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Real Estate Weekly: Fireguard Corp. opens production facility in Prince George’s

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

The Fireguard Corp. of Glen Burnie, a fire protection and life safety contractor, opened a 15,000-square-foot fabrication facility in Capitol Heights.

The facility’s automated machinery allows for quick and precise production and has design features that limit the amount of heavy lifting required of employees. “Our goal is to improve work flow while providing a safe work environment for our staff,” said Michael Bonanni, vice president of the company.

The new facility provides a central location for Fireguard’s clients in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

Y of Central Md. to expand Carroll county center

The Y of Central Maryland announced it has reached a deal with The Powers Cos., a regional developer, that will allow it to renovate and expand its existing Carroll County Family Center Y in Sykesville.

Under the agreement, Powers will purchase the Y’s building and property on Sykesville Road and lease it back to the Y for 25 years with renewal options. Included in the agreement is funding for the renovation and improvements.

The expansion will add approximately 5,000 square feet to the existing 24,000-square-foot center. Renovations are expected to begin over the summer and conclude by year-end, with the center remaining open during construction.

The Y of Central Maryland also said it is actively seeking a buyer for the site of the former Westminster Inn on South Center Street, which it purchased from the Maryland School for the Blind in 2007. While the Y has utilized the Westminster Inn building since its purchase, escalating estimates for renovation, coupled with the economic downturn, required Y officials to re-evaluate taking on the project at this time.

Cardin School to expand

The Shoshana S. Cardin School announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Temple Oheb Shalom, where the school leases classroom space, to build an independent campus adjacent to the synagogue in Baltimore for its high school students.

The new campus will include academic, social and athletic facilities.

Preliminary plans for the campus on Park Heights Avenue call for interconnected academic, administrative, athletic and multipurpose buildings totaling about 25,000 square feet designed by Levin/Brown & Associates. The school’s board has begun a capital campaign to secure funding.

Tranzon Fox schedules commercial property auctions

Tranzon Fox, a Virginia Beach, Va.-based auction company, said it will auction eight apartment buildings, three commercial development sites, a warehouse, office condos, a net lease investment property and a former bar in the next four weeks.

The properties are located in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, Va., Baltimore and Brunswick. The Baltimore-area auctions are of two office condos in Ellicott City and a net lease investment deal at 22 S. Howard St. in downtown Baltimore.

Realty Management Services wins management contract

Realty Management Services Inc., a Bethesda-based property management company, was awarded the management contract for Plaza Towers Apartments, a 288-unit apartment community in Hyattsville. The contract began on May 1.

Zoning change push in Howard County for wineries

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said he plans to submit changes to the county’s zoning regulations to make it easier for property owners to grow grapes and open wineries in the county.

Speaking at Tin Lizzie Wineworks, a Clarksville make-your-own wine company, two days before the opening of Howard County’s 18th annual “Wine in the Woods” Festival in Columbia, Ulman said Howard County’s current zoning regulations regarding wineries are more restrictive than anywhere else in the state.

Consequently, he said, while “other Maryland counties have flourishing winery operations, Howard County has none.”

Hord Coplan Macht wins nod for Baltimore conversion project

Hord Coplan Macht Inc., a Baltimore based architecture and landscape architecture firm, has been recognized by Baltimore Heritage for its conversion of a former Catholic parish elementary school into senior housing.

The project involved the adaptation of two buildings of the St. Dominic’s Elementary School on Harford Road in Northeast Baltimore. Now named the John Manley House, the project contains 30 one- and two-bedroom low-income apartments and related community spaces.

Historically significant elements were preserved, including the granite and limestone-clad exterior, mosaic tile flooring and copper scupper boxes. Even school chalkboards were salvaged and reused as community message boards. In addition to preserving the character of the historic buildings, sustainable features were also introduced to make them more efficient.

The Week in Leases

  • Northrop Grumman has renewed its lease for 45,729 square feet at the Troy Hill Commerce Center in Elkridge. Northrop Grumman designs and builds systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Michael E. Elardo, E. Hayes Merkert and Brian N. Kruger of Preston Partners represented the landlord, Prudential Real Estate Investors. Michael Sullivan at CB Richard Ellis represented the Tenant.
  • Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office announced that The Partnership Development Group Inc. has signed a lease for 1,450 square feet in The Gatehouse building at Gaslight Square, the Carroll-Camden area office redevelopment located at 1401 Severn Street in Baltimore. Robert Millhauser and Whitney Nye of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, Ian Neuman of Gaslight Square LLC. The tenant was represented by Jonathan Hamburger with CB Richard Ellis. Gaslight Square is a historic renovation of the Equitable Gas Works complex, which provided coal gas to light the city’s streets in the 19th century.
  • General Digital LLC, which provides custom computer programming, has signed a 3,112-square-foot lease at 8850 Stanford Blvd. in the Columbia Corporate Park in Columbia. The Columbia Corporate Park is an 88 acre park featuring five Class A office buildings totaling 482,936 square feet.
  • Revolution Foods has leased 23,297 square feet at 6201 Columbia Park Rd. in Landover. Started in 2006 in the Bay Area in California, Revolution Foods delivers tasty and healthy meals and nutrition education to schools and programs across the country.

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