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Real Estate Weekly – 3/14/14

One East Pratt Street gets LEED Gold certification

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland Inc. announced that One East Pratt Street in Baltimore has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance (LEED EB-O&M). Only 15 office properties have achieved LEED EB-O&M in Baltimore, and only three others have achieved LEED EB Gold. The rating was based on the building’s use of sustainable and green cleaning materials, reduced water consumption, exemplary indoor air quality and proximity to mass transit. The 10-story, 356,000-square-foot office tower, located at the corner of Pratt and Light streets in downtown Baltimore, was purchased recently by Emmes Asset Management Co. LLC from former owner Griffith Properties LLC. Cushman & Wakefield leasing agents Whitney Nye and Karen Cherry market the property, and Senior Portfolio Manager Clifton Bond oversees the building management on behalf of the owner. The building is currently 71 percent occupied, with approximately 98,000 square feet available for lease.

Waugh Chapel Towne Centre developers launch charitable fund

Greenberg Gibbons and Reliable Contracting, the developers of Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, launched a $1 million fund at the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. The charitable fund, called the Greenberg Gibbons/Reliable Foundation, has made $550,000 in grants to date, including $300,000 to 12 parent-teacher organizations at public schools surrounding Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, and $250,000 to Hospice of the Chesapeake. The remaining assets will be donated to a variety of nonprofits and charitable organizations, including Leadership Anne Arundel, which fit within the developers’ goals for corporate giving. Waugh Chapel Towne Centre is a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use project in Gambrills that combines retail, residential and office space.

New Baltimore street art project gearing up for spring debut

Buckets and cans of paint are being bought and lifts are being ordered in preparation for an innovative outdoor mural project called Open Walls Baltimore 2. Fifteen nationally and internationally recognized artists from Baltimore and around the world have been selected to participate in the program that will bring bold, colorful and provocative large-scale painted murals to private and publicly owned buildings in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District. The goals of the project are to provide an outlet for creative expression where artists are able to paint their vision of urban legacy and revitalization in that area, and to draw tourists and locals alike to a neighborhood experiencing growth and renewed vibrancy. A reception is scheduled for March 24 from 6-8 p.m. at the Metro Gallery, 1700 N. Charles St., to introduce some of the artists participating in the project. The event is open to the public.

Garden apartment development in Frederick sold for $23.05M

Federal Capital Partners, a privately held real estate investment company based in Chevy Chase, said it sold the Overlook Manor Apartments, a 290-unit garden apartment development in Frederick, for $23.05 million. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed. The development is managed by Bozzuto Management. “We invested in capital improvements to the common areas, leasing center, landscaping and signage, resulting in an improved profile and higher occupancy,” said FCP Managing Partner Alex Marshall. ARA, a national real estate investment advisory firm, assisted with the sale of the property.

Baltimore Co. planning Hereford Library expansion

Baltimore County is planning to renovate and expand the Hereford Library branch, which serves residents of northern Baltimore County. The branch is housed in a building that the county purchased last year. The project will include expansion of the existing space, as well as additional parking for library patrons. On Dec. 2, 2013, the Baltimore County Council approved a contract of sale to purchase the properties located at 16938 and 16940 York Road in Monkton for $1,884,200, which had been leased since 1988. The purchase of the 15,168-square-foot library building included an adjacent 1,320-square-foot parcel that is currently leased to a private tenant. The county intends to let leases expire for the upper floor of the library building and the adjacent parcel to allow for library expansion and renovation.

Baltimore County, Towson University partner on pedestrian safety project

Baltimore County and Towson University are working together to improve pedestrian safety and slow traffic on Cross Campus Drive near the school’s York Road Administration Building. In consultation with Towson University, the county Bureau of Traffic Engineering designed a raised crosswalk that includes bumped-out curbs on Cross Campus Drive to shorten the crossing from the parking garage and bus stop to the Administration Building and to slow vehicle speeds. The $62,000 project was designed in-house by the county and the cost of construction will be paid directly by Towson University to a county-approved traffic-calming contractor. “This type of ‘town and gown’ partnership is a real win-win solution,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Students will be safer and this kind of collaboration saves money for the county taxpayers and the university.”

Maryland House & Garden Tour returns for the 77th year

The annual Maryland House & Garden Tour, a 77-year-old tradition, is returning in the spring. The pilgrimage through some of Maryland’s most fascinating and noteworthy properties will be held from April 26 through May 31. The 2014 tour includes about 50 private homes, gardens, farms, churches and historic sites across five areas in Maryland. They are Prince George’s County (Saturday, April 26); Baltimore County/Parkton (Sunday, May 4); Talbot County (Saturday, May 10); Calvert County (Saturday, May 17) and Kent County (Saturday, May 31). Each tour is $30 when purchased in advance. Lunches will be available on all tours. To purchase tickets or get more information, visit www.mhgp.org or call 410-821-6933. Proceeds from the tour support designated preservation projects in each host community. Over the years, the annual tours have raised more than $1 million for the preservation and restoration of architecturally significant properties throughout the state.

Baltimore County automates code enforcement process

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced the launch of a new online system that he said offers county residents access to code enforcement case updates, while streamlining administrative functions, enhancing the county’s efficiency and reducing costs. Kamenetz said the system empowers citizens, giving them immediate confirmation when they submit a complaint, direct notification of inspections and correction notices, and, if necessary, details of enforcement actions and hearings. The new system outfits county code inspectors with iPad notepad computers to develop their daily routes, investigate and report on complaints, request correction notices, take photographs and generate re-inspection dates. The field-based capability eliminates the need for inspectors to spend hours each day in the office doing paperwork, and printing and filing hard copies of photos and reports. The county projects savings of about $75,000 per year in printing and paper supplies alone, more than offsetting the $18,400 cost for the inspectors’ iPads.

LEASES

St. John Properties announced the signing of two leases by Fastenal Co. for retail space in two buildings in Frederick. One lease is for 6,000 square feet of space at 5115 Pegasus Court in the Westview Business Park. The other lease is for 4,020 square feet at 8420 Gas House Pike in the Riverside Technology Park. Fastenal, of Winona, Minn., stocks a variety of tools and products used in the construction and industrial furnishings industries, such as fastener accessories (clamps, bolts and screws); hand, power and cutting tools; electrical and plumbing supplies; office products and furniture; and chemicals and paints. The company operates more than 2,650 stores in all 50 states and in Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe. Danny Severn of St. John Properties represented the landlord and Chris DeLuca of McHenry Project Consultants represented the tenant in both transactions.

Merritt Properties LLC announced the signing of two leases at separate locations in Loudoun County, Virginia. MCW Solutions LLC, a provider of data cabling and security, has leased 8,220 square feet of office space at Ashbrook, 20098 Ashbrook Place, Suite 150, in Ashburn, Va. Also, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp, a mortgage company, leased 2,413 square feet of office space at the Loudoun Tech Center, 21240 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 115, in Sterling, Va. Stephen Spencer of KLNB represented MCW Solutions and Paul Smith of Century 21 New Millennium represented Fairway in the respective lease negotiations. Merritt Properties was represented in both transactions by its in-housing leasing team of Keith Wallace and Steve Shaw.

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