First Potomac buys one, sells one for same price
First Potomac Realty Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust that owns and operates industrial and office properties in the Greater Washington metropolitan area, said it sold the Corporate Campus at Ashburn Center in Ashburn, Virginia, for $41 million and acquired, for the same price, 1775 Wiehle Avenue, a Class A office building in Reston, Virginia. “With this capital recycling transaction, we are trading from a single-story business park in a less desirable location to a high-quality office asset located near a Metro station,” said Nicholas R. Smith, chief investment officer of First Potomac Realty Trust. Ashburn Center consists of one single-story office building and two single story flex buildings totaling 194,184 square feet, located approximately five miles north of Dulles Airport. First Potomac purchased the property in an off-market transaction in 2009 for approximately $14.7 million and invested an additional $5 million in the property. 1775 Wiehle Avenue is a multi-tenanted office building totaling 130,048 square feet that is currently 100 percent leased. It is located two blocks from a Silver Line station of the Metro that is expected to open this month.
Continental Realty buys retail center in North Carolina
Continental Realty Corp., a Baltimore-based real estate development and management company, paid $6.3 million to acquire Creekside Crossing, a 60,500-square-foot neighborhood shopping center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The property represents Continental Realty’s entry into the North Carolina marketplace. The seller was Wells Fargo. The shopping center was acquired on behalf of CRC Fund III L.P., which buys value-add retail and multi-family properties in the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions, and currently owns seven such properties. Constructed in 1999, Creekside Crossing is currently 70 percent occupied; however, that will drop to 30 percent when Staples, one of its anchor tenants, relocates, creating a significant opportunity to fill the anchor space. Mike Burkard and Steve Shields from CBRE’s Charlotte office represented the seller in the transaction. Banks Hunter from Hunter & Associates has been selected as the exclusive leasing broker for the center. CRC’s portfolio includes office buildings, retail centers and apartment communities in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and now North Carolina.
MDE accepting rental property registration applications
The Maryland Department of the Environment on Tuesday began accepting registration applications for rental properties built prior to 1978, as required by a law covering lead-paint poisoning passed by the General Assembly in 2012. Before the passage of House Bill 644, Maryland’s existing lead-paint law required owners of rental properties built before 1950 to register their properties with MDE and comply with a lead paint risk reduction standard. HB 644 expanded the universe of properties covered under the law to include rental properties built before 1978, when the use of lead paint was prohibited nationally. That change is effective Jan. 1, 2015. The number of properties affected by the change in the law (rental properties built from 1950 up to 1978) is estimated at more than 250,000. Owners of the later-built properties affected by the change in law can now register these properties with MDE online at www.mde.maryland.gov/LeadRegistration. The registration fee is $30 per year per rental unit. Failure to register, certify or follow approved lead-safe work practices may subject property owners to thousands of dollars in fines and potential lawsuits, MDE said.
Kelso Business Park sold for $4.85 million
NAI KLNB, of Towson, a full-service commercial real estate services firm, brokered the sale of the Kelso Business Park, a two-building portfolio totaling nearly 70,000 square feet of industrial and flex space in eastern Baltimore County, for $4.85 million to FRP Development Corp. The seller was Kelso Business Park LLC. The two properties are fully leased and occupied by nine tenants. NAI KLNB Principal Peter Dudley and Director of Investment Sales Christopher Kubler represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. The property consists of 8515 Kelso Drive, a 35,690-square-foot industrial and flex office space building, and 8525 Kelso Drive, its slightly smaller twin with 34,000 square feet. Both buildings were completed in 1999, and both are single-story structures featuring 16- to 19-foot ceiling heights with drive-in and standard loading dock configurations. The buyer, FRP Development Corp., is based in Sparks, and is a full-service real estate company that specializes in the development, management, acquisition and leasing of commercial office and industrial real estate properties.
Micros Systems buys its own headquarters building
Micros Systems Inc., a provider of computer systems to the hospitality and retail industries, has purchased the five-story building in Columbia that it formerly leased. The 247,624-square-foot, Class A office building at 7031 Columbia Gateway Drive is situated on 14.57 acres in Columbia Gateway Business Park. The seller was Columbia Property Trust Inc. The sale price was not disclosed. Micros itself is in the process of being acquired by Oracle Corp., which has said it will pay $5.3 billion for the company. Cassidy Turley’s Charles Fenwick, Jonathan M. Carpenter and L. Bruce Matthai represented Columbia Property Trust in the transaction. Micros Systems was represented by Kevin Wille, Gil Hutzler and David Fields of CBRE. “This best-in-class suburban office building is located in one of the premier business parks in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor,” Carpenter said. “The building, which boasts tremendous visibility from I-95, will continue to serve as a first-class corporate headquarters location.”
Federal grants to aid homeless veterans
Four nonprofit organizations will receive more than $1.33 million in federal funds to provide job training to homeless veterans in Maryland, U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, announced. The grants from the U.S. Department of Labor are part of a $36.7 million package that will aid 12,000 veterans nationwide. Organizations receiving the funds, which were awarded on a competitive basis, are Maryland Center for Vets Education & Training, of Baltimore, $300,000; Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corp., $134,487; Way Station Inc., of Columbia, $300,000; and Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, of Silver Spring, two grants totaling $599,940 for two different programs, one specifically targeting homeless female veterans and veterans with families.
Hughes Associates, RJA complete merger
Hughes Associates Inc., of Baltimore, an international provider of engineering and research services to the fire protection field, and Chicago-based Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc., a provider of fire protection and life safety consulting, announced the completion of their previously announced merger. The combined company has more than 500 employees, offices throughout the world and more than $100 million in revenue. According to Phil Rogers, CEO of the new company, the two groups have begun an integration process. Financial details of the merger were not disclosed, nor was the new name of the merged company.
Plan to build veterans’ homes advances
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Tuesday announced it has finalized a lease agreement with a company that wants to build a veteran-focused residential community on the 94-acre home of the former Fort Howard VA Medical Center. The waterfront hospital, located 15 miles southeast of downtown Baltimore, closed as an inpatient facility in 2002. Completion of the lease agreement clears the way for Fort Howard Development LLC to submit a Planned Unit Development plan to Baltimore County, which will open it for public comment through the county zoning process. Upon completion, the community will offer various housing options, including active adult living, assisted living and skilled nursing care, as well as housing for at-risk and homeless veterans.
Cassidy Turley of Baltimore reported the completion of three leases totaling 50,000 square feet at Route 100 Distribution Center in Elkridge. The transactions were for 21,000 square feet to Excel Group, which was represented by DTZ’s Leland Middleton; 15,000 square feet to Afterglow Lighting, represented by Mike Roden of CBRE; and 14,000 square feet to Beverage Network of Maryland, which was represented by Sam Lancelotta of Lancelotta Real Estate. The 348,610-square-foot property is comprised on two buildings at 6675 Amberton Drive and 6660 Santa Barbara Road, and is owned by Terreno Realty Corp., a San Francisco-based real estate investment trust that develops and owns industrial assets. Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team represented Terreno in these transactions.