Real Estate Weekly: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust buys S.F. property for $90M

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

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on luxury hotels and resorts primarily in large U.S. coastal cities, announced its acquisition of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

The 23-story, 416-room, full-service hotel was purchased for $90 million, with funds coming solely from the initial public offering that Pebblebrook completed in December 2009. The seller was a partnership led by The Chartres Lodging Group LLC, also based in San Francisco.

Forrester Construction wins two contracts totaling $40M

Forrester Construction Co. of Rockville, a provider of design-build and general contracting services, said it has been awarded a contract to build a $15 million Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Center at Fort Detrick.

The facility will provide space for control equipment for Department of Defense satellites, as well as office space and training, equipment maintenance and storage and supply rooms for personnel.

Construction began on March 4 and will take approximately 16 months to complete.

The company said it has also been awarded the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command Headquarters and Dental Clinic at Fort Belvoir, Va. The approximately $25 million project will include the construction of a new building for the NARMC headquarters and a new dental clinic located adjacent to NARMC.

Construction of the NARMC headquarters will include the administrative building, standby generator and building information systems. The dental clinic building will replace an existing, 27-room dental treatment facility that serves troops stationed at Fort Belvoir.

Supporting facilities include utilities, streets, parking, exterior lighting, site improvements, antiterrorism measures and information systems. Construction is scheduled to begin in July with completion expected in September 2011.

2010 Real Estate Games raises money for diabetes research

More than $35,000 was raised at the 2010 Real Estate Games, a collaborative effort involving the Maryland Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors and NAIOP-Maryland.

Benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the inaugural event in May consisted of an Olympic-style competition featuring competitive events including basketball, scooter soccer, lacrosse, dodge ball, tennis and tug-of-war, among others.

Additional “less active” contests were Wii bowling and Mario Kart. The games were staged at the Community College of Baltimore County. Approximately 350 local real estate professionals participated in the fundraising event.

Scheer Partners adds MNCPPC execs to firm

Scheer Partners, a Rockville-based commercial real estate company, announced that Charles Loehr and Perry Berman, two former top executives of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, have joined the firm as senior associates.

Loehr is the former director of the Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Berman previously served as the in-house planning consultant for law firm Holland & Knight and was also chief of the community planning division at the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

100 Light St. owner taps operations chief

Lexington Realty Trust, the owner of Baltimore skyscraper 100 Light Street, and Means Knaus Partners, a Houston-based commercial real estate investment and services firm, announced the hiring of William L. Mason to head the redevelopment and operations of the downtown landmark.

Mason’s background includes property management, development/construction, project leasing, investment sales/acquisitions, and brokerage. His experience includes office, industrial and retail product types with a special emphasis on high-rise office buildings in major central business districts and with large public and private real estate companies.

Mason will be responsible for overseeing the redevelopment activities of 100 Light and directing its management and operations.

REI to open new store in Columbia

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), a Seattle-based retail co-op providing outdoor gear and clothing, said it plans to open a new, 24,000-square-foot store at Columbia Crossing in Columbia this fall.

The store will employ between 40 and 50 workers who will be hired approximately three months before the opening, the company said. The store will sell apparel and gear for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel.

In addition, there will be a bike shop for quick assemblies or repairs, a gear rental department and a community space for outdoor-related classes, events and presentations. REI operates 112 retail stores nationwide, including three other Maryland locations, in College Park, Rockville and Timonium.

The Week in Leases

  • The Harford County Office of Economic Development has leased space at Swan Creek Village Center in Aberdeen in what it calls a bid to forge stronger ties with more than 60 organizations at Aberdeen Proving Ground, less than two miles southeast of the new office. More contractors are expected to set up shop outside the Army base as the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure process shifts work to Aberdeen.
  • Meritage Properties said this week that recent lease deals totaling more than 79,000 square feet have bought its Metro-Plex I and II properties in Landover to more than 90 percent occupancy. Recent deals include new leases for the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America and New West Technologies LLC, an engineering firm, and lease expansions for 2Tor Inc., an online education firm, and CSSI, an aerospace company. The Metro-Plex project is in the Metro-East Business Park at the intersection of Route 50 and the Capital Beltway and totals 292,000 square feet of Class A office space. It also features two restaurants, a fitness center and conference facilities.

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