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Real Estate Weekly – 5/9/14

HoCo agrees to purchase Flier building for new home of entrepreneurship center

Howard County will purchase a vacant, former newspaper building near downtown Columbia as the new home of the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, County Executive Ken Ulman announced Thursday. The county has agreed to pay $2.8 million to purchase the “Flier building,” formerly home to the Columbia Flier, on Little Patuxent Parkway, near Howard Community College. The building will undergo renovations to accommodate the economic development venture. The Flier building, originally built in a contemporary style in the mid-1970s, has been vacant since The Baltimore Sun, owner of various community newspapers in Maryland, consolidated operations about two years ago. The Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship, a component of the Howard County Economic Development Authority, is a cutting-edge initiative that connects entrepreneurs to ideas, financing and other assistance. The MCE is currently located in the former Bendix building on Bendix Road. The space to be vacated there will be used by other Howard County operations.

Curtis Bay warehouse sells for $1.5 million

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider in the U.S., said its Baltimore office arranged the sale of 1340-1400 Chesapeake Ave., a 24,000-square-foot warehouse property in Curtis Bay. Robert Oare and Alan Orman of Cassidy Turley represented both the buyer, Old Fairfield Properties LLC, and the seller, Dailey Limited Partnership. Old Fairfield Properties purchased the industrial property for $1.5 million and plans to use it for general storage. The warehouse, located on 3.03 acres, was constructed in 1976. Oare, a Cassidy Turley senior vice president and principal, said this is the firm’s fifth industrial transaction in the Brooklyn/Fairfield area in the past year. “There is a great demand for industrial properties zoned for warehousing and outside storage uses,” he said.

New homebuyers may be eligible for federal income tax credit

Eligible homebuyers can claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for the life of their mortgage under a new program unveiled Thursday by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. DHCD’s Maryland HomeCredit program provides eligible homebuyers with a mortgage credit certificate allowing them to claim a tax credit for some portion of the mortgage interest rate paid each year on their federal income tax return. The program launches June 1 and continues through Dec. 15, 2015. A homebuyer purchasing a home during that period is eligible to claim 25 percent of the interest paid as a federal tax credit for every year the mortgage is outstanding and the buyer lives in the home. The homebuyer must get the Maryland HomeCredit at the time he or she closes on the mortgage. There are fees associated with the Maryland HomeCredit. Refinances are not eligible.

Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport completes substantial upgrades

Officials of the Hilton Baltimore BWI Airport said substantial renovations of the 8-year-old hotel have been completed. Upgrades include a made-over lobby that an open-concept lounge with comfortable seating, communal tables and multiple televisions that offer guests a more relaxed setting; the addition of The Flight Deck, a 4,000-square-foot meeting room that can comfortably accommodate up to 200 persons; refurbished guest hallways; new, state-of-the-art Precor equipment in the fitness center; and installation of new wall coverings and doors in the hotel’s meeting space. This fall the 280-room hotel’s 11th floor concierge lounge will be renovated, and the sundry shop in the lobby is to be expanded to provide additional amenities. The Baltimore Hilton BWI Airport hotel is operated by Washington-based PM Hospitality Strategies, a national hotel management company that currently manages 25 hotel and development projects with more than 4,000 rooms throughout the United States.

Lou Lou, boutique fashion retailer, to open in Annapolis Towne Centre

Greenberg Gibbons, of Owings Mills, a developer of mixed-use, town center and retail properties in the Baltimore-Washington area, announced that Lou Lou will open a 1,360-square-foot store at Annapolis Towne Centre this month. Lou Lou is a locally owned and operated ladies’ accessories retailer with 20 locations in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. “With the addition of the Annapolis Towne Center location, we hope to reach the local customers that do not yet shop with us at our downtown Annapolis location,” said Ben Wedgman, owner of Lou Lou. The new shop will be next to Cleo’s Fine Oils and Paper Source on Towne Centre Boulevard. Lou Lou will join a collection of fashion retailers at Annapolis Towne Centre, including Anthropologie, South Moon Under, Horse Boutique, Poppy & Stella and other shops and restaurants.

PERSONNEL

Mahan Rykiel Associates, a Baltimore-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, announced that two of its projects have won design awards from the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Children’s Inn Play Garden at N.I.H won an Honor Award and the Druid Hill Park Lake Plan won a Merit Award. The awards were selected by a jury of peers and presented at an awards ceremony in Baltimore on April 24. Also, MRA’s founder, Catherine Mahan, was selected by the board of the Maryland Chapter of ASLA as the first recipient of its Award of Excellence. The award was presented to Mahan for her contribution to the landscape architectural profession throughout her career.

Federal Realty Investment Trust, of Rockville, announced the promotion of Christopher J. Weilminster to the position of executive vice president, real estate and leasing. Weilminster will be a member of the firm’s six-person Senior Executive Committee and eight-member Investment Committee. Weilminster has been employed at FRIT for 24 years. FRIT also announced the promotion of Wendy Seher to the position of vice president and director of leasing, Mid-Atlantic Region, and the concurrent promotions of Jeffrey Fischer and Joseph Byrnes as co-directors of leasing, Northeast Region. FRIT is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, development and redevelopment of high-quality retail properties.

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