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Real Estate Weekly – 5/2/14

Harriet Tubman State Park Visitor Center contract OK’d

The Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a $13.9 million construction contract for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park Visitor Center in Dorchester County. Design and construction is being managed by the Maryland Department of General Services in collaboration with the Maryland Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation (State Highway Administration) and Business and Economic Development, as well as the National Park Service. The project honors the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman, a Dorchester County native who led slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad. It will also serve as a welcome and orientation point along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and within the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument. Located next to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the project also includes a memorial garden, picnic pavilion and walking paths W.M. Schlosser Construction Co. of Hyattsville, was awarded the construction contract. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Hill Management Services reveals building improvements

Hill Management Services Inc., of Timonium, a privately owned, full-service real estate development company, unveiled a comprehensive $15 million renovation and improvement strategy currently underway at six separate commercial office and warehouse projects in the Baltimore area. Projects include the installation of 1,240 floor-to-ceiling windows at the Executive Plaza complex, a four-building, 550,000-square-foot development in Hunt Valley. Other work includes renovating the common-area restrooms and main lobbies in each building, replacing the HVAC system, and upgrading the elevators and exterior signage package and landscaping. GVA Architects managed the improvements. At Timonium Corporate Center, a high-rise office tower, improvements include upgrading the elevator systems and renovating the main lobby. Also, Galleria Atrium and Galleria Towers, two office buildings in Lutherville are getting upgraded elevators and a renovated entrance. At Padonia Commerce Building, an office/warehouse property in the Towson-Hunt Valley area, the main lobby and restrooms are to be upgraded.

C&W takes home two awards from NAIOP Maryland

Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office won two big awards at NAIOP Maryland’s bi-annual Awards of Excellence Gala this week. C&W’s Capital Markets team, led by Executive Director Cris Abramson, Director Brian Kruger and Associate Nicholas Signor, won the awards for Best Industrial Transaction for 4000 Principio Parkway in North East, and Best Mixed-Use Transaction for Maryland Executive Park in Towson. The 4000 Principio Parkway transaction represented the single largest distribution warehouse sale by square footage (1,194,744 square feet) in Maryland. Cole Real Estate Investments Inc., purchased the property in December 2013 from seller Weeks Robinson. Weeks Robinson had doubled the size of the original 600,000-square-foot asset and leased it to Restoration Hardware. Maryland Executive Park in Towson was sold by St. John Properties to an affiliate of Greenfield Partners, which purchased the property in September 2013, and engaged Cushman & Wakefield for both agency leasing and property management services.

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services acquires RKS Realty

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, of Timonium, announced it has acquired RKS Realty, of Bel Air, a commercial real estate firm. RKS’ Donnell “Beetle” Smith, Jr., Thomas C. Mottley and Frederick Kern have joined MacKenzie’s Harford County team, doubling the firms’ presence in both office and retail, and bringing the total number of represented listings in the area to 98 properties. RKS was founded in 1988 and serves the Harford County and Wilmington, Delaware markets. Two of the three founding partners, Smith and Kern, now joined by Mottley, will remain in their current office location until their lease expires, then relocate to a new location along the I-95 corridor. The firm is well-known throughout the Baltimore region for their instrumental role in the development and growth of projects along the route 24 corridor from Bel Air to I-95 including Water’s Edge, the Riverside Industrial Park, The HEAT Center and the Boulevard at Box Hill retail development.

LEASES 

Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office today announced that the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System has signed a long-term lease to renew 60,851 square feet and expand by 11,522 square feet at 120 E. Baltimore St. in Charles Center, downtown Baltimore’s largest business district. The SRPS is the government agency that administers death, disability and retirement benefits on behalf of more than 382,300 members. The agency will employ approximately 275 workers from this location when the expansion is completed. Cushman & Wakefield agents T. Courtenay Jenkins, Tim Jackson and Whitney Nye leased the property on behalf of the landlord, Franklin Street Properties. David Fields of CBRE represented the tenant. 120 E. Baltimore St. is a 25-story, 325,978-square foot, Class A office tower, built in 1989. The building features its own parking garage, property management office, lobby shop and retailers, including Nalley Fresh and SunTrust bank.

Merritt Properties announced that it has leased 28,060 square feet of industrial-warehouse and office space to Paul Davis Restoration, a Northern Virginia franchise company specializing in property damage emergency services, remodeling and reconstruction. The new space is at Beaumeade Corporate Park in Ashburn, Virginia. The franchise’s move is prompted by its growth and an effort to bring its emergency services and general contracting divisions together under one roof; currently housed in two separate locations in Sterling, Virginia. It will also provide the company with improved access to clients across the Northern Virginia area. The lease includes 16,977 square feet of warehouse space and 11,063 square feet of office space, and doubles their current sites.

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