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Real Estate Weekly: Mixed-use community planned near Fort Meade

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

Los Angeles-based Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds said it provided $17.5 million in preferred equity capital for the acquisition, rezoning and predevelopment of two land parcels in Hanover.

The 122 acres — the single largest undeveloped transit-oriented development-zoned property in the region, six miles north of Fort Meade — will become the home of Oxford Square, a new, 1.6 million-square-foot, mixed-use community.

Baltimore-based Preston Partners Inc. is planning a multiphase development process to create three different neighborhoods with a mix of residential units, office space, retail and approximately 2,250 parking spaces.

Plans also call for a 20-acre school site to serve nearly 700 students.

First Potomac Realty pushes ahead with Va. business park
First Potomac Realty Trust of Bethesda announced it has started construction on the seventh building at its Sterling Park Business Center in Sterling, Va.

The company said it has preleased 43 percent of the new, 56,900-square-foot flex/office building  by signing a 10-year, 24,200-square-foot lease with MSI Worldwide Mail, one of the park’s existing tenants.

MSI, a mail and parcel distribution company, will relocate and expand, moving its corporate headquarters into the new building. MSI has been a tenant in Sterling Park Business Center since May 2007. DVA Architects of Gaithersburg is the architect and Hubert Construction Co., also of Gaithersburg, will be the general contractor.

Sterling Park Business Center is a 495,000-square-foot office and industrial park with additional land that can accommodate up to 350,000 square feet of new development. It is located just off Route 28 and the Dulles Toll Road

Floura Teeter picked for landscape projects
Baltimore landscape architect firm Floura Teeter Landscape Architects announced it has been selected for four projects:

  • Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. has tapped the firm to provide landscape design for Renaissance Gardens, a new 47-unit senior living community in northwest Baltimore City.
  • FTLA is designing site improvements for an expansion of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel.
  • The Shelter Group has hired FTLA to provide site planning and landscape architecture services for its new Brightview of Towson senior living community in Towson.
  • FTLA is designing a streetscape, garden and other site improvements for Baker Street Station, a new facility in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester community that will house programs for homeless men recovering from addiction.

FTLA is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise with Baltimore City; Baltimore, Howard and Prince George’s counties; and the states of Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Utah.

State to acquire 97 historic acres
The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved state acquisition of 97 acres of historically significant land in Frederick County.

Through Program Open Space, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will purchase the land, known as the Bussard/Miller property for approximately $904,000. The property is situated in Frostown Gap, a scene of intense fighting during the Civil War’s Battle of South Mountain.

This will be the first property in Frostown Gap in the public domain, and will become a part of South Mountain State Park. The acquisition will ensure the preservation of land that witnessed a key portion of the Battle of South Mountain and will protect crucial habitat for wildlife species.

Pepco forges energy-savings pact with P.G. schools
Pepco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings Inc., announced the signing of a comprehensive energy-savings performance contract with Prince George’s County Public Schools.

The $35 million contract provides 103 county school system facilities with new energy infrastructure, including heating, cooling and ventilation system modernization, lighting improvements, water conservation, energy controls and renewable energy systems.

The project is expected to save Prince George’s County Public Schools roughly $3 million annually in energy costs and approximately $74 million over 13 years.

BB&T renews D.C. space
BB&T Corp., one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S., will maintain its regional headquarters space at The Millennium Building at 1909 K St. NW in Washington.

The 15-year lease agreement renews BBT’s 19,557 square feet of office space and 5,072 square feet of retail space, and adds 7,093 square feet to house its Wealth Management Group. BBT, of Winston-Salem, N.C., has had its regional headquarters in the LEED-certified, 236,000-square-foot building since 1999.

John Kerr of CB Richard Ellis represented BB&T, while CBRE’s Randy Harrell, Kevin Howard and Nathan Beach represented the building owner, Tower Cos. of Rockville.

Red Robin to open in St. Mary’s Co.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., a Colorado-based casual dining restaurant chain, will open a new Red Robin restaurant in California, a community in St. Mary’s County, on Aug. 23.

The 6,079-square-foot restaurant will seat 215 people and offer gourmet burgers, entrees, salads and beverages. Children under 10 years old will have a dedicated kids’ menu.

There are more than 430 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including corporate-owned locations and those operating under franchise agreements.

Morgan State wins Home Depot grant
Morgan State University said it was awarded a $10,000 grant from Home Depot, following a “Retool Your School” grant competition in which one $50,000 grant and ten $10,000 grants were awarded.

Morgan volunteers, consisting of current students, staff, faculty, alumni, local community residents, Home Depot employees and participants in the annual Morgan Open House, will plant trees and shrubs along the walkways of the Thurgood Marshall Apartment Complex on the south side of the Morgan campus, and move/adjust currently underused stepping stones.

Morgan will install eco-friendly, small planting beds at strategic points in the complex to beautify the area.

DiamondRock closes $200M credit facility
DiamondRock Hospitality Co. of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on high-end hotels, announced it closed a $200 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility.

The facility was provided by a consortium of major banks co-led by Wells Fargo Securities LLC and Banc of America Securities LLC. Simultaneously, DiamondRock announced it completed the acquisition of the 166-room Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel in Charleston, S.C. for $39 million in a transaction funded with existing corporate cash.

The company owns 22 hotels with almost 10,600 rooms as well as the senior note on a 443-room hotel.

BDC picks developer for library project
The Baltimore Development Corp. selected the Southeast Community Development Corp. to redevelop the former Highlandtown Library site in East Baltimore.

BDC, the quasi-public development arm of city government, said it will enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Privilege with SECDC for the site at 3323 Eastern Ave. The property has been vacant since 2007.

Southeast CDC — the sole respondent to a BDC-issued Request for Proposals — plans a 7,978-square-foot, mixed-use development with office and classroom space on the first, second and third floors, along with first-floor space for a restaurant with basement storage.

This Week in Leases
Two lease deals were announced by Merritt Properties:

  • Four Points Construction Products, a commercial waterproofing wholesaler, signed a lease for 3,600 square feet at Merritt’s warehouse/office complex at 10810 Guilford Road in Annapolis Junction.
  • Cardiomed Device Consultants, a cardiovascular medical consulting firm, signed a lease for l1,818 square feet at 5523 Research Park Drive, a multistory bulding that is part of the BW TECH @ UMBC Research & Technology Park in Catonsville.

In both cases, Merritt Properties staffers Jamie Campbell, Ridgely Bowman, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw represented their company, the buildings’ owner, and served as the only  brokers on the deals.