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Real Estate Weekly: Forrester Construction wins $11M energy upgrade contract

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

Forrester Construction Co. of Rockville, a design-build and general contracting company, has been awarded an $11 million design-build contract to upgrade the energy equipment for a facility occupied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Renovations include the installation of a 300-well geothermal system, 255 kilowatt-hour rooftop photovoltaic solar array and chiller replacement. The building currently is the highest consumer of energy in the U.S. General Service Administration’s Region 3 portfolio.

Construction is slated to start in September with completion expected in March 2012.

Lanham industrial building sold

Amerco Real Estate Co. has acquired 9800 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway, an 80,000-square-foot industrial flex building located at the entrance of Washington Business Park, for $5.45 million, or $68.13 per square foot, Cushman & Wakefield announced.

Matthew Laraway and Ned Brady, both senior directors with Cushman & Wakefield’s Baltimore office, represented the seller, First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. Adam Weidner of CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer.

Defense contractor breaks ground in Harford

Defense contractor ManTech International Corp. said it expects to create 300 to 500 technology jobs near Aberdeen Proving Ground within three years, as the Harford County military base grows due to the Base Realignment and Closure process.

The Fairfax, Va.-based information technology services company celebrated the groundbreaking Monday for a building at the Water’s Edge Corporate Campus in Belcamp that will house the workers. The five-story building, developed by Manekin LLC of Columbia and Alex. Brown Realty, is scheduled for completion in March.

ManTech is leasing about half of the 125,000-square-foot structure.

Smiths Detection expands Edgewood manufacturing plant

Smiths Detection, a manufacturer of anti-terrorism and security equipment, has expanded its Edgewood manufacturing plant, adding 15,000 square feet to meet demand by the U.S. military for its lightweight Joint Chemical Agent Detector and global demand for its advanced X-ray checkpoint scanners.

Smiths said the Edgewood facility has grown from 87,000 to 145,000 square feet in the past two years. The work force has grown by more than 40 percent over a similar period, and now numbers about 215 people.

State unveils energy map website

The Maryland Department of General Services unveiled a new Energy Maryland Map website that features information about the facilities and grounds it maintains throughout the state and the energy saved at each site.

The website features icons that list the name of state agencies DGS owns, manages or is affiliated with, as well as information on the type of project, annual project energy savings, annual kilowatt-hour savings and a picture of the facility.

O’Neil promoted at MacKenzie

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC, of Lutherville, a full-service commercial real estate firm specializing in leasing, sales and tenant advisory services, announced the promotion of Lacey O’Neil to vice president.

O’Neil specializes in commercial sales and leasing in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and surrounding areas. She has represented a diverse range of clients including Bon Secours Health Systems Inc., the Baltimore County Board of Education, the American Urological Association, Greenebaum & Rose Associates, Proteus Technologies and Praxis Engineering Technologies.

Prior to joining MacKenzie, O’Neil worked for Stonehaven Hedge Fund Advisory as an institutional sales associate in their New York City office.

Storage company LEEDing by example

ezStorage Corp. of Columbia, a self-storage company that operates 45 storage locations in the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia corridor, said it is designing all of its new facilities to be LEED compliant.

Its newest building, on Washington Boulevard in Elkridge, will hold a grand opening on June 24. This is the second LEED-compliant building that ezStorage has opened; the first, in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood, opened last year in a former moving company warehouse that ezStorage renovated.

The company has applied for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the Elkridge facility.

Standard Solar forges joint energy venture

Standard Solar Inc. of Gaithersburg, which designs and installs solar energy systems, said it has teamed up in a joint venture with Perpetual Energy Systems of Los Angeles, a nationwide developer and financier of renewable energy systems using a power purchase agreement.

Under this model, the customer pays for the energy produced by the system rather than owning the system itself. The joint venture, operating under the name Perpetual Standard Solar LLC, is aimed at customers who want to benefit from renewable energy without the upfront capital investment necessary to design, engineer, construct, maintain and operate commercial-scale solar systems.

Schilling Green wins LEED platinum certification

Schilling Green, a 106,208-square-foot, three-story, Class A office building at 230 Schilling Circle in Hunt Valley, has been granted a LEED Platinum Core and Shell certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Developed by Woodlawn-based Merritt Properties LLC, it is the first speculative LEED Core and Shell project in the Greater Baltimore area to be certified Platinum, the highest LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) rating.

Merritt renovated Schilling Green in 2008 with the goal of transforming a then-subpar office building into a showcase for adaptive reuse.

In other Schilling Green news, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Maryland chapter announced it will relocate its headquarters from Baltimore City to Merritt Properties’ Schilling Green office building on July 1.

“USGBC MD wants to be part of Merritt Properties’ positive vision and practical solutions in a LEED Platinum building,” said Stuart Kaplow, chair, USGBC MD. The building’s current tenants are Atradius Trade Credit, General Electric Capital, Grotech Ventures and Vision Technology Services.

Senator Theatre redevelopment talks move forward

The owners of the Charles Theatre moved one step closer Friday to taking over the 79-year-old Senator Theatre. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake directed the Baltimore Development Corp. to negotiate a deal with James “Buzz” Cusack Jr. and his daughter, Kathleen Cusack.

The Cusacks would continue to show movies at the Senator, install a restaurant and a crepe shop on either side of the York Road landmark and potentially add a second screen. The Cusacks are seeking $700,000 in incentives from the city – a $600,000 low-interest loan and a $100,000 forgivable loan. They will put up $400,000 and apply for state tax credits.

KBE Building Corp. wins S.T.E.P. award

Columbia-based KBE Building Corp. a design-build and general contracting company, has won the prestigious Safety, Training and Evaluation Process (S.T.E.P.) Platinum Level Safety Award, the Associated Builders and Contractors’ highest national safety award.

The award is given to companies that demonstrate dedication to keeping their work force highly trained and significantly educated in the day-to-day process of safety guidelines. This marks the eighth consecutive year that KBE has earned the distinction.

In prior years, KBE has been recognized with Gold and Silver Level STEP awards.

The Week in Leases

  • Two new leases totaling more than 11,000 square feet of space at Riverside Corporate Center in Belcamp, Harford County, were announced by developer St. John Properties. Upper Chesapeake Health Systems signed a lease for 8,100 square feet of space to house printing operations and supplies. Weston Solutions Inc. of West Chester, Pa. an infrastructure redevelopment firm providing environmental, sustainable, energy, property redevelopment and design/build services, signed a lease for 3,000 square feet. Weston, which operates in twenty-five U.S. states and eight foreign countries, is relocating its Maryland office from Abingdon.
  • Legends Limited, a premier craft and specialty beer wholesaler in Maryland and Washington, D.C., leased 19,178 square feet of space at 8901 Yellow Brick Road in Rosedale. Jarred Testa and Michael Bosica from Cassidy Turley represented Legends Limited. Todd Evans and Peter Dudley from KLNB represented the landlord.

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