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Real Estate Weekly – 7/18/14

Columbia office building sells for $4.075 million

NAI KLNB, a Towson-based commercial real estate services company, announced it brokered the sale of 7130 Minstrel Way, a two-story, 43,925-square-foot office building in Columbia. The seller, a pension fund advised by Strategic Property Advisors, of Jamul, California, paid $4.075 million. The buyer was an entity controlled by Pikesville-based Morris Weinman Co. The building is known locally as the Waterview Office Center, due to its proximity to Lake Elkhorn. It features an on-site deli and a wellness center. Originally built in 1985, the building was recently renovated with upgrades to the common areas and the HVAC system. The property is 94 percent leased with tenants that include Maximus, Allivasoft and Russell Corrosion Consultants. Christopher Kubler and Jonathan Green of NAI KLNB represented the seller. “The new owners acquired a well-maintained building at below replacement cost, which complements the company’s existing portfolio of office buildings situated throughout the Maryland area,” Green said.

Mullan Contracting awarded Nantucket Elementary contract

Mullan Contracting Co., of Lutherville, was awarded a contract from the Anne Arundel County Public School System calling for the renovation of two kindergarten classrooms and construction of four new classrooms at Nantucket Elementary School in Crofton. Construction work has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The announcement of the award did not include the amount of the construction contract, and a spokesman for the contractor said he was “not sure” the company would release the figure. The public school system’s estimate of the construction cost was $2 million, according to school system documentation. Mullan has maintained an active schedule of construction projects for institutions. Within the past year, the company has completed work at Annapolis High School, The Calvert School, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy and McDonogh School.

Repairs to B&O Museum roof set to begin in August

B&O 011The B&O Railroad Museum, one of Baltimore’s most popular visitor attractions, is due for extensive repairs to the decorative architectural woodwork elements of the historic roundhouse’s roof, museum officials announced. The repairs are needed due to weather damage. Scaffolding will be erected in the first weeks of August 2014 and is expected to take about four months. The museum will remain open on its regular schedule, officials said. Schamu, Machowski + Patterson, a local architectural firm, inspected the architectural elements — notably the clerestory, the ring of windows that tops the building’s roof, and lantern structure that rises 125 feet above the ground — and found extensive deterioration caused by a series of harsh winters and hot and rainy summers. Yerkes Construction Co., of Chestertown, will do the repair work. SM+P, which designed the building’s restoration following the February 2003 collapse of the Roundhouse roof after a blizzard, will oversee the project.

C&W coordinates sale of Halethorpe industrial building

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland Inc. announced it arranged the sale of 2209 Sulphur Spring Road, a 313,000-square-foot industrial building in Halethorpe. Recently redeveloped, the property features a 20-foot ceiling height, new fencing, a new roof, T5 fluorescent lighting, 33 dock doors and 100 industrial trailer spaces, and is in close proximity to Interstate 95, the Baltimore Beltway and U.S. Route 1. Neither the identity of the buyer nor the purchase price was disclosed. C&W’s Capital Markets team of Cristopher Abramson, Brian Kruger and Nicholas Signor and the Industrial Brokerage team of Matthew Laraway, McLane Fisher and Jon Casella coordinated the disposition of the property on behalf of the seller, Alliance Partners HSP, a private real estate investment and operating company.

Senior citizen community planned for Ellicott City

The Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant, a planned not-for-profit continuing care retirement community in Ellicott City, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site at 9531 Frederick Road. Construction is expected to begin in August after site preparation is complete, and is anticipated to take 18-24 months. Marriottsville-based Harkins Builders and Williamsburg Homes, of Columbia, have been selected to build the 36 homes, 205 apartments, and state-of-the-art health care center with 20 assisted living suites and 12 skilled nursing beds. Currently, just under 80 percent of the homes and apartments are reserved. When it is completed, the development will offer adults 60 years old or better three levels of residential accommodations and care ranging from independent living to skilled nursing. Residents will have access to a luxurious community center, walkable access to community amenities and common areas, on-site social, recreational and educational programming, and a variety of dining choices.

Robinson Nature Center to open outdoor play area for children

Howard County Recreation & Parks announced that the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia has begun work on a new, interactive, outdoor children’s area that it expects to open to the public this fall. First of its kind in the Columbia area, the Nature Place is part of a national environmental movement that encourages children to explore and play outdoors. “Unlike our trails and gardens, which offer passive enjoyment of nature, the Nature Space engages visitors in music-making, performance, nature art, climbing, crawling and more,” explained Stacey Yankee, director of the nature center. Nature Explore, a nationally recognized nonprofit in outdoor classroom development, planned and designed the space. Howard County is funding the preparation of the site, construction of pathways and activity areas. The center is seeking donations large and small to fund purchase of equipment and musical instruments. For information, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/RNCNaturePlace.htm.

Rocky Gap Casino Resort announces improvements

Rocky Gap Casino Resort said it has completed construction of 150 new parking spaces, bringing to 750 the number of parking spaces available for use by guests to the gambling venue in Allegany County. Rocky Gap also completed the expansion of its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course pro shop and enhancements to its fitness center. The golf course pro shop was expanded from 700 square feet to 1,200 square feet to offer a better variety of retail merchandise. The pro shop offers golf-related equipment, clothing, shoes, balls, bags and more, from brands such as Nike, Titleist and Ping. The new pro shop will also function as a resort gift shop, offering Rocky Gap branded apparel, resort wear, swim gear, gift cards and other accessories. The expanded fitness center now includes new treadmills, an elliptical machine, upright cycle, full dumbbell set and functional trainer. The fitness center also has new specialized flooring, yoga mats and benches.

Tech Council opens office in Baltimore

The Tech Council of Maryland, Maryland’s largest technology trade association for life science and technology, announced that it has opened a satellite office at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore. The new office, located at 801 W. Baltimore St., opened Thursday and will be open on a weekly basis every Thursday. Employees from TCM’s Rockville headquarters are staffing the Baltimore office, and collaborating with other stakeholders in the Baltimore region on plans to offer networking opportunities and educational programming, and address other topics of interest to the scientific and technological community. TCM said it needed the new office to expand its reach and be able to work closely with industry leaders in the Greater Baltimore area.

Equestrian estate to be auctioned

Rawlings Auction, Appraisal & Realty LLC, of Jefferson, announced it will auction a 45-acre equestrian estate in Taneytown. The sale is scheduled for July 25 at 3 p.m. at the property at 11722 Taneytown Pike. The sale includes a 7,300-square-foot, five bedroom brick home; a renovated 1860s farmhouse with three bedrooms; a separate one-bedroom structure; a 13-stall barn with wash and tack areas; an indoor riding arena; and other buildings. A separate, 2.73-acre building lot at the entrance to the property will also be sold. The property can be viewed on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment. Broker participation is welcomed. For more information, visit www.rawlingsauctionservice.com (click on current live auctions) or call 301-473-5796.

New safety effort on College Park road

Following several fatal accidents involving pedestrians along U.S. 1 in College Park, officials of the University of Maryland, the State Highway Administration and Prince George’s County and the mayor of College Park on Monday unveiled several safety measures and a public education campaign to enhance pedestrian safety along College Park’s “Main Street.” They include lowering the speed limit to 25 mph in the vicinity of the university; installation of a temporary median fence to deter mid-block pedestrian crossings, and installation of an overhead traffic signal to control traffic at the U.S. 1- Hartwick Road intersection, where a pedestrian was recently killed. Police will also begin sobriety checkpoints and patrols to combat drunk driving, officials said.

RenterResume announces official launch

RenterResume, of Baltimore, a cloud-based smart tenant screening platform for landlords and small to mid-sized property management companies, announced its official launch, transitioning from private beta mode. RenterResume provides necessary credit and background data to help landlords and property management companies make quick, informed rental decisions, eliminating redundant processes needed in paper-based tenant screening. The cloud-based format is designed to be fully functional on electronic devices ranging from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktop PCs. Currently there is no cost to a landlord or property manager to post a property for rent through RenterResume. The tenant is responsible for paying a flat fee to cover the cost of processing the application.

UM student housing gets bridge loan

Greystone, a New York-based, national provider of multifamily and health care mortgage loans, announced it provided a $29.275 million bridge loan to The Enclave at 8700, a mixed-use student housing project in the 8700 block of U.S. Route 1, near the University of Maryland, College Park. Interim financing terms include a 24-month floating rate loan with two 6-month extensions, and an interest-only period for the first 18 months. The property consists of 94 furnished two-, three- and four-bedroom suites, each with private kitchens and baths. The building also contains a parking garage, first-level retail, electronic key access, a study lounge, fitness center and Wi-Fi for 369 student residents, and is located within a mile of the UM campus.

RLJ Lodging acquires hotel in Atlanta

RLJ Lodging Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on premium-branded and compact full-service hotels, announced it has acquired the 194-room Hyatt Atlanta Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia. RLJ paid $49.5 million for the 27-year-old property, which it purchased with proceeds from a recent equity offering. The seller was not identified. The hotel opened as a Wyndham in 1987, and later underwent a $23 million renovation and conversion to a compact, full-service Hyatt, Closed during the renovation period, the hotel reopened in July 2013. RLJ now owns 149 properties, consisting of 147 hotels with more than 23,100 rooms, and two planned hotel conversions, located in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

New tool for appraising appraisers

Clearbox LLC, of Salisbury, which provides risk management and compliance tools for the appraisal industry, announced the release of ClearOne, a unique report that allows lenders, appraisal management companies and regulators to order a credentials report on real estate appraisers. According to Clearbox founder and CEO Joan Trice, ClearOne is the only repot that merges disciplinary action records with an instant criminal background check and a credentials profile. Said Todd Loomis, Clearbox’s chief technology officer: “The repository of all appraisers’ credentials in one place is more efficient and allows for all stakeholders to excel at managing their third parties.”

St. Mary’s County retail center sold

Federal Capital Partners, of Chevy Chase, announced the sale of Lexington Village, a 160,000-square-foot retail center in Lexington Park, St. Mary’s County. FCP and its partner, Westmoreland Partners, sold the shopping center for $24.1 million. The buyer was not identified. The two companies acquired the property in November 2010 through a foreclosure sale. They brought the then-partially developed property with one anchor tenant — Kohl’s department store — to its current 96 percent leased status, adding Dick’s Sporting Goods as a second anchor, national credit tenants along the front parcels, and a mix of specialty store tenants. Both FCP and Westmoreland are privately held real estate investment companies.

Pebblebrook acquires Oregon hotel

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on luxury hotels in large U.S. cities, said it acquired the 331-room Nines Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon, for $127 million. The building in which the hotel is located was built in 1909, and underwent a $140 million renovation, reopening as the Nines Hotel in October 2008. The hotel occupies floors 6 through 15 and a portion of the first floor and basement, with a Macy’s department store on floors 1 through 5 and most of the basement. Pebblebrook said it expects to spend from $6 million to $8 million to refurbish the guestrooms and public areas. Pebblebrook now owns three hotels in downtown Portland, and 31 properties nationwide.

New warehouse slated for Halethorpe

Cassidy Turley’s Baltimore office has been selected to lease Hollins Ferry Logistics Center, a 285,000-square-foot industrial distribution facility that is scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2014. The building at 4803 Hollins Ferry Road in Halethorpe, with a planned 2015 delivery, features a high dock-door ratio, above-market-average trailer storage, enhanced fire suppression sprinkler systems and 32-foot clear ceilings, according to an announcement. The property is located in an Enterprise Zone, which allows lower real estate taxes and tenant income tax credits. The building is being developed by AEW Capital Management L.P. on behalf of one of its institutional clients. Redgate Capital Partners, of Boston, is the development manager.

PERSONNEL

Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc., of Baltimore, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, announced that Mark Pelusi, formerly of AECOM, is joining the firm as an associate principal. Pelusi will be a member of MRA’s Mixed Use/Hospitality Studio, guiding design and overseeing project management. Pelusi, a registered landscape architect and graduate of Pennsylvania State University, has practiced urban design and landscape architecture for more than 20 years. At AECOM, formerly EDAW Inc., he managed the 18-person landscape architectural studio focusing on landscape architecture, planning and urban design. Among projects he worked on were Judiciary Square in Washington D.C., the National Museum of the United States Army, North Shore Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh and Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial, He has been an adjunct professor of landscape design at George Washington University in Washington since 2003.

LEASES

Fastspot, a website and software design company, leased 4,000 square feet of space at the Mill No. 1 project at 2980 Falls Road in Baltimore. Fastspot was represented by Matthew Seward, senior vice president and principal at Cassidy Turley. Mill No. 1 is an adaptive reuse of 19th century cotton mill buildings, which were converted to a mixed-use project of apartments, offices and restaurants, developed by Terra Nova Ventures LLC. Fastspot’s offices were designed by Alexander Design Studios.

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