Real Estate Weekly: UMMS, Upper chesapeake Health buy Harford Co. land for expansion

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

The University of Maryland Medical System and Upper Chesapeake Health, the largest health care provider and the largest private employer in Harford County, have jointly purchased six parcels of land, totaling just over 70 acres, near the intersection of Md. Route 155 and I-95 in Havre de Grace.

The property, contiguous to 27 acres purchased by Upper Chesapeake Health in 2008 at the Bulle Rock residential development, eventually will be used to expand inpatient and ambulatory services in the northeast area. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The strategic relationship between the two health systems is expected to gradually lead to a full merger.

General Growth files Ch. 11 restructuring plan

Mall owner General Growth Properties Inc. said Tuesday that it filed a proposed reorganization plan with a federal bankruptcy court and expects to emerge from Chapter 11 protection this fall as two separate companies.

The real estate investment trust filed the nation’s largest real estate bankruptcy case in U.S. history 15 months ago. At the time, it owned about 200 shopping malls, including Harborplace and the Gallery in Baltimore, Faneuil Hall in Boston, the Glendale Galleria in Southern California and the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.

On Tuesday, the Chicago company said it expects to emerge in October with a “significantly improved balance sheet and substantially less debt.” So far, General Growth says it’s restructured about $15 billion in project-level debt. It plans to satisfy debt and other claims in full and provide a “substantial recovery” to shareholders.

Jones Lang LaSalle acquires mall management business from GGP

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the second-largest publicly traded commercial property broker, said Monday it is acquiring a unit of bankrupt General Growth Properties Inc. to manage and lease 18 shopping centers.

The portfolio includes regional shopping malls and community centers in 11 states, including Towson Commons and Laurel Commons in Maryland, the Chicago-based companies said in a statement.

Jones Lang will pay an initial amount that it declined to disclose, plus share a portion of management and leasing fees with General Growth for five years, said Greg Maloney, Jones Lang’s chief executive officer of Americas retail.

Annapolis technology incubator acquired

An unnamed entity has purchased 175 Admiral Cochrane Drive, a 56,000-square-foot office building in Annapolis.

The MacKenzie Cos. of Lutherville provided representation, financing and management services to the buyer. NAI KLNB represented the seller. The five-story, Class A office building is fully leased to tenants such as SIDUS, Northwestern Mutual and the Chesapeake Innovation Center, Anne Arundel County’s technology incubator.

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC will continue to provide landlord advisory and leasing for the building, which will have 4,000 square feet available this fall. MacKenzie Management Co. LLC was also hired to provide third-party management services for the building.

Emergent BioSolutions pays back Frederick Co. TIF

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. of Rockville, the manufacturer of the anti-anthrax vaccine BioThrax, has paid a quarter of a million dollars to Frederick County to compensate for financial assistance the county extended for a plant that was never built.

The company received Tax Increment Financing assistance in 2005 to assist with infrastructure costs on a building it had acquired. Eventually, the company decided not to move ahead with the Frederick facility.

As a result of that failure to move ahead, county economic development officials said Emergent BioSolutions has paid the county $250,000 as reimbursement for the TIF.

Gill-Simpson Inc. breaks ground on HQ

Gill-Simpson Inc., a Baltimore-based electrical engineering and construction company, broke ground this week on a new, 40,000-square-foot headquarters in Owings Mills.

The two-story building, scheduled for completion in May 2011, will house 50 project management, engineering and estimating personnel. Five hundred other staff and field employees will continue to work from offices in Baltimore City, Hagerstown and Cumberland and job sites across the mid-Atlantic. Gill-Simpson plans to develop three buildings on the 13-acre site.

The company will occupy 25 percent of the first building, and lease the remaining space and all of the second and third buildings.

This Week in Leases

Washington Property Co. a full-service commercial real estate company in Bethesda, announced the following lease transactions:

  • 6900 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda: Vision & Conceptual Development Center LLC,  leased 3,088 square feet, and Whisk Group, 2,165 square feet. The tenants were represented by West, Lane & Schlager Realty Advisors LLC and Kent Commercial Inc., respectively/ The landlord, Washington Property Co. of Bethesda, was self-represented.
  • 7010 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda: FedEx Office and Print Services Inc. leased 6,673 square feet. KLNB represented the tenant, and the landlord, Washington Property Co. of Bethesda, represented itself.
  • At 8618 Westwood Center Drive in Vienna, Va., IBTCI leased 4,334 square feet. Washington Property Co., the landlord, was self-represented, assisted by by CB Richard Ellis.