and institutional LEED rating systems, comprising 9.3 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 135 countries.

Elkridge industrial building acquired

Gramercy Property Trust, a self-managed, integrated commercial real estate investment and asset management company headquartered in New York City, announced that it paid $9.8 million in two all-cash transactions to acquire two large industrial buildings, one of them in Maryland. The company did not break out the individual transactions. The Maryland property has 61 dock doors and is located on approximately 10.5 acres in Elkridge. It is leased through May 2019 to an unidentified trucking company. The other property is located in Nassau County, N.Y., and is leased through December 2019, also to a national less-than-truckload motor transporter.

Problematic water mains trouble WSSC

Washington’s Maryland suburbs have a large number of problematic concrete water mains that are prone to exploding without warning. That’s according to a review of 21 large utilities by The Washington Post. The Post reported that the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has 350 miles of large concrete water mains, an inventory that’s second only to Detroit’s. The mains are designed to carry high volumes of pressurized water. Many were installed in the 1970s, when industry standards were less strict. Nine of the mains have blown apart since 1996, including one that exploded this spring along Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase.

Vacant mall could be horror movie set

(AP) A horror movie director wants to shoot a film in an abandoned mall in Frederick. Director Eduardo Sanchez lives in Urbana and made Burkittsville famous with “The Blair Witch Project” in 1999. He told The Frederick News-Post that he’s developing a screenplay set in the cavernous, empty Frederick Towne Mall. Cal Glorioso, director of the Frederick Film Office, is trying to negotiate a deal between Sanchez and Rockwood Capital, of White Plains, N.Y., which owns the property and is trying to redevelop it. Wal-Mart is eying the property, and the mall could be torn down soon. Sanchez said he would probably need a few weeks to shoot the movie.

Ten Wal-Mart sites in Md. get ‘solarized’

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced that solar energy installations have been completed at 10 stores in Maryland. The sites — eight at Wal-Mart department stores and two at Sam’s Clubs — will generate approximately 4.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually — enough energy to power nearly 370 homes (according to the Environmental Protection Agency calculator), and are expected to supply between 5 to 20 percent of each store’s overall electricity use. San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity Corp. installed a total of 13,400 solar panels at the Wal-Mart stores in Arbutus, Berlin, California, Cockeysville, Fallston, Hagerstown, Laurel and Severn, and Sam’s Clubs in Salisbury and Severn.

Columbia pavilion makes national news

Word that Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion as the fourth-best outdoor concert venue in the United States, and tops on the East Coast, has Howard County Executive Ken Ulman singing. “Nothing makes me more proud than seeing Merriweather Post Pavilion receive the recognition it deserves,” Ulman said in a statement. In its July 4-18 issue, Rolling Stone ranks Merriweather behind three outdoor venues in Los Angeles, Denver and George, Wash. The 46-year-old Merriweather also was ranked earlier this year as one of the top five outdoor concert amphitheaters in the country by Pollstar, a music industry magazine and website.

Report: Sea level rise will affect Maryland

A panel of scientists is urging the state to plan for a rise in sea level of as much as two feet by 2050. Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, who chaired the group, said the recommendations are intended “to ensure that infrastructure is sited and designed in a manner that will avoid or minimize future loss or damage.” Maryland has 3,100 miles of tidal shoreline and low-lying rural and urban lands that will be impacted. The report was prepared in response to an executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley requiring state agencies to consider the risk of coastal flooding and sea level rise when planning capital projects.

USRA decides to keep headquarters in Columbia

The Universities Space Research Association, a nonprofit organization that conducts research for the U.S. space program, announced that it has acquired a 90,000-square-foot building in the Columbia Gateway section of Howard County for its national headquarters, and will move into the new space in November. The organization, which conducts research in astronomy, earth science, space biomedicine, space technology and computer science, had outgrown its small headquarters office in Columbia, where it has been located since 1976. Last year, USRA began looking for more space, including in Houston, Texas, where it already owned a building. However, after meeting with state and Howard County Economic Development Authority officials, the organization decided to remain in Columbia.

Hopkins, Walgreens team up on new store

Johns Hopkins Medicine and Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen Co. announced plans to open a new Walgreens store at the Science and Technology Park being built adjacent to the Johns Hopkins medical campus in East Baltimore. The store will offer a variety of health and wellness programs and services for medical students, hospital staff and community residents. The store expands on a partnership formed by Hopkins and Walgreens in 2011 to explore new models for improving patient care. Among services will be a “Take Care Clinic,” Walgreen’s first in-store retail clinic in Maryland, staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners. Construction is scheduled to begin in July with a planned opening in late November.

LEASES 

H&R Retail Inc., a Baltimore-Washington retail brokerage company, announced two recently completed lease transactions:

* Clarksville Mini Mart leased 992 square feet for a new convenience store at 12447 Clarksville Pike in Clarksville. Brian Mitchell of H&R Retail represented the landlord in the transaction.

* Pretty Lady Pole Fit leased 1,440 square feet for a new store at 1`0272 Lake Arbor Way in Mitchellville. Brian Mitchell of H&R Retail represented the tenant in the transaction.

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Merritt Properties LLC, of Baltimore, a privately held developer of office, flex, warehouse and retail properties, announced the following recently completed lease transactions:

* Gym Source Mid-Atlantic LLC, a commercial distributor of fitness equipment, leased 12,500 square feet of warehouse space at 821 Oregon Ave., in Linthicum. John Boote of CBRE represented the tenant; Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw represented the landlord.

* The Renfrew Center of Maryland LLC, an outpatient eating disorder treatment facility, leased 4,981 square feet of office space at The Brokerage, 1122 Kenilworth Drive, in Towson. Tim Jackson of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord.

* BBT Scott & Stringfellow, a full-service regional brokerage and investment banking firm, leased 4,810 square feet of office space at 303 International Circle, in Hunt Valley. Gail Chrzan of CBRE represented the tenant. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord.

* BackInTheBlack LLC, a technology provider in the financial sector, leased 4,136 square feet of office space at 729 E. Pratt St., in Baltimore. John Singler of Hyatt Commercial represented the tenant. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord.

* Cardinal Restoration LLC, a furniture restoration company, leased 2,700 square feet of combined office and warehouse space at Annapolis Business Center, 1981 Moreland Parkway, Building 4B Bay 2, in Annapolis. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord. The tenant representative was not identified.

* Nussli (US) LLC – Indianapolis, an international supplier of temporary structures for events, trade fairs and exhibitions, leased 18,000 square feet of warehouse storage space at 8991-9993 Yellow Brick Road, in Rosedale. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord. The tenant representative was not identified.

SALES 

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider, announced that it arranged the sale of 6351 S. Hanover Road in Elkridge. The property is a 61-door truck terminal located on 10.5 acres. New York-based Gramercy Property Trust purchased the asset for $5.9 million, or $96,721 per door. The terminal is fully occupied by New Penn, a subsidiary of YRC Regional Transportation, specializing in Northeast regional short-haul service. The seller, A. Duie Pyle, was represented by Jonathan M. Carpenter, James S. Wellschlager and Lawrence Casey, all of Cassidy Turley.

CBRE announced that it arranged the sale of three multi-tenant industrial assets in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The properties at 8210 Wellmoor Court in Jessup, 4615 Hollins Ferry Road in Halethorpe, and 9325 Snowden River Parkway in Columbia were acquired by MIM-Hayden Real Estate Funds. Combined, the three buildings contain 705,379 square feet of space. Details of the transaction, including financial aspects, were not disclosed. Jonathan Beard and Bo Cashman of CBRE’s Baltimore Investment Properties team and John Boote of CBRE Brokerage and Industrial Services represented the seller.

PERSONNEL 

Jones Lang LaSalle, a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services, announced that Robert Foa has joined the firm as a vice president in the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Practice Group. Foa has more than 10 years of experience in industrial investment sales and leasing, and will be based in the firm’s Bethesda office.

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider, announced the promotion of Robert Shovan to senior vice president. Shovan joined Cassidy Turley in June 2012 and is responsible for the oversight of more than 7 million square feet of managed property in the Baltimore market. The portfolio is now comprised of 45 properties, which include industrial, medical, office, flex and retail assets. Shovan is responsible for maintaining relationships with 28 clients.

Tom DallaPalu

Tom DallaPalu, a vice president in the Baltimore office of Dewberry, a national provider of architectural, engineering, and management and consulting services, was awarded the firm’s Harold Williams Award in recognition of his career achievements and more than 40 years of service. Presented annually to a Dewberry employee, the award recognizes excellence in managerial and leadership skills, dedication to the firm and the profession, mentoring of colleagues, effectiveness in change management, and integrity. DallaPalu oversees civil engineering and surveying services in Dewberry’s Baltimore region. After earning his degree in water resources engineering at Penn State, DallaPalu joined Dewberry in 1972 as an assistant design engineer. DallaPalu also holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.

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