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Real Estate Weekly – 7/19/13

Office building in Woodlawn sold to concrete restoration firm

Cushman & Wakefield announced it sold 2811 Lord Baltimore Drive in Woodlawn to Concrete Protection and Restoration for $2,365,000. The buyer plans to occupy a portion of the building. C&W’s Matt Melnick and Hayes Merkert coordinated the disposition on behalf of the seller, Trason-New York LLC, a private investor. Bob Oare and Andrew McIlvaine with Cassidy Turley represented the buyer. The three-story, 22,785-square-foot office building is located on 2.6 acres within the Rutherford Business Center, a hub for federal government headquarters, government contractors and business services, including the Social Security Administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Concrete Protection & Restoration Inc., the new owner, supplies the commercial, industrial and public markets with comprehensive concrete repair and protection and a wide variety of construction services.

Clongen Laboratories plans to move to new location

Clongen Laboratories LLC, a 9-year-old company that specializes in testing ticks, blood and human tissues for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, will move from Germantown to Gaithersburg, to accommodate increasing demand for its clinical diagnostics and contract research services. The new facility contains about 6,000 square feet of space, double the size of the former location. The new laboratory is close to other laboratories in the Montgomery County research corridor, including the National Institutes of Health and the Johns Hopkins University. “We custom-built the lab and equipped it with state-of-the-art technology to provide our clients with the highest level of service,” said Ahmed Kilani, Clongen’s president and laboratory director. The company has scheduled the move for Aug. 10, and will hold a grand opening ceremony on Sept. 2.

First Potomac announces rehab of older office building in D.C.

First Potomac Realty Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust that owns, manages and develops office and business park properties in the Greater Washington area, announced a $6.25 million renovation at 1211 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington. The eight-story, Class B office building is located two blocks south of Dupont Circle and two blocks north of the Farragut North Metro station in Washington’s Central Business District. The planned renovations will dramatically enhance the building’s entrance, lobby, common areas and restrooms. Significant improvements will also be made to the base building’s mechanical systems. The property is currently 97 percent leased to a variety of tenants., including the Washington Sports Club, which the landlord said has just renewed its 20,965 square feet of space of another 10 years. Doug Mueller and Evan Behr of Jones Lang LaSalle represented First Potomac in leasing the building. Michael Zacharia of CBRE represented Washington Sports Clubs and Town Sports International in that transaction.

Chesapeake Lodging Trust trades in one loan for two

Chesapeake Lodging Trust, of Annapolis, a self-advised hotel real estate investment trust, announced that it successfully refinanced its $130 million term loan secured by the Le Meridien San Francisco and the W Chicago – City Center. The loan was scheduled to mature on July 8, 2014. The term loan was refinanced with two individual fixed-rate mortgage loans with an aggregate principal amount of $185.5 million. The first new loan is a seven-year, $92.5 million mortgage loan secured by the 360-room Le Meridien San Francisco. The loan was provided by PNC Bank N.A. and carries a fixed interest rate of 3.50 percent per annum, with principal and interest payments based on a 25-year principal amortization. The second new loan is a 10-year, $93.0 million mortgage loan secured by the 403-room W Chicago – City Center. The loan was provided by Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. and carries a fixed interest rate of 4.25 percent per annum, with principal and interest payments based on a 25-year principal amortization.

Former surety bond agent pleads to misappropriation

Theresa E. Williams, 42, of Morristown, N.J., pleaded guilty in Prince George’s County Circuit Court to one count of misappropriation by a fiduciary, the Office of the Maryland Attorney General announced. According to lawyers for the state, while working as an agent selling surety bonds for International Fidelity Insurance Co., Williams kept premium money she owed to IFIC. Judge C. Philip Nichols sentenced Williams to five years imprisonment, all of which was suspended, plus five years probation and 100 hours of community service. Williams, who had previously repaid $10,000, was ordered to pay an additional $28,035.60 in restitution. An investigation revealed that Williams kept $38,035.60 which she had received from Prestige Construction Co., a Virginia business, between August 2007 and July 2009. Surety bonds are a form of insurance in which the insurer guarantees a contractor will satisfactorily complete a construction project for a third party. The contractor pays premiums to an agent who sends the money to the insurance company. The insurance company then guarantees the contractor’s work to the third party.

C&W gets airpark leasing assignment

Cushman & Wakefield, a national commercial real estate services firm, said its Baltimore office has been retained as the exclusive listing agent for a 32-building portfolio containing 550,000 square feet of office, retail, flex and warehouse space in Harford County. The 160-acre Forest Hill Business Airpark consists of 60 buildings, 14 airplane hangars and a 3,200-foot runway. Approximately 150,000 square feet of office, flex and warehouse space is available for lease, in sizes ranging from 500 to more than 24,000 square feet. An additional 11 acres is available for retail, build-to-suit or land lease. C&W’s Christopher Wright and Susan Homberg are the leasing agents for the owner, Forest Hill Business Airpark Inc.

U.S. funds to aid homeless veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the award of nearly $5.2 million in homeless prevention grants to six nonprofit agencies serving Maryland’s central, southern and western regions, and the Eastern Shore. The grants will fund services that promote housing stability, including rent payments, utility payments, security deposits and moving costs, for over 1,750 homeless and at-risk veteran families. The agencies are: Alliance Inc, of Baltimore, $2 million; Three Oaks Homeless Shelter Inc., of Lexington Park, $231,192; Project PLASE Inc., of Baltimore, $1,628,975; New Vision House of Hope Inc., of Baltimore, $729,956; Diakonia Inc., of Ocean City, $247,320; and St. James A.M.E. Zion Church-Zion House, of Salisbury, $348,100.

Centuries-old black community excavated

Archaeologists from the University of Maryland and Morgan State University have teamed up to excavate what may be the oldest community of free African-Americans in the United States. Preliminary evidence indicates that the area known as “The Hill,” in downtown Easton, in Talbot County, may predate by more than two decades the oldest known U.S. community of free African-Americans. U.S. Census and land records indicate a number of free African-Americans settling on The Hill between 1789 and 1800, research team members said. Currently, Treme, a New Orleans neighborhood, is recognized as the oldest free black community in the nation. It dates to 1812, and recently celebrated its bicentennial.

Hagerstown Wal-Mart plans move forward

(AP) Plans are moving forward for a new Wal-Mart supercenter store south of Hagerstown in a present-day corn field. The Herald-Mail reported the store would be located off Sharpsburg Pike. Jennifer Smith, director of Washington County’s division of plan review and permitting, said Wal-Mart’s preliminary plans were given conditional approval July 1 by the Washington County Planning Commission. A timeline for final approval is not yet known. Smith said the planning commission’s approval was contingent on 10 staff recommendations that must be addressed. Those issues include forest conservation, property setbacks, demolition and sewer upgrades. A Wal-Mart spokesperson said the company hopes to begin construction by year-end or early next year.

Frederick airport to get runway grant

The city of Frederick is getting a $910,828 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to extend the primary runway at Frederick Municipal Airport. The grant was announced Wednesday by U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats. The grant will support the acquisition of property necessary to extend runway 5/23 from 5,220 feet to 6,000 feet, allowing for larger corporate aircraft to operate at the airport. Frederick Mayor Randy McClement said the city has advanced $14.4 million for acquisition of properties associated with the approved master plan to lengthen the runway and add corporate hangers. He said the city anticipates additional FAA reimbursements in the future.

PERSONNEL 

From left, Jon Manekin, Nicole Andrews and Morgan Gilligan.

Nicole Andrews, Morgan Gilligan and Jon Manekin have been named co-chairs of the NAIOP Maryland 2014 Awards of Excellence Committee, a competitive awards gala organized every two years by the local commercial real estate trade organization. Andrews is the business development manager for ECS Mid-Atlantic LLC. Gilligan is vice president and senior business development officer for Stewart Title Co. Manekin is a leasing representative and asset manager for Corporate Office Properties Trust. The last Awards of Excellence Competition, which was held in 2012, honored 16 local companies and seven individuals, and drew more than 400 commercial real estate professionals and representatives of associated fields to the Hyatt Regency Baltimore hotel.

Raymond A. Skinner, secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, has been elected to the board of directors of the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers, the D.C.-based organization announced. Founded in 1991, HAND is a professional association supporting the community development industry in its efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing in metropolitan Washington. Its diverse membership includes nonprofit and for-profit housing developers, resident service providers, lenders, government agencies, policy analysts and others. Skinner was one of three new directors elected to the board at its June meeting. Also elected were Winell Belfonte, a CPA with the public accountant firm CohnReznick; and Paul Weech, executive vice president for policy and external affairs for the Housing Partnership Network.

LEASES 

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following recently signed leases:

* Debrygo LLC, an online retailer, leased 2,000 square feet of storage space at Curtis Business Center, 715 E. Ordinance Road, Suite 109, in Glen Burnie.

* Howard County Fitness Systems LLC, a crossfit gym company, leased 5,100 square feet of space at 9445 Washington Blvd., Suite E, in Laurel. The tenant intends to use the space as a gym.

* Software Consortium Inc., an IT consulting firm, leased 2,657 square feet of office space at the Columbia Corporate Park, 8830 Stanford Blvd., Suite 314, in Columbia. The tenant was represented in the lease transaction by Joe Nolan of KLNB.

In all three of these transactions, Merritt Properties was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw. Those representing tenants in the Debrygo and Howard County Fitness Systems deals were not identified.

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