Real Estate Weekly: BioMed Realty Trust buys Rockville campus for $53M

Leases, news and notes from Maryland's commercial real estate industry

BioMed Realty Trust Inc., a San Diego, Calif.-based real estate investment trust focused on the life science industry, said it purchased a campus of five buildings in Rockville, containing approximately 218,000 square feet, for approximately $53 million.

The buildings are fully leased to the J. Craig Venter Institute, a research institute dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics. Earlier, BRT acquired two life science-occupied buildings in Gaithersburg, and now owns six properties in Maryland comprising 15 buildings with 1.4 million rentable square feet, which are 100 percent leased.

Willco Cos. acquiring Rockville retail site for $5M

Willco Cos. of Potomac, a commercial real estate development and management company, is acquiring 12401 Twinbrook Parkway, a 50,000-square foot retail property in Rockville, for $5.25 million.

The building, which is fully occupied by Guitar Center Inc., was purchased in partnership with two other local property owners, Fanaroff & Steppa and Don Hinton. The seller was Koob Veneman, who owned and operated Veneman Music Co. Inc. for more than 20 years until it was acquired by Guitar Center Inc. in 2000.

With the acquisition, the partners control approximately seven acres near the Twinbrook Metro station, a popular area for development.

W.R. Grace subsidiary, Saudi firm form joint venture

Grace Construction Products, a unit of Columbia-based specialty chemical manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co., has formed a joint venture in Saudi Arabia with the Khalid Ali Alturki & Sons Co., a family owned investment and development company that controls a portfolio of construction-related businesses.

Grace is the majority shareholder and will oversee day-to-day operations. Grace said the joint venture, Grace Saudi Arabia LLC, significantly expands its presence in the Middle East.

Holland Construction picked to build Arundel Mills medical office

Holland Construction Corp. announced its selection by Baltimore Washington Health Services to oversee construction buildout activities for a new medical office and examination space.

The 6,000-square-foot space at Arundel Mills Corporate Park will include examination rooms, OB/GYN areas, a reception/waiting room, restrooms and an employee break room/kitchen.

ARIUM Architects designed the facility. Holland Construction is headquartered in Hanover, Pa., with an office in Columbia.

Openings grand for hhgregg electronics stores

National consumer electronics retailer hhgregg Inc. held simultaneous grand openings Thursday for six new stores in the Baltimore area.

The stores are located in Annapolis, Bel Air, Catonsville, Glen Burnie, Hanover and Towson and are part of a push by the Indiana-based company into the Mid-Atlantic region. Each store contains about 30,000 square feet and is staffed by 50 employees, for a total of 300 area residents who have been hired and trained for their new jobs.

The company said the new stores will showcase over 100 digital TVs and have more than 500 major appliances in stock every day. The Indianapolis-based company currently operates 145 stores in 13 states.

The Week in Leases

  • Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office said it completed a 141,400-square-foot lease with Ace Logistics at 670 Chesapeake Park Plaza in Middle River. Ace, a locally owned warehousing and logistics services company, is relocating and expanding from another location in the same business park. Matthew Laraway and Robert Clements, both senior directors with Cushman & Wakefield Inc., represented Ace Logistics in the transaction. Peter Dudley with KLNB represented the landlord, RREEF.
  • Preston Partners Commercial Real Estate Services said that Advanced Hearing Centers LLC leased 1,408 square feet of space at 531 Old Westminster Pike in Westminster, together with 810 square feet at 625 Southpark Blvd. in Colonial Heights, Va., and 1,000 square feet at 3917 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax City, Va. Preston Partners Associate Broker Jonathan Casella represented Advanced Hearing Centers. The owner was self-represented.
  • Barton Malow Co., a national general contracting and construction management company headquartered in Michigan, signed a lease for 5,205 square feet at 300 West Pratt Street, a Class A office building in Baltimore’s central business district. Barton Malow will relocate from its office in Linthicum this fall. Bruce Matthai and Matt Seward from Cassidy Turley represented the landlord, McCann Investments. David Paulson and Vince Brocato from Manekin LLC represented Barton Malow. Bob Grottenthaler, a Barton Malow vice president, said the firm “wanted to have a presence downtown” and found 300 W. Pratt to be its best option.

Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC announced several lease deals for clients:

  • King Mechanical Co. Inc. leased 3,166 square feet of flex space at 1718 Belmont Ave. in Windsor Mill. The tenant is a commercial refrigeration and air conditioning company. The landlord, Belmont Realty Associates, was represented by Richard F. Blue, Krager D. Sanders and D. Middleton Smith of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC.
  • Manderson Insurance Services Inc., an insurance agency, leased 1,246 square feet of office space at 6660 Security Blvd. in Woodlawn. The landlord, Atlantic Realty Cos., was represented by Richard F. Blue Jr., Paul F. Obrecht III and Krager D. Sanders of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC.
  • Pilgrim Shoes, a shoe manufacturer, has expanded its headquarters and relocated to Meadows Office Park in Woodlawn, where it is leasing 14,006 square feet of space at 6710 Whitestone Road. The landlord, Colony Realty Partners, was represented by Richard F. Blue Jr., Paul F. Obrecht III and Krager D. Sanders of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC. Alan Hoolin of Gold and Co. LLC represented Pilgrim.
  • Sears Home Improvement Products Inc. has leased 14,400 square feet of flex space at 7200 Rutherford Road in Windsor Mill. Richard F. Blue Jr., Paul F. Obrecht III and Krager D. Sanders of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC represented the landlord, FR Rutherford LLC.

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