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Real Estate Weekly: Aug. 29, 2014

Commercial moves

GlycoMimetics Inc. singed a lease with BioMed Realty Trust Inc.  for 33,800 square feet of space at the Center for Life Science at Shady Grove in Rockville.  The building, located at 9708 Medical Center Drive, will serve as the firm’s corporate headquarters. The company completed its public offering in January and has partnered with Pfizer to create a treatment for sickel cell disease.

A Rockville company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday minutes before three of its properties were scheduled to be auctioned to help satisfy an $8 million judgment it owes a former landlord, halting any potential sale. Ronald Cohen Management Co. lists assets between $0 and $50,000 and liabilities between $1 million and $10 million, according to the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland. The filing also lists as “disputed” a $6.7 million claim from creditor Tower Oaks Boulevard LLC, the landlord who has alleged Ronald Cohen Management Co. and Ronald Cohen Investments twice forced Tower Oaks into foreclosure by failing to pay rent.

Multifamily news

An architecture review panel approved the schematics for a proposed apartment building that is part of the $1 billion mixed-use Harbor Point development. The building, currently being called Point Street Apartments, is planned to be 18 stories, with 285-units and 20,000 square feet of retail. Beatty Development Group is the project’s developer. 

Retail Roundup

Greysteel Co.’s Mid-Atlantic retail investment sales team has been chosen as the exclusive adviser and agent for the sale of the 48,000-square-foot property in downtown Silver Spring leased to LA Fitness gym at 8616 Cameron St. LA Fitness recently renewed a 15-year corporate lease with 15 additional years of renewal options and rent increases.

Big numbers

44 stories

A proposed apartment tower that would overlook the Inner Harbor and be one of the tallest buildings in the city has increased in height. Questar CEO Stephen Gorn, the project’s developer, said that the proposed tower at 414 Light St. is now planned to be 44 stories high and about 500 feet tall. The number of apartments in the building also increased from 372 to 382. Although the new tower would be among the tallest in Baltimore it would fall short of the city’s highest. That particular honor goes to the 40-story, 529-foot Transamerica Tower.

Personnel

Raymond A. Skinner, secretary of Department of Housing and Community Development, is retiring at the end of the month. Starting Sept. 1, Deputy Secretary Clarence Snuggs will take over as the acting secretary. Skinner previously served as housing secretary from 1999 to 2003 in the administration of former Gov. Parris Glendening.

Heather Skinner has joined the Washington-based Taylor Agostino Group Real Estate team’s buyer’s agent. Skinner is a native of the Bethesda area and a University of Maryland graduate. She has previous experience as a web marketing analyst.

Bigger picture

Officials in older cities like Baltimore have been encouraged by predictions that millennials are seeking more urban lifestyles and may return to the communities their grandparents fled, but the rise of a new urbanism in the suburbs could increase the competition for these residents.

A Nielsen study released in March reported that 62 percent of millennials, who make up nearly a quarter of the country’s population, prefer to live in mixed-use communities, and 40 percent want to live in urban areas in the future. But with suburban areas throughout Maryland embracing more urban designs to appeal to this demographic, Baltimore’s growth may not be assured.

According to Don Fry, if the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail is built, Baltimore may be able to trade in its can of Natty Boh for a flute of Dom Perignon.

Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said during a press conference about Baltimore’s commitment to contribute $230 million to the project, that building a better transit system will improve Charm City’s standing.

“An integrated transit system will identify Baltimore as a smart, sophisticated city,” Fry said. “It puts us in a position along with cities like Boston, Portland and Seattle where transit has reshaped and reinvigorated their local economy.” 

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