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Real Estate Weekly: 10/25/13

Bozzuto Group starts construction of luxury condominium in D.C.

The Bozzuto Group, a Greenbelt-based real estate services company has begun construction on a new, 63-residence luxury condominium development, 460 New York Ave. in Washington, in a joint venture with NVCommercial Real Estate Fund I. Eagle Bank is providing the construction financing. Located at the corner of L Street and New York Avenue NW, the 11-story development is an adaptive reuse of an existing 1929 building on a key prominent site; one of the last available in the Mount Vernon Triangle area. The building will house an innovative vertical lift parking system providing 36 spaces, as well as a two-story marble lobby with concierge desk and controlled building access. Condominiums will range from 435 square feet to 1,109 square feet in studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, and two-bedroom configurations. WDG Architecture is the architect of record and Bozzuto is the general contractor for the development.

NAI KLNB brokers sale of former printing plant

NAI KLNB brokered the sale of 2905 Whittington Ave., a 20,000-square-foot industrial building in Southwest Baltimore. The building sold for $900,000. Jim Caronna and Todd Evans of NAI KLNB represented Atwater’s and Adam Weidner of CBRE represented the seller, TC Properties in the transaction. Atwater’s, which operates four restaurants under that name, and a separate Ploughboy Kitchen, in the Baltimore area, intends to convert the former printing plant into a processing, distribution and supply operation. The restaurant chain recently announced plans to open a new 2,000-square-foot restaurant at the recently opened Shops at Canton Crossing in the Canton section of Baltimore. Caronna, a principal with NAI KLNB, said, “This building on Whittington Avenue satisfied each of the company’s criteria, most importantly its location near accessible highways that provides immediate access to its Baltimore-area restaurants.”

Tower Cos. building in D.C. given Platinum certification

The U.S. Green Building Council has given 1050 K Street in Washington, D.C., a LEED Platinum EBOM certification for Existing Buildings: Operation & Maintenance, it was announced by co-developers The Lemkin Co. of Washington and The Tower Cos. of Rockville. Previously certified LEED Gold in 2008 for its Core and Shell construction, this current certification confirms that the building is operated in an environmentally friendly way. The 136,000-square-foot, 11-story commercial office building, designed by Hickok Cole Architects of Washington, is located in the heart of downtown Washington and is currently 98.5 percent occupied. Its features include a sky garden with far-reaching views of the downtown area, a fitness center and private art galleries.

Rosedale industrial building sold to Blue Ocean Realty

In what is currently being called the largest industrial building sale in Baltimore County this year, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services announced the sale of 7521 Pulaski Highway in Rosedale, a 56-year-old, 105,000-square-foot building that was formerly owned and occupied by Ray’s Envelope Corp., an envelope manufacturer. MacKenzie represented the landlord, while the buyer, Blue Ocean Realty of Baltimore, was represented by Mordy Itzkowitz of Oxford Realty Advisors. Ray’s Envelope purchased the building from furniture company Pollack-Blum in the 1980s and made several modifications, but eventually fell victim to a decline in business from large mailing companies, principally medical and financial companies that looked overseas to meet their paper needs. Blue Ocean Realty acquired the building for $2,750,000, with a tenant, discount furniture dealer Price Busters, already in hand. Price Busters, which has several stores in Baltimore, will fully occupy the building this quarter, bringing it full circle with furniture companies as the sole tenants.

DNR seeks stormwater runoff proposals

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is seeking proposals from local governments and non-governmental organizations that will help reduce stormwater runoff in areas heavily impacted by prior development. At least $10 million will be awarded for urban restoration efforts that have the greatest impact in reducing sediment and nutrient pollution. Examples of restoration efforts include, but are not limited to, removal of asphalt and concrete, stormwater treatment and reduction practices, low impact development, streambank stabilization and wetland revitalization. Intent to Apply letters are due by Nov. 15, 2013, and full proposals by Jan. 31, 2014. Selected proposals will be announced by March 1, 2014. For information, visit dnr.maryland.gov/trustfund/capitalgrants.asp.

Choice Hotels’ revenue up, profit down

Choice Hotels International Inc., of Rockville, a hotel franchise chain with more than 6,300 hotels in the U.S. and abroad, said its net income decreased in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year, but still beat analysts’ forecasts. The company reported net income of $41.5 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $223.2 million, compared to net income of $44.4 million, or 76 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $210.4 million in the prior-year period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast, on average, earnings of 67 cents on revenue of $220.05 million. Revenue rose due to increases in room rates and occupancy, but increased operating expenses drove down quarterly earnings.

Rehab of Silver Diner at BWI completed

Airmall USA, the operator of the Airmall at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, announced the completion of renovations at the Silver Diner. At 7,508 square feet, almost a third larger than the original location, the expanded Silver Diner at BWI Airport is now one of the largest airport restaurants in the U.S. The diner renovations are part of a $15 million upgrade to the concessions program that will create more than 18,000 square feet of additional retail space at BWI over the next two years. It is part of an overall construction program that includes the creation of a new connector between concourses B and C.

Plan to remove UM golf course dropped

(AP) A developer is abandoning his proposal to build a mixed-use project, with housing, office space, an arts center and retail on part of the University of Maryland, College Park golf course. The Washington Post reported that Brian Gibbons informed university President Wallace Loh in a letter that he was walking away from the unsolicited proposal. Gibbons cited growing opposition for political leaders, saying he did not mean for the project to become controversial. Opponents of the plan, including Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democrat who is running for governor, say the golf course is a valuable community facility and that developing it would divert attention from the redevelopment of downtown College Park.

PERSONNEL 

Ruppert Landscape, of Laytonsville, announced the promotions of Fred Key and Doug Halsey to the position of regional vice president. In their respective geographic areas, they will lead the landscape management division, providing strategic vision and operational insight in the employee training and customer service. Halsey, an 18-year employee of Ruppert, will head the northern region, which includes branches in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania. Key, who has been with Ruppert for 12 years, will lead the southern region, whose branches are in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. Ruppert Landscape, an employee/family-owned business, has 15 branch offices that provide commercial landscape construction and management in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina.

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