Real Estate Weekly – 6/20/14

Goodwill Industries opens new store in Towson

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake has opened a new store and used goods and clothing collection center at 1012 York Road in Towson. The 15,000-square-foot store is Goodwill’s 10th retail location in Baltimore County, and the 24th in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The new store created 19 jobs for area residents. Jonathan Balog, a spokesman for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, said the store’s location is ideal from the nonprofit’s point of view, due to the heavily trafficked area along York Road and the prevalence nearby of residential communities, high schools and colleges, namely Towson University and Goucher College. Goodwill has a seven-year lease with options to renew, Balog said. The charitable organization provides job training, job placement and other human services for people who are unemployed or face other challenges to employment, including people with significant disabilities. Another store is planned to open in Ellicott City in the fall, Balog said.

Acorn Hill natural playground opens at Robert E. Lee Park

Baltimore County officials and community leaders on Wednesday celebrated the completion of a $313,000 natural playground at Robert E. Lee Park in the Lake Roland area of Baltimore County. The Acorn Hill playground is the latest in approximately $6 million that the county has invested in the 415-acre regional park since taking over management about five years ago. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz cut the ribbon on the play area, along with nearly 100 enthusiastic community leaders and members of the Robert E. Lee Park Nature Council. Acorn Hill is a .42-acre playground that features natural elements like a mud pit, a “Copper Mine” sand area, butterfly and bird sanctuaries, a wood deck, a fire pit and spaces for art projects. Play stations offer children the chance to experience history by playing on a replica historic train and Hollins Station, and to engage in active fun with a spider web climbing activity and “critter trail.”

Greysteel Co. selected to handle sale of River Crossing in Riverdale

River CrossingThe Greysteel Co., of Bethesda, has been named exclusive adviser and agent for the sale of River Crossing, a transit-oriented, 104-unit apartment complex in Riverdale. The three-building complex’s units range from efficiencies to three bedrooms. Average unit size is 743 square feet and average monthly rent is $1,046, with the property paying all utilities. Recent capital improvements include new common area doors and entrances, energy-saving equipment including new chillers and recently replaced boilers, and new GFIC electrical receptacles in every unit. The property is in close proximity to the University of Maryland, College Park and several major federal employers. The upcoming Purple Line Metro Station at the corner of East-West Highway and Kenilworth Avenue is also close by, according to Greysteel.

$12K raised for displaced residents of 26th Street

The Charles Village Civic Association announced the distribution of $12,000 to the displaced residents of the unit block of East 26th Street in Baltimore, who were forced to leave their homes when the street and railway wall in front of 19 houses collapsed on April 30 due to heavy rains. The money was collected from a variety of individuals, businesses and community groups, both in the Baltimore area and from out of state, who contributed to the It Takes The Village Fund, which was established on May 7 to assist residents following the incident. The Greater Homewood Community Corp., a nonprofit, served as fiscal sponsor for the fully tax-deductible contributions. Among the local contributors was the Sweet 27 Restaurant & Café, which raised $879 following the collapse. The community also came together for a potluck supper fundraiser, and Guilford Avenue girls raised $23.50 from cookie sales during a neighborhood-wide yard sale event. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas, contributed $5,000 to the fund.

Two firms tie green building certification practices together

Kim Schaefer, founder of Baltimore-based TerraLogos:eco architecture pc, and Peter Doo, president of Doo Consulting LLC, announced that they have allied their two firms’ green building certification practices, effective immediately. Schaefer will serve as senior sustainability coordinator for green building projects at Doo Consulting. She will remain president of TerraLogos, which will continue to provide architectural and planning services for clients in the mid-Atlantic region and nationally, with a focus on environmentally sustainable projects. Doo Consulting provides green building certification consulting, helping architects, contractors, developers and owners achieve sustainable design goals and certification for high-performance buildings. Asked if any money has changed hands, Doo replied that it has not. “Kim has decided to ‘wind down’ from the green building rating administration work while she focuses on her architecture practice,” Doo said in an email. “We have been talking about this transition for a while and I’m anticipating a good reception to this news [of the firms’ alliance]!”

Distribution center, development site in Halethorpe sold by Goldman Sachs

The Baltimore-based Capital Markets team of Cassidy Turley, a national commercial real estate services provider, said it arranged the sale of 4801 and 4803 Hollins Ferry Road, located in Halethorpe, Baltimore County. 4801 Hollins Ferry Road is a 279,016-square-foot, Class A industrial building that is 100 percent leased to three national credit tenants: FedEx, Forward Air and Global Experience Specialists. 4803 Hollins Ferry Road is a 17.23-acre development site that is approved for an approximately 300,000-square-foot, Class A distribution center. The sale price was not disclosed. Jonathan M. Carpenter, Nicole R. Keelty and Graham Savage of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets team represented the seller, Goldman Sachs. A joint venture between AEW Capital Management and Redgate Capital Partners purchased the properties.

Katzen Eye Group opens office in Anne Arundel Co.

Katzen Eye Group, Maryland’s largest full-service private eye care practice, has opened its first office in Anne Arundel County. The location at 8155 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena was formerly known as Lens ’N Eye and was operated by Dr. Barry Preiss for more than 30 years. This is Katzen’s fifth office in Central Maryland; others are in Lutherville/Towson, Rosedale, Bel Air and at Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore. The Pasadena office is open weekdays and includes a modern optical dispensary, two examination areas and a diagnostic testing room. Katzen doctors Corinne Casey and Amy Zimmerman provide general ophthalmic and optometric eye care services.


Ann Crowley

Ann Crowley

Ann Crowley and Bill Senft have joined Baltimore Mediation as real estate mediators, specializing in negotiating resolutions to conflicts arisig in the real estate, development and construction industries. Crowley has over 20 years of commercial real estate experience, and formerly worked as a senior leasing representative for General Growth Properties, responsible for negotiating business terms with local, regional and national tenants for leases and land sales. Her breadth of experience includes development, construction and economic terms, and has worked on projects that include renovations, expansions and new developments. Senft is both a CPA and an attorney, specializing in the mediation of business contract, partnership and workplace disputes. His legal and accounting training and background are especially helpful in negotiating real estate relationships, often involving complex and contentious projects. Senft’s wife, Louise Phipps Senft, is the founder of Baltimore Mediation, the first and oldest firm of its kind in Maryland. Baltimore Mediation has 10 employees who specialize in conflict resolution.

Bill Senft

Bill Senft

Mahan Rykiel Associates, a Baltimore-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, has added three professional landscape architects to its staff. Justin Park, a graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, has joined MRA’s Mixed Use and Hospitality Studio. Also assigned to that studio is Michael Humes, a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University. Megan Griffith, who holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Morgan State University, has become a member of MRA’s Planning Studio. MRA also said it has accepted three college students as summer interns. Chunxiao Wang, a graduate student and Wilson Lee, an undergraduate, are both studying at Penn State University, and Alexandra Odom is a junior at Grinnell College in Iowa.


Bar Louie has signed a lease for a 6,300-square-foot space at Hunt Valley Towne Centre, it was announced by Greenberg Gibbons, the Owings Mills-based developer of the shopping destination and lifestyle center in northern Baltimore County. Bar Louie blends the style and sophistication of an upscale lounge or club with the comfort and accessibility of a neighborhood pub. Known for its handcrafted martinis, signature cocktails and extensive selection of microbrews, Bar Louie also features a scratch kitchen, offering American-inspired food and late-night dining. This will be Bar Louie’s first location in Baltimore County and its second in Maryland. The new restaurant is set to open this fall.

Separately, Greenberg Gibbons announced that five new restaurants and three service establishments have signed leases for spaces in Phase 2 of the new Towne Centre at Laurel, GG’s $130 million redevelopment of the former Laurel Mall. The restaurants are:

* Buffalo Wild Wings – a casual dining restaurant and sports bar (7,289 square feet).

* Nando’s Peri Peri – a casual eatery with a Portuguese-Mozambiquan theme (3,800 square feet).

* Sarku Japan – a Japanese quick-order restaurant (2,392 square feet).

* Moe’s Southwest Grill – serving fresh, made-to-order Southwest fare (2,090 square feet)/

* Extreme Pita – offering sandwiches made with authentic pita bread (1,490 square feet).

The service providers are:

* Modo Nail Bar – manicures, pedicures, massage and waxing services (4,497 square feet).

* Hair Cuttery – full-service hair salon (1,289 square feet).

* U.S Postal Service – Post Office branch serving the Laurel community (906 square feet).

Towne Centre at Laurel is a mixed-use destination with approximately 400,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment. Phase 2 is projected to open in the fall, and will also include Regal Cinemas, Sports Authority, Old Navy, B.J.’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and the first Harris Teeter supermarket in Prince George’s County. Burlington Coat Factory, Party City and Massage Envy are already open at the location.

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